Saturday, October 11, 2008

And The (Abridged) Adventure Begins Anew

I've been talking about it for a long time - ever since I got back really - that I want to travel again. I have, however, been spoiled by my travels so that I can't go off for a simple 2 week holiday as I don't feel I'd be able to properly get to see, and in a small way understand, a country in such a short space of time. So I have decided to blow my entire annual holiday allowance in one go on a big, 6-week trip (going abroad only once a year also reduces my carbon footprint, although that's just an added bonus for my conscience). December and January are the slowest months of the year at work so at least I don't feel as guilty for taking so much time at once (plus I can add the statutory Christmas and New Year holidays to stretch my trip out for as long as possible), and to top it all I can escape the dour British winter weather.

My wishlist of places I would like to visit, despite all my efforts, just keeps getting longer and longer, so it was difficult deciding on where to go. But in the end I decided on Mali as I have not seen much of Africa and it is a country with a long and illustrious history of which we hear very little (if anything at all). The name Timbuktu still has the power to evoke exotic images of remote, esoteric cultures and traditions and as far from Western civilisation as it is possible to get, despite the fact that most people wouldn't be able to place it on a map (or maybe because of it).

Anyway, I've been talking about it for so long now that I can't back out and so on Saturday I headed down to Kingston to find some info on flights to Bamako (the Malian capital). Once I had explained to the travel agents where Bamako was, I was shocked by the dearth of flights. I realised that it would be high season, but I didn't expect to only be able to find flights with Ethiopian Airways via Addis Ababa for over £600 one way. Luckily, after quite a bit of searching I was able to winkle out a cheaper ticket via Casablanca on the 23rd of December that would get me into Bamako at 2:30 am on Christmas Eve and so now I find myself, for once in my life, hoping that my flight will be delayed. Now I'll have to start doing some research and reading so that I can get the most out of my time as it is the one luxury I don't have any more. Now I'm just full of nervous excitement now that I know that I will be packing my bag and hitting the road again (if only for a few weeks).

1 comment:

Shammickite said...

That's GREAT! And you'll still have your job waiting for you in UK when you get bacK? I knew you would get itchy feet sooner or later. I really hope you blog about it while you're there, if possible, or if no internet, then when you come back. You live an exciting life!!