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Anyone else got a plan a and plan b trip? (1 Viewer)

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I'm presently planning two trips, although I'm not booking anything yet. One to Uganda - fairly easy to plan as I should have gone there last year, and my gorilla permits have been moved to this year - and one to France, if Uganda isn't possible/sensible, complete with itineraries. so if it does become any clearer I can start booking asap. Anyone else going for this approach? I'm very much hoping it'll be Uganda but not feeling very optimistic. France mainly chosen because I've been spending a lot of time improving my French since this all started.

Plan c - if we can't travel at all - involves huge amounts of alcohol and a lot of crying.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Plan A - Ghana though not moved anything in to place yet. Any interested parties can contact me as right now, I'd be going alone but wouldn't want more than 3 people tbh.

I'm not inclined to be paying for multiple Covid tests and all the possible surprises and costs, they could throw up.

Plan B - If no travel is possible, spend a shed load on books.
 

peter.jones

Former supporter. No longer active.
Supporter
I've gone the opposite!
I upgraded my Garmin, and found a great online site for downloading free openstreetmaps for it. So thought about everywhere, I would ever like to visit, and downloaded the maps ( in case the website disappears).
So, I have a plan a, b, c, d, e, f, .... To all corners of the world.

However, this year, I'm planning a trip to Scotland for Butterflies, Dragonflies etc, and a few Orchids!
The logic being it's almost certain to go ahead. If we can't go to Scotland in June we really are up the creek; and every future year, I'll be tempted by trips further afield, especially after what we've been thru the last 18 months!
So I doubt Scotland will ever get a look in again.
Plus, I can hopefully visit family on the way up.

Good luck!
 
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DMW

Well-known member
Right now, booking a long haul trip that requires using local ground agents, lodge bookings, guides etc, doesn't make a lot of sense to me with so much uncertainty. I'd rather plan to go somewhere like India or Indonesia where I can buy a plane ticket last minute and backpack around independently.
It seems a good idea to collate recordings and gen for a few potential trips like this so that you are ready to go at short notice.
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
If even European travel is not permitted I'm not sure what to do. I suspect the UK will be even more crowded than usual. I may go for Shetland as that's unlikely to be packed. I do think Europe should be likely but last year I dashed to France and then got the two week self-isolation which I am keen not to repeat,
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
Right now, booking a long haul trip that requires using local ground agents, lodge bookings, guides etc, doesn't make a lot of sense to me with so much uncertainty. I'd rather plan to go somewhere like India or Indonesia where I can buy a plane ticket last minute and backpack around independently.
It seems a good idea to collate recordings and gen for a few potential trips like this so that you are ready to go at short notice.
I don't use guides etc apart from obviously with the gorillas but that is paid for already due to cancelled trip. I'm doing Uganda independently. Lodge booking and hire car a bit of an issue. If it wasn't for the paid gorillas permits being rearranged for this year I'd be tempted to just give up on it for another year.
 

Mike C

Emeritus President at Burnage Rugby Club
Plan A - Scilly in May and October
Plan B - Scilly in June and October

I can’t imagine foreign travel being available this year, especially if the requirement to quarantine on return persists
 

DMW

Well-known member
I don't use guides etc apart from obviously with the gorillas but that is paid for already due to cancelled trip. I'm doing Uganda independently. Lodge booking and hire car a bit of an issue. If it wasn't for the paid gorillas permits being rearranged for this year I'd be tempted to just give up on it for another year.
I was talking generally rather than specifically about your planned trip, and I can see the dilemma you have. I have a somewhat similar situation, but I'm not booking flights or making any other arrangements until it becomes clearer whether it will go ahead. It's must be particularly hard with an iconic thing like gorilla viewing.
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
At this point the only trips on my calendars are from October onward. Most are rescheduled trips that were cancelled in the past year.

Anything between now and October is only daydreaming.
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
A friend and I had vague plans for a Uganda trip too this autumn, but I think we will have to postpone that for another time. Even if we do go, I am not keen on the gorilla side of things. I really don't want to be that person who ends up transferring the virus to them.

I had planned on being in Madagascar this spring for field work, but that is now off the cards and I'm hoping to be able to get there in the autumn instead.

As I won't be doing Madagascar field work, I might end up in Belarus instead to help out with a field project there.
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
We chose the wrong time to plan a trip to Uganda as the US$700 + booking fee each had to be paid in advance and no refunds otherwise I'd very much be playing it by ear too. My other trip planned for last year was Tanzania. Not sure when I'll be going there as they're refusing the vaccine and concentrating on tribal remedies and praying it out.
 

jurek

Well-known member
I had two trips destroyed in 2020 by last-minute lockdown, so my strategy is.

