Friday, July 2, 2010

Stage I: The prep

So then, 13 months on the road lie ahead. Probably the least enjoyable part of travelling is all of the bullshit preparation beforehand. Small tasks, all of them time-consuming but almost all done now. Every trip I've been on I've promised myself that I'll pack lightly and each successive trip has seen me bear a heavier load than the previous one. Ironically then on my longest trip of all I'll be bearing the lightest load. Thus far my itinerary looks like this;
July 10th: Knock-London Stansted. 3 nights in Watford!
July 13th: Stansted - Kuala Lumpur.
July 14th: Arrive in KL and stay for 2 nights here.
July 17th: Fly KL to Jakarta, Indonesia.
I'm spending a month exploring Java having spent almost a month online deciding whether to go there or Sumatra, but Java it is. I'm flying with Air Asia for the next 3 months I think, that is when I need to fly. Alas their reputation is akin to Ryanair's and I'm flying long haul with them to KL. You have to pay for extra leg room with them and as DVT wouldn't exactly be a pleasant start to the trip, it's been added on.
August 15th: Bali - KL
August 15th: KL - Kuching, Borneo
Then it's 10 days in Borneo. I presently know two things about Borneo;
(a) There is much jungle to be explored
(b) If I want to see orangutans in the wild on this trip, Borneo's the place to see them.
Much like deciding which part of Indonesia to visit, Borneo has Sabah and Sarawak, each with their own places of interest. I'll be mostly exploring the southern state of Sarawak, in the process giving up the chance to climb this. It isn't that I don't want to climb Mount Kinabalu, it's just the fact that when you get there you're bled dry for cash and there's too much pre-planning involved such as getting permits, guides, accommodation near the summit etc. Besides, as magnificent as the views would undoubtedly be from the summit, it appears to be the mountain climbing equivalent of visiting Petra, except you have to wait behind the queues of people inching their way unsteadily upward.
Itineraries are only there as a guide. For example, when I get to Indonesia, I really have no idea where I'll go during the 30 days my visa grants me there. I do know that there is much to see and many volcanoes to be climbed.
Music will be a central part of the trip and I've been busying myself making the obligatory playlists. Playlist I thus far contains The 6ths, Adrian Crowley, American Music Club and Animals That Swim. First book of the trip will be this. Books and music - these are the important things. On that note.....

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