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Around the World for our Silver Wedding 2002

This is an old journal, from our trip around the world in 2002, taken from the diary I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs, they are scans of prints taken with a compact camera.

Some 15 years or so previously we started to put a little bit of money away each month for a luxury Caribbean Cruise for our silver wedding. As the date got nearer and nearer, the more we realised that luxury cruising is not for us, and after a colleague took an 'around-the-world' trip for their honeymoon in 1998, a new idea started to grow.

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Grete checking our guide books

Plans were changed and we went down to our trusted travel agent - Trips Worldwide (which no longer exists) - to talk about our options. And boy, did we have fun. In more than one sense of the word. Once we thought everything had been signed, sealed and delivered, we had a number of changes to flights, hotels and others - some very minor, and some pretty major. Each one caused our travel agent a headache and after it was all done and dusted and we came back happy, he admitted he would never again agree to arrange such a big and complex trip. Because we were on such a whistle-stop tour, we wanted everything booked and paid for before leaving the UK: flights, transfers, hotels, excursions...

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David searching the world wide web for inspiration

Here is the list of all the changes that occurred after we booked but before we travelled:

1. Flight from Heathrow to Toronto – 5 minutes later

2. Flight from Toronto to Winnipeg – 10 minutes earlier

3. Flight from Winnipeg to Toronto – 1 hour 45 minutes later. Lose time in Toronto, gain extra time in Winnipeg Airport

4. Flights between Winnipeg and Churchill are no longer included in the Air Canada Airpasses we have purchased. Additional cost of £225 per person. New flights to be purchased

5. Flight from Lima to Santiago cancelled. Next one available is 7 hours 10 minutes later. Afternoon city tour in Santiago has to be cancelled and airport transfers rescheduled in Lima and Santiago (two different companies)

6. Flight from Santiago to Easter Island leaves 25 hours earlier. We lose a whole day tour of the Andes in Santiago. Airport transfers both in Santiago and Easter Island to be rescheduled (two different companies). One night’s hotel in Santiago to be cancelled and an extra night’s accommodation in Easter Island added. Sightseeing program in Easter Island to be changed to include 4 days instead of three.

7. The flight from Auckland to Sydney is now too early to connect with the arrival from Tahiti. Lose a day in Sydney, gain 12 hours in Auckland Airport. Transfers in Sydney to be rescheduled. We miss a lunch excursion by float plane in Sydney.

8. The Bali to Singapore flight leaves a day earlier, which means we arrive from Java too late to connect. The next available flight is three days later. That flight is full. There is room on the following day’s flight but that doesn’t connect with the flight from Singapore to London. Cancel 1 night in Singapore and two nights in Bintan. Add four extra nights in Bali. Cancel airport transfers in Singapore and Bintan. Rearrange flight from Singapore to London to arrive back in London 24 hours later. Take one extra day off work

9. Following political unrest, we are unable to take the trekking as planned in Papua New Guinea. A lodge based program is offered instead, staying 2 nights at Ambua Lodge rather than in village accommodation and taking day trips out from the lodge instead of trekking to remote villages

10. We are informed there will be renovation work in progress at the hotel in Bali at the time of our arrival, and not all services will be offered.

11. The flight from Tahiti to Auckland is changed to one hour earlier, which means that we miss the connection from Easter Island. The next available flight is 10 hours later from Easter Island, but instead of flying via Tahiti, we have to return to Santiago. Lose the free day in Auckland and gain 10 hours extra travelling. Arrive Sydney 10 hours later than scheduled. One extra night’s accommodation to be added in Easter Island. Airport transfers to be rescheduled in Easter Island. Miss one night’s accommodation in Sydney. Airport transfers to be rescheduled in Sydney. We arrive too late to take the bridge climb at the time booked which has to be rescheduled for later in the day.

12. Flight from Winnipeg to Churchill is now 3½ hours later. Evening excursion in Churchill to be rearranged for another day. One included meal is missed and airport transfers have to be rearranged.

13. The flight from Sydney to Port Moresby is re-routed and we now have to change planes in Brisbane. Airport transfers in Port Moresby to be rearranged

14. We are recommended to rearrange the flight from Winnipeg to Toronto for a later one, in case weather problems cause delays on the flight from Churchill to Winnipeg and we miss our connection. Re-book on a flight 2 hours 15 minutes later

15. Flight from Heathrow to Toronto – 10 minutes earlier.

16. Flight from Churchill to Winnipeg – 25 minutes earlier, losing time in Churchill, gaining time in Winnipeg Airport

17. Flight from Cairns – Darwin – 5 minutes earlier.

18. Flight from Darwin – Bali – 5 minutes later.

19. Flight from Bali – Singapore – 25 minutes earlier.

20. Bomb goes off in Bali nightclub five days before we leave the UK. We cannot get insurance cover for Indonesia; hence the Bali / Java section has to be cancelled. Cancel 9 nights' accommodation in Java/Bali. Add one night in Darwin, one night in Singapore, one night in Kuala Lumpur and four nights in Pangkor Laut. The last 5 flights have to be rearranged too. All airport transfers to be rearranged. We come back to UK 2 days early - annual leave to be rearranged. An additional £405 to be paid.

21. Airlink no longer operate flights between Tari and Port Moresby on a Tuesday. Fly out on Monday instead, losing one night in Ambua Lodge, gaining one night in Port Moresby. Rearrange excursions and airport transfers in both places.

22. Flight Tari to Port Moresby on Monday is full, fly to Mt Hagen for 1 night instead, next day flight Mt Hagen to Port Moresby. Book hotel in Mt Hagen, cancel hotel in Port Moresby, rearrange airport transfers and excursions.

23. Hotel in Port Moresby changed to Airways Motel & Apartments from Ambers Inn after previous customers complained. Rearrange airport transfers.

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Discussing the options with John at Trips Worldwide

Follow me as the story unfolds of the TRIP OF A LIFETIME.

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Posted by Grete Howard 03:15 Archived in England

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