Random Items And Facts From Our Adventure

Trip Start Nov 21, 2007
1
153
Trip End Oct 01, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, December 21, 2008

Random Items

Countries Visited - 30

South America - Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina
Oceania - New Zealand, Australia
Asia - India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Mongolia, Russia
Europe - Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Italy (just for a day), Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, France

Days Travelled

301 (December 5, 2007 - October 1, 2008)

Number of Flights


26

Total Miles Traveled (Approximately, was probably quite a bit more)

61,345

Modes of Transportation


4x4, airplane, slow boat (down Mekong), ferry, junk sailboat, wooden raft, racing sailboat, speed boat, bus, camel, elephant, canoe, car w/driver, rented car, cyclo, feet, crampons, hydrofoil, kayak, bicycle, motorcycle, rickshaw, tuk tuk, scooter, songthaew, subway/metro, taxi, train, tram, gondola, van.

Craziest Foods We Ate

-Peruvian Guinea Pig
-Vietnam snake dish
-Cambodian crickets (Layton thinks they tasted like popcorn)
-Cow and duck stomach dish in China
-Duck neck delicacy in China
-Kangaroo, Alligator in Australia

Books Read Along the Way

42 - Our entry for books read...

Number of Nights in Different Places

-100 nights in hotels - These ranged from very basic accommodations to category 7 at a Marriott in Paris.
-99 nights in hostels - Yes, this included 10 bed shared with shared bathroom all the way to our own room with private bath.
-100 in random accommodations - friends homes, tents, gers, overnight buses and trains, airplanes, Lima airport, home stays

Visa Requirements Along The Way

We had to get 9 Visas along the way, they are always an interesting experience.... you are ALWAYS nervous (or at least we were) that it was all going to go smoothly and correctly! We ended up spending about $690 USD each for visas on our trip. Check out some of our experiences here!

Technology Items (things we carried with us)

-ASUS Eee PC computer
-Canon Powershot S5 IS. We bought this in Chile for about twice the price at home. We lost our first Canon Powershot on New Year's eve due to a dysfunctional LCD screen.
-Two 2 gigabyte flash cards
-We ended up with 3 flash drives (or pen drives) that totaled 16 G's of storage. However, we did loose about 3 of these along the way so ALWAYS continue to save in multiple places!
-2 iPods (one nano and one mini)

Most Difficult Things We Did

-Getting a cashier's check in India. We went to 5 different banks/locations before someone was able to help us.
-Communicating with only hands/body language

Worst Experiences

-Food poisoning on a twelve hour over night bus
-4 days on the Tran-Siberian railway (was a great time, but a bit too LONG)
-Overnight bus on a wash board road in the middle of no where Bolivia

Close Calls (that turned out wonderfully)

-Left passports under the bed in Valparaiso, Chile, Jana ran back to get them
-Retrieving Layton's toiletry bag from the Siska sailboat, Whitsundays Australia
-A plastic bag that fell behind a bench waiting for our ferry to Greece from Turkey which had TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in it!

Topic Asked About The Most On Our Trip

-We were asked about the 2008 US Election 23 times on our 10 month trip!

Thoughts On Next Trips (anyone have any suggestions??)

-Baltics (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania)
-Scandinavia (Norway, Finland, Sweden)
-Africa (Mt Kilimanjaro, South African safari)
-Alaska - we are thinking maybe a cruise
-Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
-Central America (Nicaragua, Honduras)

NGOs (Non-government Organizations) we visited
Laos

Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre - Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre provides safe sanctuary for bears that have been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade and raises environmental awareness among tourists and the local population.
COPE - COPE stands for Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise and we provide prosthetics and mobility devices for those people who require them, free of charge if they cannot afford to pay for them. We also supply Information to people about services available, training and support to local staff to provide a high quality service, and assistance in developing longer term strategies for sustainability so that the service will always be here!
UXO LAO - Victims of UXO accidents require a high level of care and attention, and consume valuable health resources from a system already burdened from a population that suffers high rates of malaria and other diseases. UXO LAO was established in 1996. Their mandate is to: reduce the number of civilian casualties, and to increase the land available for food production and other development activities.
Vietnam
Koto - Purpose: To take kids off the street and teach them useful skills in the restaurant and hospitality industry. What we can do to help: Eat at their restaurant, sponsor a child, donate money.
Personal note - Many of the expat businesses in Hanoi appear to be involved with Koto and their record seems impressive.
China
Beijing Hui Ling - Beijing Hui Ling is a unique Chinese not-for-profit, community organisation. Tucked away in a narrow hutong (alleyway) between the imperial parks of Bei Hai and Jingshan, they offer innovative services to youths and adults with learning disabilities and their families.
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