the replacement

i’m very glad to be able to say that the final task before going has been accomplished! 🙂 someone has been found to take over my room while i’m away! the first person to come and see the flat has given me a deposit, a date has been set and i can relax *sigh*

less than 3 weeks now.

i’ve been getting my work ready to hand over, gotten everything i (think i) need for the trip (tickets aren’t here yet, but they’re not supposed to arrive for another week or so, not panicking) and now i know there’s someone cool to look after the place and be ‘dad of the house’ in my absence.

starting to get nervous.

more excited anticipation than nerves i think but the time between getting the tickets bought and now has flown and it’s now very real! cool.

can’t wait to get over there and start taking photos and writing about it. 🙂

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the final hurdle

ok, so now that new years is out of the way, (fantastic party btw! pictures here -> nye photos) the one and only thing left to do is get someone cool in to rent my room!

so, if anyone reading this know of anyone who wants a room from the end of jan to the end of april, please get in touch…there are details on the room ad on gumtree

3 weeks and 1 day to go as of posting this. seems to have crept up very quickly. i guess i was looking forward to xmas and nye as they’re always a blast and always take some organising and that now they are done and dusted the next thing is the trip.

oh there is one other thing…i have to go and buy some shoes…

i’m invincible! ha ha!

you know that moment where eric eats the banana? that’s kinda how i feel now! i’ve totally had enough of vaccinations (i still like bananas tho) and they better be worth the weekly trips to the nurse (lovely she was too, ‘Hey Kerry :)’ if you’re reading); i’m not going to catch any nasties while i’m away (famous last words maybe…touching wood, crossing fingers, etc.)

the only part i have very little idea about, apart from a few sporadic scare stories, are the malaria tablets. i went for Malarone (thanks jakk, those ‘crackhead dreams’ are just what i don’t want :s) costing a total of £203.55 for enough of the little-fellas to last the duration. i get to take them 2 days before i go, so if i do have a problem…well, maybe too late to sort until i get out there.

nevermind…mozzies are no match for bananaman!

7 down, 2 to go.

*JAB* Ouch!..*JAB* Ouch! 😦

Vaccinations; I’m really not a fan of being a human pin cushion but needs must i guess. So far…tetanus, polio, hep-a, diptheria and yellow fever. I currently have the plasters on from typhoid and hep-b. For japanese encephalitis and rabies I have to go privately, not read up on where to do this yet, but I’ve heard of a place on Oxford Street, still have plenty of time tho.

And then there’s the malaria tablets…didn’t see that one coming…£250 or there abouts to get enough pills for the duration. I’ve been advised to go for Malarone, the most effective (most expensive) with the least side effects. The alternatives sounded nasty; risk of psychosis, vomiting and varied effectivness against malaria itself, to name but a few potential side effects.

Who reckons that all this time and expence is worth it when traveling to the Far East? I’d raise my hand in an instant, but the numbness and pain caused by the last jab limits my ability.

visas and sh*t

cool, just had one of the smaller queries in my mind cleared up by the ace people at sta travel…visas!

i knew i’d be able to get visas for laos, vietnam and cambodia when i got to bangkok; just turn up to a travel agent, hand over some cash and watch they scurry about like chickens and in no time at all you have the paper work…heard that from a few people.

thailand and malaysia apparently you can leave and re-enter as many times as for want as long as you only stay for 30 days at a time. liking the place already!

…but slowly gathering what i need

awesome…i love the british postal service!

i ordered an new lens; a sigma 70-300mm, all the way from hong kong (thanks to an awesome seller on ebay) last friday and it arrived well ahead of schedule this morning before i left for work!

i’ve not had a chance to try any shots with it yet but if the weather clears up any i’ll get out tonite.

saving my pennies now to see if i can get hold of a 10.5mm fisheye, and i’ll be set 🙂

btw, coolest piece of kit found yet after a fruitless search for an affordable, light, small tripod… http://www.joby.com/gp2.html no-one should be without this!

still in the uk…

…and eagerly awaiting Jan 26th 2007.

As that’s when I’m off. It’s booked, paid for (partly) and that gathering and packing of whatever i need has begun.

So far the plan is this:

I fly to Bangkok via Bahrain on that Friday, check into a yet-to-be-booked hostel (yep, hostel, no room service for me) and spend the first week in the city. Bangkok being 6 hours ahead and probably warmer than Blighty in January, a little time getting used to it is going to be needed.

From there, and depending on a friends plan to join me in learning to paraglide, I’m either going to Petchaburi, and hour outside of Bangkok to do the above or I’m going to travel up to Chiang Mai and get into the Thai countryside right from the outset.

From there I plan on crossing the border into Laos, cross into Vietnam and travel down the coast, into Cambodia for a few weeks and then back into Thailand. I’ve got a place on Koh Tao getting my PADI divers license sometime in late March / early April, the only part of the trip that needs to be somewhere for a certain time.

I plan on updating this blog as often as i can. I’ve been told that internet cafés are everywhere in the cities and tourist areas and i guess this won’t be a problem.

More as it happens.

M