Africa is still very much GO GO GO !!
Although, I like to think of myself as experienced in this “lark”, Africa really is a pain to plan.. In comparison, South America was pretty simple. There are no wars, all borders are open and all paperwork is straight forward and done at the border.
Now planning a route to Cape Town is rather like walking over thin ice. You have to be careful where you tread. Neil and myself had originally planned to take a route from Spain into Morocco and head accross the north coast to Egypt, but it seems that you can’t cross into Algeria !! Great !! So, then we planned to take the ferry from Italy into Tunisia and into Libya..
Libya is a royal pain in the ass. You are required to be “invited” into the country by a tour operator, get all visas up front and then be escorted accross the country by a guide !! Not only is this not really in the true spirit of adventurous travel, it’s blooming expensive. We had an idea to skip Libya by taking the “East entry” into Egypt. Riding through Turkey, down into Syria, Israel and then into Egypt ! That plan was soon scuppered too due to an Israeli passport stamp making you “The devil” in the eyes of many other countries and it prevents you from entering any muslim countries. That really doesn’t help when we need to pass through Sudan on the way south..
SOOO, it looks like we’re back to going through Libya which just may have turned into a blessing in disguise. We have found two Kiwis (New Zealanders) who are looking to do the same trip at the same time. We may be able to share costs through Libya which would really help our limited budget.
Well, today I am at home nursing an injured knee. I think I have torn my ACL ligagment playing football yesterday. I had to be carried off the park and I still can’t put any weight on it… The timing couldn’t be worse as in 6 days, I am off on a trip around Wales with Neil and also to meet up with these Kiwis. Although me and Neil talk frequently, we havn’t spent a lot of time together so a little “Broback Bromance” in Wales is required to afirm travel bonds, talk through Ideas and generally get a feel for each other (ooo errr).
The plan is still to leave in mid September 2010. I am skrimping, saving and selling pretty much everything I own. I need about £8000 for this trip and by the time “escape day” gets around, I think i’ll be lucky to have £6000. It looks like the credit cards may have to be brought out of retirement for the flight and shipping home. I learned a harsh lesson in South America !! Money seeps away like water over Iguazo falls if you really don’t keep track of it. I bought far too many beers and stayed in too many pricey hotels and it really hurt my travel fund. Thankfully, Neil is as frugal as I am so I hope we can keep spending to a real minimum..