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

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
2 days? The drive from Phoenix to the South Rim is only about 5 hours.
I'm counting the time we will have to stop along the way for lunch and other things. My family is not birders, so rise before the sun is only once a trip kind of thing when it's not work related.

Plus I want to still do some quick stops around Phoenix (mostly for Rosy-faced Lovebird) and so they can enjoy a break before the longer part of the drive.
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Plan A was to resurrect trip to India, Nepal and Bhutan in March / April - already off and refunded, then to Sichuan in June ( suspect I will get flight costs with KLM back as voucher issued was for a year) as China is unlikely to open up; fortunately we didn't have any upfront costs for accommodation or internal travel.
Plan B just go where we can with no or little restrictions probably as a package ie. we did Cuba in January this way, hope is that things will open up for vaccinated people (once Novavax is approved by MHRA hopefully in the next 2 weeks we will be issued with cert saying we had two doses) so hopefully travel without tests and birding to countries that demand a vaccine passports. If UK continues to do well in vaccine programme this could give hope for everyone by late summer.

If any one is looking for quick access to a vaccine the Vaccine Registry in the UK are still looking for volunteers for various trials such as mixed vaccines, variable dates etc.
 

Nightjar61

David Daniels
United States
This year I have three one-week vacations coming to me. I can’t take off more than a week at any one time, however.

I was planning on going to the Dominican Republic for a week in March, but the CDC killed that dream. Now, anyone entering the US has to have a negative Covid test taken within three days of his flight to the US. That means I would have had to gotten a test in the Dominican Republic at a time when I would have been in the mountains far from any medical facilities. Fortunately, the local guide will let me apply my deposit toward a trip at a later date.

So now I’m considering a trip to Arizona in March, hopefully to clean up a few gaps in my life list, targets being California Condor, Western Screech Owl, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, and Baird’s Sparrow.

Then in June I’m looking at Idaho, mainly for Cassia Crossbill, but also Sharp-tailed Grouse, Western Screech Owl (if I dip it in Arizona), Pacific Wren, and Sagebrush Sparrow.

I’m hoping that by the fall or early winter some of the travel restrictions ease up so I can try for the Dominican Republic again. If not, then maybe the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Dave
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Plan A was to resurrect trip to India, Nepal and Bhutan in March / April - already off and refunded, then to Sichuan in June ( suspect I will get flight costs with KLM back as voucher issued was for a year) as China is unlikely to open up; fortunately we didn't have any upfront costs for accommodation or internal travel.
Plan B just go where we can with no or little restrictions probably as a package ie. we did Cuba in January this way, hope is that things will open up for vaccinated people (once Novavax is approved by MHRA hopefully in the next 2 weeks we will be issued with cert saying we had two doses) so hopefully travel without tests and birding to countries that demand a vaccine passports. If UK continues to do well in vaccine programme this could give hope for everyone by late summer.

If any one is looking for quick access to a vaccine the Vaccine Registry in the UK are still looking for volunteers for various trials such as mixed vaccines, variable dates etc.
Any recommendations for a guide in Cuba?

I've often wanted to do this in conjunction with Jamaica.
 

Green Sandpiper

Well-known member
Scotland
My plans are Scotland only, and are ranked between the 'bordering on fantasy' down to 'aw naw, not this again'. For example, a weekend overnighter camping on Mull, ticking WTSE as my 200th lifer, is on the 'bordering on fantasy' end of the scale, whilst a summer bagging warblers at the end of my street is at the other, more depressing end. In the middle are long day trips to places like Fowlsheugh, Caerlaverock, East Lothian, etc. An awful lot depends on travel restrictions being eased, and when.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
I recently casually checked airfare to several random places around the world: prices are unchanged, except for the really closed places like Australia. Jurek's unnecessarily political ramblings are just that, ramblings and misunderstanding of what the real "left" politics is - no, it's not the boogeyman that right-winger make from it to discredit it.

I have no plans though, but I have something like three months of paid vacation accumulated, quite hoping to use some of that :) Once the nonsense settles down, I will just go somewhere, the more I know, the less I feel like preparation is even needed.
 

jurek

Well-known member
I actually follow the real EU policy on taxing flights and carbon over the next years - apparently unlike Jan. And I understand the link between cheap intercontinental flights and tourist-dependent tropical reserves.
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Any recommendations for a guide in Cuba?