Definitely no pre-booking organized tours. Over few gloomy January evenings at home, muttering that I should be on another continent watching birds, I gathered information (trip reports, sites, basic strategy) for about 10 independent birding trips for all months of the year. When I have free time, I can essentially buy a plane ticket and go. I know the sites, I can download sounds overnight or even at the spot. In many countries local guides and tour companies are now starved for customers and would be willing to book you immediately.

And there were surprises - for example, the Horned Guan no longer requires a week expedition in Mexico, but a roadside in Guatemala. But no point of planning ahead, because in both countries caravans of people can create chaos at any time.

However I am worried that there can be little travel possible in the years to come. Ecotourism was declared an enemy of the carbon god and a cash cow at the same time, so plane travel may be impossible. Worse, covid exposed a deeper governance crisis. I see a genuine risk of the West going Ozymandias. A surprising number of friends and colleagues moved to East Asia temporarily or permanently. I was worried about healthcare and social services, but it fact, in case of economic crisis, these will become illusory. So I am thinking about a warm, economically growing country open to skilled foreigners.
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I think lodges no longer being there is a real issue. Especially in places like east Africa which are so reliant on foreign tourists. Probably a good reminder to people like me that my trips are buggered whereas their livelihoods are.
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Considering I already had to cancel my first trip of the year (weekend in Northern Ecuador) and had to do the backup option (winter birding around Sarasota), I already lost my first plan A option there.

For the summer, I originally planned to do a week with my family in the National Parks of Glacier and Yellowstone, but due to the pricing of the hotels combined with a refusal of giving a refund in case of emergency. Plan B will be 12 days in Arizona, 8 in the Southeast alongside a cross-state trip to see the Grand Canyon and California Condors at the request of my family (yes I am dreading 2 full days of driving from Phoenix up to the Grand Canyon and back, how did you know?).

Outside of that, I am planning for 2022 to be the year I fully break into the Neotropics, I'm planning 2 weeks either in Colombia (Medellin and surroundings), Ecuador (1 week in each slope with a guide) or maybe go fully independent and plan a trip around Argentina (mostly Buenos Aires region, but this one is not as appealing since the temperate climate means that a lot of families and target species of the region are widespread birds I've seen in Panama or Florida).

For now, fingers crossed that I can enjoy Southeast Arizona at least.
 

jurek

Well-known member
I think the even bigger issue will be deterioration of nature in reserves. In mountain gorilla reserves, there rangers are now losing the war with poaching gangs. Populations of large animals may not recover within our lifetimes, many wild habitats converted to practical use will never recover.

Well, the pandemics in certain ways shows a glimpse of the future dreamed by left-wing politicians and activists, isn't it? Few flights, little holiday travel and no to many other activities called harmful to carbon, harmful to the environment, superfluous, culturally insensitive, politically incorrect etc. Governments are watching and regulating lives of people what is claimed they do better and asserted they have the right to do. And this dream turned to be a nightmare.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
I suppose my fall back plan if I can't go to Panama this summer (besides crying?) would be SE Arizona, since interstate travel isn't closed and I will feel comfortable about airports as long as I have the vaccine. Either that or Maine: Both locations would help me fill holes in my ABA list.
 

raymie

Well-known member
United States
Considering I already had to cancel my first trip of the year (weekend in Northern Ecuador) and had to do the backup option (winter birding around Sarasota), I already lost my first plan A option there.

For the summer, I originally planned to do a week with my family in the National Parks of Glacier and Yellowstone, but due to the pricing of the hotels combined with a refusal of giving a refund in case of emergency. Plan B will be 12 days in Arizona, 8 in the Southeast alongside a cross-state trip to see the Grand Canyon and California Condors at the request of my family (yes I am dreading 2 full days of driving from Phoenix up to the Grand Canyon and back, how did you know?).

Outside of that, I am planning for 2022 to be the year I fully break into the Neotropics, I'm planning 2 weeks either in Colombia (Medellin and surroundings), Ecuador (1 week in each slope with a guide) or maybe go fully independent and plan a trip around Argentina (mostly Buenos Aires region, but this one is not as appealing since the temperate climate means that a lot of families and target species of the region are widespread birds I've seen in Panama or Florida).

For now, fingers crossed that I can enjoy Southeast Arizona at least.
2 days? The drive from Phoenix to the South Rim is only about 5 hours.
 

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