Sunday, April 01, 2007

Lichtenstein calling ...

Despite the fact that it is the 1st of April, I am still the fool.

Of course I should have checked which day trains leave Ulan-Bator for Beijing before choosing the dates for our visas ... but despite this realisation that I definitely haven't thought of everything, I still think I can reflect on a good week of travel planning.

Firstly, on Monday my horse-riding lesson was dramatically different - something "clicked" and I seem to have made the transition from arkward, overbalancing fool to having a nice relaxed rising motion and generally in substantially greater control of my horse. This is very good news indeed, as we arrive in Mongolia 6 short weeks from today ...

Then, on Wednesday our trans-Mongolian train tickets made a suprise early arrival (just 3 days after the Sunday they went on sale in Russia) - I would definitely use Real Russia again, great service - thanks guys. We also had the very last of our vaccinations - I'm not sure whether my arm or wallet is hurting most - the final killer blow? £175 worth of Malaria medication on private prescription.

Friday saw me doing something I've been putting off for a long while and I went shopping for an international mobile phone service. Now I've got to be honest and say that despite my very low expectations, it really wasn't so bad after all in the Carphone Warehouse and I ended up choosing the pay-as-you-go service from SIM4travel. With free (or reduced cost) inbound texts and calls this would be a great option for anyone on holiday - plus you get a Lichtenstein phone number!

This weekend my internet research led me to travel to Lancashire for a visit to Whalley Warm & Dry to get properly kitted out for the elements. They have a superb range of Paramo waterproofs, and excellent discount prices on their website (available in-store if you ask).

Finally (and probably best of all) on Friday night I went to Elland Road to see Leeds United finally win a match, beating Preston NE 2-1 in a glorious victory to lift Leeds off the bottom of the Championship for the first time in weeks!

Now, you're probably thinking "what has this got to do with travelling round the world?" - so in order to make the connection it looks like I'll have to seriously consider "adopting" some new teams by going to see them play (sorry Mel) - Katmandu United here we come!