Sunday, August 05, 2007

The road ahead..

Some of you with too much time on your hands may be wandering what I'm up to next - it's been a while since I last elaborated on my plans here. So:

Am off to Calcutta next (flight), then heading up to Darjeeling by train (overnight and most of the next day) for tea and trekking, and hopefully some stupendous views of Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world (behind K2 which Jina is half way up now, and Everest). Should also be able to see Everest and Lhotse (no.4) on a good day. If that doesn't satisfy, I'm looking at Sikkim, the region above Darjeeling (which is technically in West Bengal) for additional hilly stuff.

After that, am deliberating whether to fly to Delhi and backtrack to Varanasi and Bodhgaya, the place of Buddha's Englightenment. Or do the grueling "back to Calcutta and across" journey, which will be a few days of trains and buses. Or I might skip the whole lot and head straight off from Delhi!

After Delhi and Agra (Taj Mahal), I'll pass across into Rajastan, for the amazing palaces and scenery at places like Jaipur, then once done there, will head up north into the Himalayas, hopefully getting up to Leh in Ladakh. Kasmir tempts, but probably not sensible - will check the security situation and decide.

Finally back down to Delhi for a flight across to Calcutta for a BA flight home to Endland! Yes, am coming back to the UK on 7th September, but only for a couple of weeks - straight up to Edinburgh for a few days for Chris Pepper's wedding, then down to the south to see family and friends. Then on 20th, back to Calcutta and then up to Nepal, possibly to Everest Base Camp, then through the Freedom Road to Tibet, Lhasa, and China.

Am hoping to take the train to China. Then Xian, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, maybe some other stuff too, and back to HK for the end of October when I fly to Johannesburg and Cape Town to finish my RTW trip. I'll spend a couple of weeks there, possibly loop around Africa proper, dive off Mozambique, climb Kilimanjaru, then either carry on up to Europe or back down to Cape Town to then sail back to the UK via St. Helena (might pop in to see Vince T and have a swift couple of beverages), Ascension, the Azores, Canaries etc. Expect me arriving on the beach at Whitstable around 1st April 2008!!!

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