Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Planning Stage

The job has burnt me out and it's time to get a bit of balance back in my life. I've done alot of travelling in the past and am keen to go back to South East Asia and experience it the slow way. I want to see the places not yet discovered by the hordes of travellers with their LP bible tucked firmly under their arm. We've all seen them, cross referencing whether said guidebook recommends said guesthouse, rather than just checking out the room. I've used LP for years, but mainly to work out the basics of transport and tourist sights. I prefer to turn up somewhere and look for my own accommodation. I've stayed in some real gems, have often been the only western guest and experienced fantastic hospitality.

So go slow it is.

First stop Sumatra, August 2008. It's got lots of jungle, lots of wild animals, some really interesting traditional cultures, heaps of volcanos to climb, rare flora, and not too many of those aforementioned tourists. Though there's a place up north near Medan called Bukit Lawang that seems to be crawling with them, along with the obligatory Orangutan Rehab Centre (read glorified tourist trap). I'm heading straight to Padang, and straight to a dinky di restaurant to start eating the heavenly food this region is famous for. I like hot, so I'm looking forward to a good rendang.

But first things first:
  1. Let work know, find a house and dogsitter. (pending)
  2. Buy plane ticket (done)
  3. Get Indonesian visa. I want to have the full 2 months so will need to apply before leaving as Visa on Arrival is only for 30 days.
  4. Advertise for travel companions. Always nice to have company along the road less travelled.
  5. Learn Bahasa Indonesian. I know a few basics but this trip I'll need a little more. (work in progress)
  6. Get damn fit. Well I'm going jungle trekking and volcano climbing, the pegs are going to need to be in good condition. Lucky for me I don't smoke. (work in progress)

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