Well, we are now well into our round the world trip.

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This topic contains 118 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  canucklad 24 Sep 2018
at 12:15
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Viewing 15 posts - 106 through 120 (of 121 total)

  • capetonianm
    Participant

    I am told Air NZ are excellent, had you considered that route? However, they don’t have F, only C, which I suspect is better than some carriers’ F. They operate daily NZ001 via LAX, at one time they had a routing via SIN too.

    It’s one of the few airlines that I have not flown on and would like to try.


    Charles-P
    Participant

    Thank you to everyone for the many suggestions.

    We considered the Lufthansa option and I agree the stopover in JNB was tempting but we would have had to stay there several days as we have a lot of relations in South Africa so instead we have opted for Emirates. A couple of reasons we like the Emirates First product, the comfort level and service is superb and although I know that some object to the “bling” look of the cabin this has never really bothered me. Secondly it is one of the few options with only one stopover which is important to us. I agree with LuganoPirate about transferring at midnight in Dubai but this in fact works out quite well for this trip as we stay awake on the first leg, transfer at around midnight local time (10pm in Belgium) and then sleep through on the A380 to Sydney. For those interested two First Class tickets one way Brussels to Sydney came to EUR 9,909.


    Charles-P
    Participant

    Crossed over from UK to Belgium this morning on the Eurostar and I once again I was reminded of what an excellent service this is. We went with the ‘Standard Premier’ class which gave us a thirty minute check in, a nice light meal served at our seats and pleasant professional service from the staff. There is also Business Premier available that goes further with tickets that are fully flexible, with free exchanges and refunds, a Business Premier private ticket gates that closes TEN (!)minutes before departure and a nice lounge. On top of that passengers get a Raymond Blanc three course meal.
    The train is clean, smooth and gives a massive luggage allowance. Just over two hours from London St Pancras to Brussels is excellent and none of the usual hassle and stress of an airport.
    A few days back at home now before we continue our RTW trip by flying to Australia. Once there we have booked something rather exciting. We will be spending some time going through the Bush in an SLR Commander 4×4. This is basically an off road RV based on a MAN truck chassis and offers complete ‘off-grid’ living. For Mrs-P and I this is somewhat of a ‘reliving our youth’ experience because as a young, recently married couple we did almost the same thing in a beaten up Land Rover with a tent on the roof. The only stipulations from Mrs-P are:

    a) I am not allowed to grow a beard
    b) I am not allowed to talk like Crocodile Dundee.

    SL-Commander

    slr-commander-motorhome-interior_540x360

    Attachments:

    WonderingWanderer
    Participant

    Apologies, clicked the report button by accident! Am greatly enjoying reading about your adventures!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    @charles – glad to see you are enjoying your trip and congrats on the ‘distraction’ to your itinerary…. I wish you much happiness and joy..

    As you mentioned the cost of your Brussels to Sydney sector, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I am interested in your RTW ticket. How have the airlines managed with your itinerary changes… have you been charged change fees or re route fees or is your ticket a totally flexible, use the vouchers in any order ticket…?

    Look forward to hearing…. and please continue with your adventures…..


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    but I am interested in your RTW ticket. How have the airlines managed with your itinerary changes…

    I was also wondering that?

    Charles, the adventure seems to be getting better and better. Next we’ll here you crossing the plains with a Paramotor!

    Home

    A friend of mine runs this and it is a truly amazing thing to do. I’m sure it exists in Australia as well.
    In fact the same friend has a vehicle much as you’re travelling in. I’ve been in it and they are truly amazing, with shower, toilet, etc all fitted inside.

    Carry on travelling and enjoy. God speed.


    Charles-P
    Participant

    When we began to research the trip we did at one stage look at single airline or single alliance RTW tickets however we decided in the end to do a combination of fixed date tickets for times when we know we must be in a certain place at a certain time and tickets as needed. For example we must be in Abu Dhabi for the 24th of November and we have had an Etihad flight booked for several months to cover that. For other transfers we have booked either First or Business which has given us the flexibility to change or cancel when our plans have altered, at times I have had to pay a fee to do this. Some airlines have been more flexible than others. For example earlier in the year we had originally booked to fly from Nice to Muscat with Emirates after the Monaco GP but we were offered a flight with a friend on his private jet so we cancelled the Emirates flight, they were great and charged me just $200 for doing so which they said they would offset against another flight if taken in the next six months. At the other extreme Air India were a nightmare to deal with and totally inflexible.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    JohnnyG
    Participant

    Thoroughly enjoying following your RTW trip, apart from your fixed dates, 24th Nov etc, how did you decide on your routing, cities, areas etc to visit, or are you doing a lot of it as you go?

    How long do you envisage your marvellous trip taking or is it the same as how long is a piece of string?


    Charles-P
    Participant

    Thoroughly enjoying following your RTW trip, apart from your fixed dates, 24th Nov etc, how did you decide on your routing, cities, areas etc to visit, or are you doing a lot of it as you go?

    How long do you envisage your marvellous trip taking or is it the same as how long is a piece of string?

