What is the hardest you've had to work, plan, or improvise to reach a destination? Or, what are some places you haven't traveled to because of how hard it might be to reach the destination?
I found Lake Toba, Indonesia the most challenging during my travels -- not for planning or location, but for the language barriers and the fear that I was going to end up in the wrong place. My fear was completely misplaced as I ended up right where I intended, but it was probably one of the most intimidating and rewarding travel experiences. What are some of yours?
Challenges have occurred in many places where there are language barriers. For example, I had a lot of trouble figuring out logistics in parts of China and Eastern Russia, While in Russia, I found that learning Cyrillic was instrumental when it came to things like buying train tickets. I often would get lost in places but always found my way eventually. I developed a way of being more resourceful thanks to these experiences.
Also being in a place that doesn't see a lot of tourism can be another challenge due to lack of infrastructure that is geared to helping out travelers. I found this was very pronounced when getting off the beaten path in Oman. It would have been even more challenging if I hadn't rented a car because there is practically no public transit available!
Though most people would consider this ridiculous, but I dropped plans of doing the Milford trek in New Zealand as it seemed too far and too difficult to get to.
According to me the Inca Trail To Machu Picchu is the most Challenging Destinations i have ever see. the trek of machu picchu is so difficult. but it comes under the wonders of the world. and this trek for Challenging people who love this kind of difficult trek.
I found that traveling across China and Uzbekistan with my son, following the Silk Road without a travel agent to smooth the way, with no understanding of Chinese or Uzbek and practically no one who understood English, and with my son getting sick to the point of hospitalization and me with a broken ankle, was quite a challenge. But nevertheless an experience of a life time.
And then my recent five week walk across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago; skipping a few stages, but still hundreds of kilometers; with a very sprained ankle (yes the same ankle) was the most amazing experience of my life.
I would agree with you Michelle because I did Tana Toraja in about 2003 and it was the biggest pain in the bum......until I decided to go for a month long jaunt and include Madagascar.
Where do I start. Air Madagascar werent flying at all, the entire months of february and january were blanketed with the thunderbolt symbol so no other tourists flew so Air Austral were 50/50, i dont speak much french or any malagasy, TIA the corruption and you should not kiss African Policemen on Valentines day. I ended up wanted by the madagascan police before id even got out the airport...
But...the most yes, to borrow a line from Bob, amazing experience of my life, was to leave a boat in the Arafura sea at 2am catch another boat to Tual to get to Ambon to fly to Makassar to arrive in Jakarta for a flight to Abu Dhabi with a connecting to Amsterdam so I could get to Colditz Castle with a photo of my grandfathers portrait painted at Colditz to stand before the clocktower and read in Flanders Field.
On the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, one lone Australia stood there in the minus 7 mist and I just did that. I hired a car in Prague and I drove across the ore mountains in Czech and hit a deer, spun around three times and got bogged in a field, abused by an elderly czech woman who owned the only house i could see in the snowy silence of that remote part of Czech...so I had to vandalise her henhouse to get the car out of the field because -
My grandfather spent over 4000 days serving his country. He was captured in crete and first imprisoned in Oflag 7 before being, well, my grandfather and getting up to lots of mischief which resulted in him being sent to Colditz. He was a saboteur. He went there under the gun marching through those freezing winters and Colditz is not exactly a welcoming place, so I had no right to complain about my hell drive from Praha into Dresden then into the remotest part of Saxony you can think of to get to an empty courtyard to read a poem .......to the minute.
Im proud of me for doing that. We both walked out of their with our heads held high, just 71 years apart.
Two ends of time neatly tied.
The most difficult for us would be driving to some remote DOC campsites in the north of the north island of NZ. Just a tough drive along thin, gravelly, twisty tracks.
The longest must be going from Bangkok to Manila by plane, Manila to Cebu also by plane, local bus from Cebu up to the port in the north of the Philippine island and finally a little local boat over to Malapascua. Not particularly difficult in the end but it was 36 hours of non-stop movement without sleep.