Number of Days: 40
Number of 'Travel Days' (includes trekking days): 22
Number of Days Hiking: 14
(this doesn't include days walking around cities)
The number of breakfasts before hiking/amount of food we ate on hiking days is also startlingly low compared to what we're used to at home because we basically had to rely on eating at restaurants for food.
The entire second leg took place in French-speaking islands. This was great because Erin's French was strong enough that communicating was easier than in other countries where their English was so poor. The disadvantage was that it was tiring for us to constantly be searching for words or trying to understand other people, and the weight of organizing things usually fell to Erin's shoulders (though Craig tried to help out as much as possible). Erin was so excited, though, every time someone would attempt to speak English back, and they gave up realizing her French was much stronger than their English.
The diversity in quality of life between three islands so close together is striking. We're not sure you could get more extreme than Madagascar and Reunion. We know our feelings about which we prefer is already perfectly clear.
With almost the entire leg taking place in Madagascar, we wanted a song that spoke to the adventurousness of the island, but that also had a French flair. So after much deliberation, we found the perfect fit. As Craig said, "If anyone doesn't know what song this is, then they're a lucky bastard because they've just been awarded hours of great entertainment!" (If you need help figuring it out, don't be afraid to ask!) Oh, and if you're truly sick of lemurs already, then maybe don't bother watching this.
Today's epic travel day began with us leaving Mauritius at 4:30 pm on Day 98, flying to Johannesburg, South Africa, then Doha, Qatar, then finally landing in Kathmandu at 6:30 pm on Day 99. There were a surprising number of great things about the trip:
- We got fed lots of food (gluten-free options were even available for Erin!)
- In the airports we loaded up on salads that we felt were safe to eat
- The drink caddies contained free booze of all sorts (on flight 3, Craig enjoyed a nice brandy at the end of his meal)
- We watched 11 movies between the two of us (the second and third flights had over 100 movies we could choose from, plus tv shows and such... not a big surprise to most people used to travelling in N.A., but it was a real treat to us to even watch an episode of tv, let alone do it on a plane!)
- On our long-haul flight we had three seats for the two of us, so we were able to stretch out a bit to try to sleep
- We had free wifi in Doha for our 4 hour layover
- We found a good price on a new camera in Doha, and they gave us 100 Qatar Dollars? (there wasn't enough time to figure out what the currency was called!) to spend at Duty Free (at first we looked at simple rings to stand-in as engagement ring, but we were pressured for time, so we just used it to buy candy!)
- They served soya-based drinks at the Doha coffeeshop
- The Jo-Burg airport was super 'Western' so we found new playing cards (we have LOVED our Rocky Mountain ones thanks to Craig's parents, and they are basically all used-up already). We thought the Africa ones we found are great, with each card being a different country, showing stats about it (we're going to try to play Ten Days in Africa with the cards, too). We also found wedding magazines!
- It was interesting to see modern Qatar rising out of the desert as we flew in, and the identical man-made islands
- We knew at the end of it all, we had an airport transfer waiting for us