One of the downsides of travelling is the constant planning and decision-making that has to go on. Freewheeling is a nice idea but, without making bookings, you can miss out on the cheapest fares and places get booked up.
When we set out on this trip it was our intention to spend a longer time in fewer places to get to know them better, and to work our way through volunteering, helpx and paid work as much as possible. The Maya Pedal disaster changed all that and put severe strain on our budget. The irony is that if we’d stayed in Central America and gone on to Chile we probably wouldn’t have spent any more money than we are doing. But we all know that hindsight is a wonderful thing.
We’ve spent hours recently trying to plan the next weeks as there are so many factors to consider. Cost is, of course, crucial but we also have to consider climate, as if we can’t function in the high temperatures it’s a waste if time being there. Unfortunately, the cooler places in this part of the world also tend to be more expensive and we’re struggling to find affordable accommodation.
We both get bored when doing nothing, and don’t like crowded tourist sights at the best of times, which is one of the reasons why HelpX was so good. You contribute to the host’s projects and they tend to be in places that tourists rarely visit so you get a chance to find out about real life there.
So we’re looking for somewhere cheap, off the beaten track, with a mild climate and interesting people to meet. Oh, and ideally in a stunning landscape.
HelpX in this part of the world, apart from the one we had to pull out of, has not proved too good. We either get no response, or they’re booked up or can’t take us for another reason. Finally yesterday we found an ideal one and have arranged to go there for a few weeks. This is a great relief as it will give us something productive to do, get away from it all, and relieve the pressure on the budget. But we still have to find accommodation for the 5 or so weeks between now and then.
We’re going to the River Kwai today for a couple of days, then up to Chiang Mai, where we’ll have time to do yet more searching so we can plan the final bit of the itinerary before moving on to cooler climes.