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Ghana trip

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Old Wednesday 2nd September 2020, 20:04   #26
Jos Stratford
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I was recently groaning after reading that Turkey allows tourists but only if they "stay in high quality hotels and eat in high quality restaurants" and this is actually getting more common around the world - free independent travel being killed off first....
This is not really true.
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Old Wednesday 2nd September 2020, 20:10   #27
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Just to assist, if you wished to travel north at present, you would need to take a Covid test before entering Lithuania, would then need to isolate for 14 days and masks are required in all shops, public transport etc


In reality though, it takes a matter of minutes to check what the requirements are for countries in Europe, not very difficult.
Well, considering that it is often not easy to find the currently valid requirements in the two countries in which I live and understand the local languages, I dare to concur. Maybe the rest of the continent is a bit less chaotic, but it's still a giant pain. And it also changes often from one day to another. Poland for example does weekly revisions of countries they forbid flights from and it now includes Spain, what great news for people currently there for any reason ...
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Old Wednesday 2nd September 2020, 20:22   #28
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This is not really true.
Interestingly it turns out that it isn't - so I have read wrong information and accepted it due to expecting it. What a perfect example of confirmation bias!

Anyway, researching Turkey has been interesting - their curfew for people over 65 is one of the most spectacular failures of logical thinking I have seen and it's not for the lack of those during this year.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 08:27   #29
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Another question, if you decided to do a trip with all the attendant inconveniences and added cost, how easy would it be to actually get a test?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53990068

Are the private sector holding a stock of test kits which aren't available to the government and if so, is that ethical?
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 09:38   #30
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In reality though, it takes a matter of minutes to check what the requirements are for countries in Europe, not very difficult.
I think the danger is getting caught out by local restrictions within a country, as we go forward. UK has several at the moment, where you could easily stray into a higher restricted zone, and get a hefty fine in extreme cases.
I know my parents are in a restricted area, and I can't visit them, but I've no idea which local area they live in, west Yorkshire somewhere! Gov't advice mentions Park, Town, and Warley areas(?!) Of Calderdale.

Apologies this isn't anywhere near Ghana! But would you know which region of another country you were in?
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 14:01   #31
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I think the danger is getting caught out by local restrictions within a country, as we go forward. UK has several at the moment, where you could easily stray into a higher restricted zone, and get a hefty fine in extreme cases.
I know my parents are in a restricted area, and I can't visit them, but I've no idea which local area they live in, west Yorkshire somewhere! Gov't advice mentions Park, Town, and Warley areas(?!) Of Calderdale.

Apologies this isn't anywhere near Ghana! But would you know which region of another country you were in?
There are so many variables that can change, suddenly and without warning including your own potential for a positive test for Covid on arrival.

I really want to get away but the fact that your trip can be lost in so many unpredictable ways and with probably zero chance of recovering any monies, really makes me think twice.................

Governments can't win in this situation, they need to be demonstrating the ability to safeguard the home population against importing the disease whilst at the same time, stimulating tourism. I personally don't think it can be done unless individuals are prepared to accept the multiple risks to the money they've paid and the potential to forfeit a good chunk of cash.

I see absolutely no chance of clear skies ahead in the next year unfortunately.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 15:00   #32
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1.Keep your pennies to one side (easier said than done)
2.Write a list of the things you want to spend them on
3. Wait for the all clear!
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 17:23   #33
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Andy - Ghana will still be there when Covid is no longer an issue, whenever that is. Certainly worth a visit - the picathartes is the most impressive bird I have seen anywhere.

For the moment, why not just have a break somewhere in the UK, well away from Nottingham?
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 17:54   #34
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Andy - Ghana will still be there when Covid is no longer an issue, whenever that is. Certainly worth a visit - the picathartes is the most impressive bird I have seen anywhere.

For the moment, why not just have a break somewhere in the UK, well away from Nottingham?
Got the shakes mate, not had a tick this year!
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 17:55   #35
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1.Keep your pennies to one side (easier said than done)
2.Write a list of the things you want to spend them on
3. Wait for the all clear!
Sage words, trouble is, I'm impulsive and easily corrupted by a good trip list!
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 17:57   #36
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Got the shakes mate, not had a tick this year!
You’re not alone there Andy!
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 23:27   #37
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We are still slated to fly to the Yucatán in 9 days. The USA and Mexico have an agreement that only "essential travel" can warrant a border crossing, but this only applies to over-land crossings, and not to flights. At least as of today. I'll still be surprised if it all goes off without a hitch.

The Cancún economy is all about Americans taking the short flight down to visit. I am guessing that our two governments, and the ariline industry, have some kind of agreement to look the other way on all the COVID issues, when it comes to travelling to places like this.

The airline we are using is now advertising upcoming direct flights to Mazatlan and Punta Cana (Dom Republic).
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2020, 23:37   #38
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Before we flew to Peru and had our little debacle down there in March/April, when we got locked down in Iquitos, I wired a guide in Tarapoto $5,000. We never could meet up with him, and instead sat in a frickin' hotel room staring at the walls for a couple of weeks. Still waiting for flights to resume and hoping he is honest.... otherwise, bye-bye to that money.

The surprising part in all this? I watch eBird numbers religiously, and the birders that are in the top 100 all-time world rankings are still somehow aggresively adding to their totals. I do not know how they do it during COVID.

Example: On March 8 2020, the individual at "the bottom" of the top 100 all-time had 4880 species. As of Sept 2? That 100th spot is 5052. A difference of 172 birds in 178 days. Somehow, people that already have a ton of birds are getting even more of them. Which is not easy.
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Old Friday 4th September 2020, 08:55   #39
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The surprising part in all this? I watch eBird numbers religiously, and the birders that are in the top 100 all-time world rankings are still somehow aggresively adding to their totals. I do not know how they do it during COVID.

