26 Feb Only 4 More Sleeps
Pretty much all the AirBnB accommodation, flights, trains, ship and car hire has been locked in, with a little bit of flexibility in both Chile and Japan. John’s done an amazing job with all the research and organisation.
In Chile the weather in April (as most times) can be very unpredictable. While it’s possible it could be cold and merely overcast, it could also be hammering with rain and blowing a gale. The latter wouldn’t be conducive to a 4-day, 3-night Patagonian cruise, so while we’ve booked the very inexpensive airfare from Santiago to Puerto Montt, we actually won’t decide whether to use the flight until we get the weather report the day before.
We really hope to do the cruise because that area of the world is spectacular, but Plan B is to do some driving to national parks, wine country, and coastal towns instead.
Amazing serendipity! My sister Megan and niece Mallory just so happen to be in Puno, Peru, on exactly the same evening as us. Who would ever believe it. We grabbed a room in the same hotel and are looking forward to dinner in Puno. With a whole world to travel in, how on earth does this happen. Perhaps we should all buy a lottery ticket.
It was quite tricky getting the Japan Rail Pass, which can only be bought outside of Japan, and must be swapped for a ticket within 90 days. Most companies only allow purchase online and you have to receive the original document via snail mail. That put us in a very difficult position because we won’t be in Japan for more than 90 days, and the post here in Australia is completely unreliable.
Luckily I found a travel company right here in Perth which may be the only place in Australia you can actually go in and get a Japan Rail Pass voucher over the desk in about 10 minutes. By delaying that purchase until this week, we come in under the 90 days and can breathe again! Once in Japan the voucher is swapped for tickets, which must be done within 90 days of initial purchase, and we get to nominate the date of day 1 of our 7 consecutive days of train travel.
We’ve yet to decide on accommodation in Japan, which we believe will be expensive. We’ll be there 9 days all up but will think some more about what we want to see and do and probably book our accommodation some time in the next month or so while we’re travelling. One thing I really want to see is some Sumo matches and we’ll be in Tokyo at the perfect time.
So this Friday morning we start our journey, 2 nights in the Hunter Valley, then Sydney for the flight to Fort Worth Airport in Dallas and an overnight stay at the airport hotel, before heading to Chihuahua Mexico.
It’s been both time consuming and an adventure in just the planning, which has so far included:
25 flights (a number of which are part of the One World “Around the World” fare)
12 train trips
7 bus trips
6 hire cars
Most of these being pre-booked.