Category Archives: Preparation

… and we’re off!

P1060581In the end we were almost a bit surprised that fitting all of our gear into the bags wasn’t a problem. We ended up with a backpack and three duffle bags, each weighing about 14 kg.

We’re off to the airport now, it feels great to leave all the planning behind and get started.

The weather forecast doesn’t suck either 😉

KTM Forecast

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Three Days to go

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Finn had his last day at Kindergarten yesterday and Monday will be the last day of school for Lara … Tuesday afternoon we’re off to the airport.

We’re spending this weekend in a mad rush to get everything checked off on our to-do list and to buy some last minute things. Hair cuts for Finn and myself would be a good idea as well 🙂

We’ve also started “pre packing” a bit to make sure that we will be able to fit everything into our four bags. Since we only have 20 kg baggage allowance each, we won’t be able to take enough cold weather gear (warm sleeping bags, down jackets, …) for the Everest Trek.

The plan is to rent/buy equipment in Kathmandu and then to ship all the heavy hiking gear back to Germany once we’re done trekking.

Hopefully that will get rid of enough stuff to allow us to continue with only three bags onwards to Australia and Thailand.

airbnb

airbnb-logoSome of you have been asking whether we’re booking hotels or guest houses up front … and if I had a good tip for a site to use. We are and I do 🙂

In places where we’re only staying a night or two (e.g. Abu Dhabi or Singapore) we’re going the “standard route” of using tripadvisor.com to separate the wheat from the chaff … and then book via kayak.com or with the hotels directly. Yeah, I know, tripadvisor has been in the news for manipulated reviews … and I’m sure it happens. Still, I think there is no other site to give you a better idea of what a hotel or guest house will actually be like.

In places where we plan to stay a bit longer (maybe a week or so), we are using airbnb.com. The basic idea is that people rent out part (or all) of their personal apartments or homes (sometimes vacation rentals) via the internet. The site has taken off like wildfire over the last year, and we have found it very useful. We’ve booked apartments in Bangkok and Istanbul, as well as a house in Ko Samui for a very good rate. Have a look … it might be perfect for you next vacation or weekend as well!

 

EUR 782 for 158 days and the four of us

I just arranged our medical insurance for the trip. It covers everything (even medevacs), has no deductible, and is valid worldwide (except the U.S. and Canada) … all for 1.5 US$ per person per day. Not bad, considering it costs over EUR 600 to insure the family every month here in Germany.

Let’s hope that we’ll never use it.

“We might come back blind!”

_DSC8761Now that the flights are booked, we’ve started drawing up lists of what to bring along … and begun to pile up stuff in the corner of our guest room.

Last week, Finn told everyone at his kindergarten very earnestly that: “the trip will be fun, but we might come back blind”. Apparently he’s found some very exotic snake in a picture book about Australia, which can actually spit venom into its victim’s eyes … and is now very concerned about it.

While Anna and I were debating our packing lists yesterday, Finn came into the room and announced that he had found a solution to the snake problem (see picture). I think we’ll be hard pressed to find the space to bring four pairs of safety googles though 😉

EUR 8557 for 40 Flights

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I just booked our last flight a few minutes ago. Truth be told, it feels like a load off our shoulders … the endless discussions about how much time to spend where are finally over.

All in all, we’re paying EUR 8557 (about USD 11,400) for our 40 flights. Of course none are refundable and dates can only be changed for exorbitant fees. Back in 2008 we paid USD 25000 for 84 flights. It might be a coincidence, but both times it’s almost exactly USD 290 per flight.

The more the merrier

Xmas

And we have another one!

Our neighbor, Ulrike, decided to join us for two weeks in the Kathmandu Valley, before we start the Everest Trek.

The current plan is for us to fly into Kathmandu, visit the sights for a few days and then move on to the neighboring town of Bhaktapur (great for hikes in the surrounding foothills). Another option would be an overnight hike around Nagarkot and Dhulikhel … let’s hope we’ll have as much fun as we had on Christmas … see pic above 😉