Example: On March 8 2020, the individual at "the bottom" of the top 100 all-time had 4880 species. As of Sept 2? That 100th spot is 5052. A difference of 172 birds in 178 days. Somehow, people that already have a ton of birds are getting even more of them. Which is not easy.
It is not at all surprising because these rankings are simply a function of money. You can buy a high ranking by hiring private planes, private cars and a private guide and let a guide do all the hard work. If everything is private hire you can easily dodge any Covid restrictions.
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Old Friday 4th September 2020, 09:03   #40
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It is not at all surprising because these rankings are simply a function of money. You can buy a high ranking by hiring private planes, private cars and a private guide and let a guide do all the hard work. If everything is private hire you can easily dodge any Covid restrictions.
How do they get 'in country' in the first place when so many are or have been, closed borders?

The high rankings are not just money though it undeniably plays a part, a list of 5000 for those of ordinary means, is a lifetime achievement for many, requiring years of dedication and probably, at least one divorce
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Old Friday 4th September 2020, 09:34   #41
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Meanwhile I have added just one species, but my wife got two! But the autumn migration is still coming, maybe I can get a second one...

To be fair, most of the border closures are utterly pointless. Yes, it makes sense to close countries with no spread lile NZ and to not allow in a rather stable country people from a raging jnferno like the US, but there is soooo many countries with uncontrollable epidemics that are still closed and it helps absolutely nothing. So if those birders are getting around it somehow, I don't feel bad about it.
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Old Friday 4th September 2020, 09:50   #42
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Talking

I'm actually 1 bird down for the year (Northwestern Crow got lumped with American Crow). They better do some splits or it will be a very sad year for me.
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Old Friday 4th September 2020, 10:10   #43
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How do they get 'in country' in the first place when so many are or have been, closed borders?
Not all countries closed their borders. I think that at the peak less than 50 countries were closed, so you can always go somewhere interesting. Also, you can use creative routes to get where you want. And if you have enough money you can risk getting stuck somewhere, or pay for private transport and bribe people.

Reminds me of my trip to Bangladesh in 2013. There was a "hartel" going on, which is a multiple day strike where they blocked roads and stopped all cars and buses. Kind of a lockdown. However, ambulances were allowed to pass, so rich westerners chartered ambulances to drive them around (denying local people medical help, but what do they care).
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Old Friday 4th September 2020, 13:50   #44
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Not all countries closed their borders. I think that at the peak less than 50 countries were closed, so you can always go somewhere interesting. Also, you can use creative routes to get where you want. And if you have enough money you can risk getting stuck somewhere, or pay for private transport and bribe people.

Reminds me of my trip to Bangladesh in 2013. There was a "hartel" going on, which is a multiple day strike where they blocked roads and stopped all cars and buses. Kind of a lockdown. However, ambulances were allowed to pass, so rich westerners chartered ambulances to drive them around (denying local people medical help, but what do they care).
Also some of these countries only have restrictions on commercial flights. I read the other day that Costa Rica is restricting people from certain US states, but that the rule doesn't apply to private charters.

And then of course you have some folks who are lucky enough to have jobs requiring them to travel internationally, which may also let them skirt some of these regulations.
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Old Friday 4th September 2020, 22:52   #45
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Got the shakes mate, not had a tick this year!
Does birdwatching need to be all about ticks?

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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 06:56   #46
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Does birdwatching need to be all about ticks?
Looks like it's all about optics for you, the first 5 pages of your post history is all about optics, I guess the rest are.

If it really was 'all about ticks', I think I'd have managed more than a big, fat zero, even this year so you enjoy what you do and leave other people to do what they enjoy.
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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 13:01   #47
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The high rankings are not just money though it undeniably plays a part, a list of 5000 for those of ordinary means, is a lifetime achievement for many, requiring years of dedication and probably, at least one divorce
Exactly, including the divorce.

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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 16:29   #48
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Does birdwatching need to be all about ticks?
My wife has been birding far longer than me, studied ornitholgy in college, grew up in two of the finest birding areas of the USA (SE Arizona and S Texas), and has never kept a list and never will. Yet she is just as crazed and consummed as I am about getting out to new places and seeing new birds. So one can be a gung-ho world birder and not care about ticks at all. But for me they do matter because I set a goal long ago, and I must prove to myself that I can reach it, one way or another.
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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 18:01   #49
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My wife has been birding far longer than me, studied ornitholgy in college, grew up in two of the finest birding areas of the USA (SE Arizona and S Texas), and has never kept a list and never will. Yet she is just as crazed and consummed as I am about getting out to new places and seeing new birds. So one can be a gung-ho world birder and not care about ticks at all. But for me they do matter because I set a goal long ago, and I must prove to myself that I can reach it, one way or another.
Life is about having new experiences, meeting new people, seeing new places and seeing new birds or you're wasting a life.
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Old Saturday 5th September 2020, 18:57   #50
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I would have no idea within the nearest few thousand what my bird list is and don't care but I sympathise with the terrible urge to go abroad - although I did manage a quick trip to France and paid the price in quarantine time. It's like withdrawal from a drug but with the withdrawal symptoms getting worse not better. I have a slight hope of doing the trip to Uganda that I had planned for this summer next summer but I'll be very surprised if I leave Europe before then. I'm expected a winter surge in Covid. I do hope I'm wrong though and can do the Tanzania trip I had to cancel last Easter before the hotels I'd booked go bust.
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