― Dr. Seuss
So with bags to unpack, friends and family to see (and us being more keen on one of those activities than the other!) we’ve found ourselves with time to reflect on the last six months. Originally we’d planed to head off somewhere else for a few days before work beckoned, but it turned out we felt there was ‘no place like home’ to help settle us into every day life.
Part of these ponderings have led us to numbers… Along the way we tried to keep track of a few statistics. Some were easy as they printed them on tickets (I.e mileages) some harder. For example we were going great guns with keeping a tally of the number of religious establishments we’d been in… Until we got to Myanmar and we hit hundreds of temples (almost) a day so this one is a bit of a guesstimate!! But here we go with the more random account of our time away:
Total time away: 133 Days, 5 hours, 30 minutes and 15 seconds
Total time smiling: 133 Days, 5 hours…… the rest of the time was spent re-planning when our second train was part cancelled!
Number of Countries visited / passed through on this trip (look out for the ‘how to celebrate 100 countries blog in the future!): 16 – UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Mongolia, China, Nepal, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Australia, Philippines
Hottest Temperature: 38 degree Myanmar
Coldest Temperature: -28 degrees Mongolia
Total mileage by train (excluding Metro / Underground systems): 19, 585km or 12, 170 miles
Total time on trains: 315 hours, 24 minutes or 13 days, 3 hours and 24 minutes
Total mileage by plane: 37, 192 km or 23, 110 miles
Total time in planes: 52 hours, 13 minutes (including flight with my Father-in-law)
Total mileage by bus / coach: 2768km or 1720 miles
Total time on coaches / buses: 63 hours and 45 minutes or 2 Days, 15 hours and 45 minutes
Total mileage driving through Mongolia and on The Friendship Highway in Tibet: 1245km or 774 miles
Total time on boats: 10 Hours Diving + 36 hours Yangtze Cruise + 1 hour on a rowing boat in Nepal
Cheapest Subway / Underground ticket: 7p – Delhi Metro
Cheapest Train Ticket: 75 Rupees (74p) – Gorakpour to Varanassi Junction (9 hour slow train!!!!!)
Cancelled Transport: 1 Plane, 1 train
Total time under water: 13 hours, 48 minutes (828 minutes)
Number of modes of transport: 14: Car, Taxi, Train, Tuk-tuk, Bus, Coach, Hot Air Balloon, Paraglide, ATV (Quad Bike), Aeroplane, Metro / Underground, Boat, Horse and Camel
Number of temples visited: 122
Number of Churches visited: 21
Number of Monasteries visited: 33
Number of tigers spotted: Zero!
Number of hours spent looking for tigers: 20 hours!
Number of falls on snow and ice: Dean 3, Natalie 1
Number of Delhi Belly attacks: Dean 2, Natalie 5
Number of parcels sent home: Three
Number of Lonely Planets used: Seven – Trans Siberian, Mongolia, China, Nepal, India, Myanmar, Philippines (yes very heavy!)
Number of currencies: 10 – Euro, Russian Ruble, Mongolian Tugrik, Chinese Yuan, Nepalese Rupee, Indian Rupee, Malaysian Ringt, Myanmar Kyat, Australian Dollar, Philippine Peso
Most expensive public loo: ‘GUM’ Centre, Red Square Moscow – £2
Cheapest public loo: Monkey Temple, Kathmandu – 3p
Great Train challenge UNO winner: Natalie 56 : Dean 50
Weight of my rucksack: 13kg to start, 21kg at the end!
Best glass of champagne: Moet and Chandon!
Number of photos taken: Don’t ask! (Dean was somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000)
Highlight of trip: Mongolia, Tibet, Myanmar, our 2nd Wedding and diving in the Philippines… ok thats more than one!
I think it is fair to say that whilst these stats look fairly impressive here, anyone who has ever been on a long trip will tell you they all really merge into one over-arching thought when you get home. It’s something I call the ‘Heathrow effect’. This means that as soon as you touch down and walk through through arrivals doors, your whole trip dissolves into one big dream. But what a mighty good dream it was….