Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

buddha secret

Taking the slow road has been immensely rewarding for all the reasons we’ve discussed previously. But it can also be immensely trying; a test of will-power and patience. So far nearly 20% of our total time has been spent in-transit, on long train rides, bus rides and boat rides, with facilities that are a far cry from the Queen Mary II. If we’re lucky to have a toilet on-board, it’s often nothing more than a hole through to the outside world. Aim is especially difficult when you’re bouncing around from side to side, and the evidence is written on the walls (and sometimes ceilings). The big problem is: when you gotta go, you gotta go.

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With less than a month to go until we begin our African overland adventure, the big question on our minds (and on your too, faithful readers) has been this: how are we going to get to Africa? Well, we finally have the answer…but unfortunately it’s not the one we hoped for. We’d simply run out of time, and none of the options that we explored so vigorously resulted in any viable solutions. So we bit the bullet. The big, Malaysia Airlines 737 bullet. And after coming over 43,000 kilometers and 12 time zones without leaving the earth’s surface, we will be (reluctantly) flying to South Africa.

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Minangkapau roof

We left Singapore three days ago to begin our journey to Bukkittinggi, which is a city on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. According to the guidebooks we’d read, the trip should have been an early morning ferry from Singapore to Palau Batam (45 minutes), then a ferry to Pekanbaru (6 hours), and finally a bus to Bukkittinggi (6 hours). We knew it was going to be a long day, but we set out at 6am determined to give it a try.

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After Europe

Over the last couple of weeks Mark and I have been doing a lot of research into the next big legs of our journey. It has not been a walk in the park. There aren’t many people doing what we’re doing and aren’t a lot of helpful of resources (except for the man in seat 61 whose site has been invaluable). There are oceans to cross, visas to obtain and countries to avoid. There are costs, non-existent timetables and websites in unfamiliar languages. The world is not open to us as it would be if we were to fly and we are struggling with coming to terms with the fact that we may have to miss out on some places we desperately want to visit, like Nepal. We are at the mercy of what mode of transport is A) available to us in a general direction of favour, B) leaves when we want to leave (+/- a couple weeks), and C) costs the least. With these factors in mind we have booked our next big leg: Europe to Asia aboard…(drumroll)…

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Farewell Ottawa

hot air balloon

For Christmas last year my amazing mom surprised us with a hot air balloon ride. We booked it for this past weekend thinking it would be a fantastic way to say goodbye to Ottawa before we leave. It was also a way for Mark and I to celebrate our 6 year anniversary (woah time flies!)

Take off was a bit hectic because the wind was up. There were guys on the ground running all over the place trying to time our lift off and make sure we could go up instead of side-to-side into trees and power lines. The wind finally paused just long enough and away we went. Higher and higher and higher. Once up in the air, inside the tiny basket of the hot air balloon, it was peaceful…and wicked!!!

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