Saturday, 3 March 2012

Setting the Scene part two

So we had our tickets to KL, now we had to start thinking about the practicalities. How much money would we need, what would we take with us - What sort of backpacks do we need? What about visa's? passports? foreign currancy? should we try to learn a language? or just wing it? And where do we want to go anyway. Even though at this stage our trip was still ten months away, we wanted to have everything organised - planning and organising, seemed to make it more real. To me at least anticipation is part of the fun.

We decided the essential things that we needed were: A decent quality, down sleeping bag each, the kind that scrunch down until they are the approximate size and consistancy (although thankfully nowhere near the weight) of a bowling ball, a good and well fitting travellers pack, secure valubles belt, an ebook of some kind, and of course tickets from KL to England.

The tickets weren't yet on sale, that's the problem with looking so far in advance, but we could, and did, start looking for packs and sleeping bags. Pack shopping is a surprisingly time consuming and difficult matter; your pack is one thing that you don't want to scrimp on. We went to every outdoor store in town and seemed to try on every single pack in every single store, we'd talked to some people to find out what's important in a pack. There isn't actually that much in it, as long as it's not something cheaply made, comfort is the most important thing when it comes to your pack, and the more of them you try on the more you'll know what it is you are looking for. Eventually we found them, on sale as well.

We got our sleeping bags from the same store. Then got our tickets to England a few weeks later. It seemed all we had to do was wait and plan where we wanted to go. The planning was fun, more research than actual planning. Looking at places in Europe and thinking that's nice lets go there. The planning and researching stage took a long time, and occupied us happily until we got our first set back. Our airline sent out an announcement to all passengers saying that they were cancelling their flights to Europe.

As I'm sure you can imagine this sent us into a bit of a panic. We'd booked so far in advance to get cheap tickets, what were we going to do now? If we had to change our tickets we'd end up spending a lot more money. More than we could really afford and certainly more than we wanted to pay. This was the first thing that really brought it home that nothing goes exactly to plan.

After a weeks or so of paranoid waiting, we heard from the air line again to say that we had three options, either we could take a full refund, or we could fly any other route we wanted at no extra cost, or they would find us a replacement flight at no extra cost. This seemed like a good idea to us and meant that we could go back to happily planning our holiday. Now it's been a good couple of months since we first heard that they would not be flying to Europe, and we still don't know our replacement airline. Or when exactly our flights will be, and to top it all there is now a rumour that they will also be cancelling flights out of New Zealand. If they do it will be the same deal of course. They will find us replacement flights. But it is a little annoying. Tis very unlikely that we will be flying anything long distance by them again.

Meanwhile putting flight dramas aside, the trip planning is going very well, we've arranged several things to do in Malaysia. We are going to stay at a beautiful resort on a pretty little island called Langkawi. We found a very good deal and get to spend a couple of nights at the Berjaya resort, our room will be a rainforest chalet. We will spend the days walking through the rainforest, snorkling along the paradise beaches and sipping cocktails at the swim up bar.

We are also planning on going to Singapore. Having been there several times as a child I'm particularly looking forward to going back there. I hope it is as I remember it, but we'll have to wait and see. We plan to go to the Singapore zoo, and Jarong Bird Park. There are several deals available if you want to go to both, and extra discounts if you want to do the night safari too, which we do. I am also hoping to do the Jungle breakfast. Last time I was there it was just Breakfast with the Orang-utans. But now there is so much more, you can even feed the elephants,  and as someone who has hundreds of elephant figurines, and has a mild obsession, I REALLY want to do that.

It's still over a hundred days until we go, but already I'm counting down the days and getting impatient for it to get here. I think I can just about wait. Maybe.