Sunday, 15 July 2012

Where Shall We Go For a Travel Adventure? (A Few Pages of Indecisiveness)

Adventure Travel Awaits, But How to Choose Where to Go...?

“Oh Fran, I hardly think your jaunts to Europe count as travel…”

(Our favourite Manny – Black Books, Series 3)

After looking at some flights and various travel excursions, our plans for a non-Europe travel adventure next year sometime are picking up a pace… finally! (Not that we don't adore Europe of course).

Jess and I have wanted a travelling adventure for quite some time since our various ‘jaunts to Europe’ together. Our desire for unfamiliarity, the strange, and downright weird, has developed into an indecisive and twitchy need to get off the continent and into some more unexplored locations. Especially as Jess hasn’t left Europe before.

Richard’s involvement in the whole saga is very diluted, to the point where his only concern is the ‘third-worldness’ of the place we visit. Oh he’ll be fine. Now, where shall we go?

Since Jess’s famous rock climbing episode I am aware that she may be keen for adventure, up until the point of arrival… (In Switzerland she was ecstatic about rock climbing however the real ordeal included tears and an overall reluctance to abseil down or climb up the rock face, but she did it in the end – well done Jess!)

Also, I am keen not to do anything too wild myself – although I have been to a small amount of remote locations with slightly harsh and unfamiliar conditions, I’ve not made a habit out of this yet, and it just doesn’t seem ideal to launch straight into the Amazon basin, or the Congo straight away…

To begin with we discuss a trip to Vietnam. It looks amazing and the limestone casts of Halong bay are the main reason we want to visit, as well as the strange and mystical culture and history. So we have looked at various pursuits and other things to do and it turns out there are jungles, caves and all sorts of tropical birds and animals, even primates. There’s the Mekong Delta and the renowned trip along it, there’s the history and of course there’s Saigon (Hoh Chi Minh City).

However, after a little more research and reading various guidebooks and travel agent websites it seems that the things we want to do are so spread out, and there are health risks. If we were going for a number of months, we would have time to get used to tablets and stuff, and time to travel the country, but two weeks doesn’t warrant all that kerfuffle. To top it off, Dengue Fever has just been mentioned too much. I know it’s just me, but I can’t shake a bad feeling, and if I’m worried, then of course Jess is worried (I never worry).

So, what to do? We’ve been fussy little things in our research so far, so what makes us think we can handle a travelling adventure? I mean - the audacity of expecting at least mid-range comforts on an adventure! But then, who said an adventure means being sick, having diarrhoea and eating centipedes? As long as I get to soak up the local culture and landscape in some way, and see some amazing things then I’m happy. I’ll be very unhappy if I’m ill the whole time that’s for sure, and if that means staying in a nice hotel I'm not complaining!

So we move on to Chile. Wonderful contrasting Chile. Frozen Patagonia, swarming Santiago, and the famous Atacama Desert. What is there not to be amazed by? After some research we decide we like the idea of Patagonia. After some more research, we realise the parts of Patagonia we want to see are in Argentina (like the Perito Moreno Glacier)…

So, an Argentina adventure! But how to make sure we see different parts of the country - its so huge? Two weeks in Patagonia might be incredible but maybe too much wilderness. It seems a good idea to spend a week somewhere else and make the most of being in South America. We eventually decide to stop in Rio for a contrast, but after looking at flights (and so many different options it made our heads spin) it turns out too expensive – over £1500 each and we are aiming for £1000 or under.

Currently we are settled on arranging our own hotels and flights, stopping in Buenos Aires for a week then heading to Patagonia. Buenos Aires seems so culturally rich and now that I’ve read about it, I sort of want to see (and maybe even try to learn) the Tango! It seems the flights are reasonable and I’m hoping when we come to book it in a few months they will stay the same.

The things to be concerned by are safety in Buenos Aires and transport/weather in Patagonia. I guess that’s what makes it an adventure though – some spontaneity and unfamiliarity, and this, I am certain we will get!

Text and Images Copyright © Lise Griffiths, 2012
All Rights Reserved

Adventure travel, South America, Patagonia, flights, outdoors, glaciers

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