Down is Up and Up is Down

So there’s been plenty of thinking and talking and hand-wringing these last couple of weeks over finalizing our route, since we need to up and book our major airline tickets relatively soon (what with us leaving in now less than a month!). I wrote earlier about our first realization that all of our ducks were not in a row.

Since then, we’ve called Continental and talked about our flight options.  We’ve looked over weather patterns and high seasons and low seasons until we’re sick. Most places, this doesn’t even seem to matter … in fact, it may be preferable to go in low season to avoid all the people. India, of course, is one notable exception. We’ve kept up with the ongoing current events, what with there being no US embassy in either Bolivia or Venezuela these days. This certainly makes what were originally highly prioritized destinations much less certain … its never good to be in a country where there is no embassy to work on your behalf should something come up.

I guess, given the circumstances, its a very good thing we did not book our tickets earlier. As I’m sure you all are aware, situations change in a hurry and the best laid plans seem woefully off track. So with that in mind, we’ve more or less flipped our original plan, and have completely reversed our track through South America.

We’re still heading off to Nicaragua first for a few weeks, but then, instead of heading to Caracas to start our South American journey, we’re flying directly into Buenos Aires and working our way down to Patagonia in November (springtime there). We’ll then head up through Chile, perhaps (or perhaps not) entering Bolivia, then making it up to Peru in time for Christmas and a New Years climb of the Inca Trail.  We’ll then continue up to Ecuador and out to the Galapagos, may or may not go to Venezuela, but either way, return back to Buenos Aires through Brazil and leaving South America in mid-March.

We’ll spend mid-March through mid-June in Africa, generally the rainy, low season in most of the places we’re headed. This makes things lusher, which I’m all for, but animals can allegedly be more elusive. Though oneyearonearth had no trouble at this time of year and really enjoyed it. On the plus side, places like Victoria Falls are at their best this time of year with all the precipitation and low season rates are to be had.

We’ll have an open jaw here, flying in to Johannesburg and out of Addis Ababa, then hoof it straight to Bangkok in mid-June. We’ll spend the summer in Southeast Asia, to mid-August, visiting Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. There’s a mix of rainy seasons and dry seasons depending on what side of the “peninsula” we’ll be on, so I don’t think there’s any point worrying about the weather. We’ll go, we’ll see, we’ll get wet if we have to =).

After this period, we’ll head to India in mid-August, hopefully at the end of the Indian monsoon.e’ll spend about a month here, although we’ll be hardpressed to see all the things we would like to in that time, Bhutan, Darjeeling, Taj Mahal, Delhi, Mumbai, etc. We’ll do the best we can. Then its on back home, though since we have an extra leg available on our RTW tickets, we may stop in a remote Pacific island. Any suggestions?

So there you have it, our RTW trip version 2.0.  What do you all think? Any improvements? Disasterous decisions? Speak now or forever hold your peace folks.