I've often wanted to do this in conjunction with Jamaica.
We used Ernesto Reyes for 2 days and he was excellent but he doesn't drive so you will also need to pay for a driver/car or hire a car yourself as we were his first customers for 10 months he did us a very good deal. He got us access to a couple of places we wouldn't have found and probably better views of a few key birds. With no big groups him and his wife (the second top ebirder in Cuba) are available. I have a phone number and email if you decide to go ahead.

Yesterday on Cuban news they were talking about having a Vaccine break where they test on arrival and give you a dose of their Soberana 2 vaccine if you haven't already been vaccinated.
In Jamaica we managed to find all the endemics bar one by ourselves in a week.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
We used Ernesto Reyes for 2 days and he was excellent but he doesn't drive so you will also need to pay for a driver/car or hire a car yourself as we were his first customers for 10 months he did us a very good deal. He got us access to a couple of places we wouldn't have found and probably better views of a few key birds. With no big groups him and his wife (the second top ebirder in Cuba) are available. I have a phone number and email if you decide to go ahead.

Yesterday on Cuban news they were talking about having a Vaccine break where they test on arrival and give you a dose of their Soberana 2 vaccine if you haven't already been vaccinated.
In Jamaica we managed to find all the endemics bar one by ourselves in a week.
Thanks for this, please pm me his details, what did you miss in Jamaica, the Owl can be tricky I believe?

Oddly, Cuba is a place where I require a visa but my Russian wife and child don't.
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Thanks for this, please pm me his details, what did you miss in Jamaica, the Owl can be tricky I believe?

Oddly, Cuba is a place where I require a visa but my Russian wife and child don't.
Will PM details.
We missed the Mango which should have been easy at few sites we visited, we actually got the Owl near our Hotel.
We got our Tourist Card (no visa for UK) in advance about 7 days notice but some people on our flight bought them at the airport so shouldn't be a problem if you go in a hurry or on spec from Jamaica.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Will PM details.
We missed the Mango which should have been easy at few sites we visited, we actually got the Owl near our Hotel.
We got our Tourist Card (no visa for UK) in advance about 7 days notice but some people on our flight bought them at the airport so shouldn't be a problem if you go in a hurry or on spec from Jamaica.
Cheers David, much appreciated.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
I can't see plan A working for you unfortunately, I'd expect long distance travel within the UK to still be limited into the summer.
Hi John. I’m out of touch with what’s happening in Scotland. Here in Wales, the lockdown is having a very +ve impact(touch wood).

They’re beginning murmur about the hospitality sector - self catering etc. Should know more in 3 weeks. So we’re keeping everything crossed for plan A. Would be at Whitsun.

Plan B isn’t a bad back up though. (y)

Rich
 
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JTweedie

Well-known member
We're still at around 800 positive cases a day just now and the trend has been falling which is a good sign, well down from the peak of more than 3000 day if the first week of the year. Last week though numbers look like they've levelled off a little bit so it'll be good to see in a week's time if numbers re-start their downward trend.

All non-essential retail is still closed as are all pubs and restaurants. We're not allowed to travel from one local authority into another unless for essential purposes eg work or to access health care, and these rules are expected to stay the same until early March when they'll be reviewed. I believe some primary school pupils may be going back on Monday though.

I'd personally like us to go at least a couple of weeks with no positive cases at all before we open properly.

If you're interested in keeping an eye on the data, they have a dashboard here - might give you an idea if May looks likely or not: https://public.tableau.com/profile/...OVID-19DailyDashboard_15960160643010/Overview
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I just hope that demand, doesn't massively outstrip supply and push prices up to stupid levels, sadly though, I think there's a very good chance that this will happen.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
I just hope that demand, doesn't massively outstrip supply and push prices up to stupid levels, sadly though, I think there's a very good chance that this will happen.

I think that's already happened. I've seen people tweeting about prices on Scottish islands being pushed right up and many places already fully booked for later in the year.
 

jurek

Well-known member
What is the rationale of banning long distance travel, if the virus is already present everywhere? And in addition, it moves by 90% non-symptomatic carriers before being discovered (so-called British and South African variants are already common in Europe).
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I have to admit a UK holiday is not appealing. I think prices will go right up as suggested above and it's just too crowded at the best of times. With fewer people going abroad it's really going to be packed. My few UK trips in the last 20 years have mainly been at Easter to Snowdonia when the hills are still pleasantly empty as are the campsites. I suspect that is far too near timewise to be an option.
 
Plan A is North Uist in June, which I was meant to do last year, but have moved to this year. I'm still not sure if that will go ahead this year, if not, hopefully I can move it to next year.

Plan B, possibly Islay in November, or somewhere on the west coast of Scotland.
 

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