The second half of our Big Adventure, in 2019, is setting up nicely. Although we have over a year to go, we’ve taken advantage of a couple of “early bird” specials and booked both our India tour and our rail trip across Australia, and saved a nice amount of money in the process. If nothing else, we have dates for each piece of the journey.
Most other purchases and reservations can’t be made yet, but having the dates has given a window to start our research and get an estimate of prices and costs.
Here’s how our itinerary for 2019 is shaping up:
- 1/7: Depart Portland for New Delhi. Most flights we’ve looked at head east, through Europe, making for a very long flying time. There are some flights though heading west, including a couple of non-stops, so we’re keeping our eyes on those.
- 1/8: Arrive in New Delhi. We’re coming into India a day early to get rested before our tour begins (and hopefully avoid any fog delays).
- 1/9 – 1/15: India tour
- 1/15 – 1/21: Depart New Delhi for Hong Kong on the evening of the 15th for a six-night stay at the Salisbury YMCA Hotel. We could stay an extra couple of days here, but Hong Kong prices these days are high, so we decided to keep to our original plan.
- 1/21 – 1/27: Depart Hong Kong for Perth, Western Australia. We originally thought Perth would be a one-night stay before boarding the train for Sydney, but we’re now planning to stay for several days because a) the cost is less than Hong Kong, and b) we felt we needed a chance to “recharge our batteries” after India and Hong Kong. There’s plenty for us to see and do in Perth, but we’ll also have lots of down time to relax as well.
- 1/27 – 1/30: Board the Indian-Pacific train on the morning of the 27th to begin our cross-continent trip to Sydney. The train trip includes off-train excursions to Kalgoorlie, Adelaide, the Blue Mountains and several other places before arriving in Sydney in the afternoon of the 30th. The trip includes a private compartment with en suite bathroom, all meals in the dining car and complementary Australian wines and beer, alcoholic spirits and non-alcoholic drinks.
- 1/30 – 2/4: Spend six nights in Sydney. We’re planning to take some free walking tours, and maybe a harbor cruise among other activities while we’re here. We’re also seriously considering adding in one of the fun experiences arranged by Airbnb.
- 2/4 – 2/16: Fly to Auckland on the 4th, pick up a car at the airport, and hit the road with stops in Rotorua, Napier, Wellington, and New Plymouth on the North Island before ending back in Auckland for a few days of sightseeing there.
- 2/16 – 5/15: The big Japan visit. We’ll be in Japan for 89 days, one less than the allowed number of days without a visa. We’ve already found a great house to stay in, in a wonderful neighborhood, so fingers are crossed we can make the final arrangements for that in a few months. Brett and I are planning to purchase 7-day Japan Rail Passes before we go, and visit Hiroshima and Kyoto for a week, most likely sometime in April.
- 5/15 – Depart Japan for Portland
Plans for what to do at the end of our travels are starting to take shape as well, but they’re all really still ideas at this point. Meiling graduates from college in June 2019, so that’s the only definite thing going on at this point.
The front part of our trip, in 2018, can’t be arranged until we know where and when YaYu will be going to school. But, we should know that no later than the end of next March, giving us plenty of time to set everything up.