    JohnnyG – we are glad you are enjoying the reports. The trip has been some years in the planning, there have been a number of places that although I had visited regularly during my business career I had never had the opportunity to take the time and really see and understand the country (India is a good example). Other countries and cities for whatever reason I had never visited at all.
    Many of the suggestions have come from Forum members after I put out a request for suggestions some time ago. My wife and I used that to create a large ‘wish list’ of places and things that we edited down to a reasonable list.
    Our planning is centred around a number of ‘hard’ dates that we can’t move, for example the Monaco GP earlier this year and our family Christmas celebration. Around those hard dates we have tried to be flexible while generally moving in the same direction around the globe albeit with some flights and hotel bookings made long in advance and with the knowledge that diversions will be made (such as our daughter giving birth and us returning to London).
    Our current planning is that we will complete the trip by late summer 2019 although we are flexible on this.


    Charles-P
    Participant

    Late evening here in Sydney and we are off tomorrow to collect our 4×4 truck for the Bush adventure. Our Emirates flight from Brussels to Dubai had a couple of hiccups with on the first leg an abusive passenger who had to be calmed down (drunk in my view). He decided he wanted to “have a look at First” another passenger, a steward and I ‘helped’ him back to his seat. Secondly why wife managed to spill some wine on her dress but the crew were magnificent and helped her with changing and rinsing it out, excellent customer service.
    We changed to the A380 in Dubai for the second leg to Sydney and I am reminded of what an excellent aircraft that is, smooth and quiet in all classes. The Emirates seat in First is very, very comfortable and even my wife slept most of the way (she’s usually not a good sleeper on aircraft) and the ability to have a shower (even a quick one) before landing makes such a difference after over fourteen hours in the air. We didn’t visit the bar but others did and seemed to be having a good time.

    Off to bed now before I collect the MAN 4X4 tomorrow and then its Crocodile Dundee time, so G’day, mate and a fair dinkum day to one and all.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    G’day to you Charles…..Glad you had a bonzer flight on the 380.
    sadly, and green with envy, I’ve never had the disposable pennies to fly first, especially EK first, even greener after you mentioned the bar : )

    Having said that my favourite “Y” cabin is definitely the forward EK cabin on the 380.

    What part of the Outback are you heading off too ?
    If you get as far as the Red Middle, you must make sure you include Kings Canyon, or if heading into true “Crocodile Dundee” territory head to Port Douglas and then onto Daintree and make sure you have a barramundi BBQ ……

    GREEN, GREEN GREEN


    paulkaz
    Participant

    Charles-P welcome to Sydney. After a dry spring like winter we ve had a cold few weeks and up to 200mm rain in nth nsw. I assume you’re heading north up the Pacific Hwy. I’d suggest seal rocks,south west rocks(trial bay),Dorrigo in the mountains west of Coffs Harbour,Yamba, and Byron Bay ( Minyon Falls to west) which gets you to the Qld border. The Tamborine Mountains west of the intensely tourist Gold Coast also worth a visit.
    That will leave 1900 km to Port Douglas. Happy travels.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Charles-P welcome to Sydney. After a dry spring like winter we ve had a cold few weeks and up to 200mm rain in nth nsw. I assume you’re heading north up the Pacific Hwy. I’d suggest seal rocks,south west rocks(trial bay),Dorrigo in the mountains west of Coffs Harbour,Yamba, and Byron Bay ( Minyon Falls to west) which gets you to the Qld border. The Tamborine Mountains west of the intensely tourist Gold Coast also worth a visit.

    That will leave 1900 km to Port Douglas. Happy travels.

    I’ve never been down under, but that journey looks fantastic. I see on Google there are two routes, one via the interior which seems shorter, or via the pacific Highway. That’s the one I’d go for as you suggest Paulkaz, it must be amazing.


    AnthonyDunn
    Participant

    Charles: a word of warning. Senior Management works for a rather large Anglo-Australian mining concern – hence trips over the years to Mongolia, the US, Canada, SA and Oz. As she works alongside a load of strines/ockers, she has repeatedly informed/warned me that no-one in Oz ever uses the term “fair dinkum…”

    Oh, and one place well worth avoiding is the Gold Coast. Absolutely hideous much of it. There are far more interesting places to visit across NSW and QLD. Some suggestions include the Jenolan Caves (due W of Sydney in the Kanangra Boyd National Park) and a tour of the Hunter Valley which manages to combine mares, mines and Merlot. Not necessarily in that order.

    If you are heading north into Queensland, then beyond Brissy is the Great Barrier Reef for your first scuba-diving if you’ve never tried it before. Plenty of local boat trips offshore from a place like Airlie Beach (flights to Prosperine on Virgin Oz or Jetstar, unless you’re driving all the way). And wholly unprepossessing but Dingo Beach on Cape Gloucester is rather stunning. You might even hear Vince performing on spoons before Sunday lunch at the local bar….

    Enjoy.


    Charles-P
    Participant

    Bush experience over and what a time we had !
    A way of travelling I would never at one stage considered but thoroughly enjoyable. We are at our hotel now before flying to New Zealand so a full travel report in the next few days but for now it’s sufficient to say we survived spiders, crocs and an attempted robbery !

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