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|Friday, October 20, 2006 13:43:36|
Arabia 2006: 1 - Almost ready to go
Friday, October 20, 2006
This is my standard pre-trip test to let the system check out invalid email addresses, and to give any of you a chance to let me know if you would like to be removed from the mailing list. This time I'll be travelling on my own.
Exploration will start in Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, but now occupied by Morocco and a lot of UN peacekeeping forces. From there it will be on to Algeria, Libya, Egypt, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for a connecting flight and on to Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. Marilynn and I have been to Dubai a couple of times, but this time I'll based in Abu Dhabi, where I'll rent a car to drive into Oman, and the rest of the emirates.
From there it will be on to Qatar, through Bahrain to Kuwait, on to Syria where after exploring some of the country it will be overland to Beirut in Lebanon. I'm hoping to get into the Kurdistan part of Iraq, but so far no success. At the moment my itinerary is open from Lebanon, but a flight will have to be booked to get me to Amman, Jordan from where I'll head home.
A lot of this trip has been put together with the help of Chi at Bestway Tours in Vancouver (email@example.com) and my friend Ted Cookson, who has Egypt Panorama Tours in Cairo (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). Ted looked after the Arabian plane tickets in addition to a tour in Egypt. Ticketing is no small task when dealing with the small Arab airlines. After everything was done and we though put to bed things began to change. In one week alone there were 6 changed or cancelled flights! Hopefully the rate of change will slow down, but nobody is betting on that!
A couple of visas I could not get were chased down by Mike Lombardo, who has Passports Plus. (www.passportsplus.com) Mike has assisted both my travel partner Tim Carlson & I over the years with visas for tough itineraries, international drivers licenses and so on.
If everything goes according to plan, my arrival in Laayoune, Western Sahara, will be 30 hours after my arrival at the airport in San José, so the first dispatch might sound a bit groggy!
All the best,