Three Worries for my Next Trip

The Pamirs in Tajikistan

A few weeks ago I did my customary post of what I was – and still am – looking forward for my trip coming up at the end of October. Today I am going to be a bit more circumspect and admit quite freely – there are some things that I am worrying about, issues that I might face when I get back on the travel wagon.

The truth is I don’t think I ever go somewhere without a little niggling worry. Or indeed something I am going to dread – like early morning flights. Or indeed, early mornings all together! Unfortunately I am not a morning person, but a busy day on holiday means starting early as, you know, things close!

So here are a few things that I am either a little concerned about, or am not so much looking forward too on my upcoming trip at the end of October!

Travelling Through Hong Kong

This is certainly not something I would have flagged when I booked the flights. At the moment the airport is basically closed and police are using tear gas to quell protesters whilst some of the Chinese groups at the border.

 

The protestors are protesting for democracy and the right not to be extradited to mainland China. I don’t want to be in the middle of that, and in a way it’s also a little disrespectful to travel through a place experiencing such upheaval. Especially if things get even worse. And so my personal trip is not really important in this context. However, I still will have to make a decision at some point.

I’ve been told by friends not to worry because it will all be over in 2.5 months, that’s a long time away. However, the thing started in June and hasn’t got anything but bigger since there. I will need a backup plan. Presumably a reroute through possibly Shanghai.

Altitude and roads in Tajikistan

So Tajikistan I could well be a challenging destination. I am told the weather is going to be ‘ok’ in Tajikistan when I’m there at the beginning of November, but okay seems to be tops of around 10 – 12 degrees Celsius. And there are mountains which will be colder – which I worry could mean snow, which could derail plans if it takes time (ie days) to get through.

I’ll be doing a little light hiking – day hikes is what I’m talking about, not multiple-day treks, and with pretty much everywhere I go being over 3000 metres. Which I’ve dealt with before but I hate to admit it, but I am more over weight than on previous trips. Although I’ve been going to the gym regularly and in the last month made some basic adjustments to what I eat, I know that I am not in good shape.

Back on the roads, google bizarrely don’t have a road marked that seems to exist. And it’s the only one that connects Dushanbe and Khujand to Penjakent in the west of the country. When I look at Google Maps it doesn’t cross the river. When I check the Google Satellite image though, there clearly is a bridge. Very bizarre indeed!

Early Morning Flying

You know how it is. Well, actually I think it’s mainly just me – I look at a flight, 7am, oh yeah that’s early but not too bad, completely forgetting that I will need to be at the airport around 4am to 5am for that flight (depending where I am in the world). Well, I booked a Turkish Airlines flight from Ashgabat in Turkmenistan to Istanbul.

Then a month or less ago I get an email – that flight has been cancelled! For why? I don’t know I think it’s a capacity issue, in that they need a certain number of bookings to run the flight. That flight was 830am. Twice or three times a week they run that flight along with the 410am flight which I think is every day. Yep so I’ve been bumped to the 410am flight. Destroying a night of sleep.

On top of that I transit in Istanbul on my way to Jerusalem. This was with Royal Jordanian through Amman, booked through the Qantas site. They changed the first flight’s time to half an hour later, giving me 25 minutes to transit, which Qantas agreed was not enough time. So I had to cancel that and book a new flight. However, despite it not being my fault they won’t give me all my points back. Grrrrrr.

Otherwise most of the flights are at a perfectly reasonable time – 1am out of Melbourne, but I think that actually works out pretty good and as I’ll be working from 730am that day I’m hoping I just fall asleep!

Well, there you are! Three things that have been playing on my mind. I may just have blogged about them to think them out ‘aloud’ as it were, so I hope it made a somewhat interesting post! Thanks for reading as always! And May the Journey Never End!

6 Comments

  1. I think the HK thing will be finished by the time you get there…for the simple reason that the Chinese will crack down if it goes too far. Are you just transiting through HK or actually staying there?

    We’ve got a 4:20 am flight coming up ourselves. Means being at the airport around 2 am. Not even worth going to bed – watch some tv, have a few beers, then head to the airport….

    1. i have two nights in Hong Kong. Seriously reconsidering them at the moment. or staying right near the airport and just chilling rather than sending time in central HK. Disneyland is on Lantau, the same island as the airport. but it may be wiser to reroute if i can. will see how things are in around 4 weeks.

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