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terratin

collecting countries

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6 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

EC's and virtuals tend to be in interesting places so they get visited anyway making it easier to get them when "touristing" (is that a word? :lol:) OTOH sometimes finding answers for an EC can be very challenging.

 

 

 

For me, finding answers for ECs is mostly frustrating because of professional interest. Either you find something the CO got wrong, or it's an old cache and the questions not related at all to the geology, or just a word from a bloody sign. Or there's something totally marvelous, worth of the best EC ever to be seen there, and the listing is about an erratic next to it :tongue: I still love finding them for some reason :P I'm hoping to do a fairly spontaneous EC tour through Luxembourg this summer, similar to what I did in Belgium last year.  There will be sandstone :wub:

 

@IceColdUK Was on Isla Holbox many years ago. No cache at all there, but then I found 2 or so in Cancun at the end of this trip. First foreign caches for me I think :)

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Btw, any of you travelers worried about the coronavirus in combination with your plans? So far there's no travel warning/cancellation, but I might eventually have to cancel my trip to Tokyo. Anyone else in the same boat?

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25 minutes ago, terratin said:

 

For me, finding answers for ECs is mostly frustrating because of professional interest. Either you find something the CO got wrong, or it's an old cache and the questions not related at all to the geology, or just a word from a bloody sign. Or there's something totally marvelous, worth of the best EC ever to be seen there, and the listing is about an erratic next to it :tongue: I still love finding them for some reason :P I'm hoping to do a fairly spontaneous EC tour through Luxembourg this summer, similar to what I did in Belgium last year.  There will be sandstone :wub:

 

@IceColdUK Was on Isla Holbox many years ago. No cache at all there, but then I found 2 or so in Cancun at the end of this trip. First foreign caches for me I think :)

 

From my research, this isn't much of anything on Isla Holbox (which is what make it so nice).  I only found one cache in Cancun (had an overnight layover on the way to Cuba) and  planned on attending an event there but the creator had his flight from France cancelled so he retracted the event the day before I left home.

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26 minutes ago, terratin said:

Btw, any of you travelers worried about the coronavirus in combination with your plans? So far there's no travel warning/cancellation, but I might eventually have to cancel my trip to Tokyo. Anyone else in the same boat?

 

Currently, there are two CDC level 3 countries (China and South Korea): Avoid all necessary travel.   Japan, Italy, and Iran are level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions, and Hong Kong is level 1: Practice Usual Precautions.  

 

My wife is fairly paranoid about this and we're buy trip cancellation insurance for my sons trip to Costa Rica in the summer.  Not sure when you're planning on going to Japan but I'd get travel cancellation insurance and watch the CDC and WHO reports.   It looks like CDC is more concerned about travel to Italy than Japan.  

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8 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

We visited Isla Mujeres, an island off of the coast of Cancun, a few years ago - the only opportunity we had for two or three cache types in Mexico.  I sulked for a day after a DNF at the Letterbox. 😢

I feel your pain.  A couple of years ago our cruise stopped at Jamaica - I DNF'd both caches near the cruise dock (only options for us).  I'm still bummed about that, don't know when/if we'll be back...

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7 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Currently, there are two CDC level 3 countries (China and South Korea): Avoid all necessary travel.   Japan, Italy, and Iran are level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions, and Hong Kong is level 1: Practice Usual Precautions.  

 

My wife is fairly paranoid about this and we're buy trip cancellation insurance for my sons trip to Costa Rica in the summer.  Not sure when you're planning on going to Japan but I'd get travel cancellation insurance and watch the CDC and WHO reports.   It looks like CDC is more concerned about travel to Italy than Japan.  

 

You can't get insurance for a trip that you booked more than a week ago, and viral infections are generally excluded here. Yes, of course I have insurance, but this is not covered.

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9 minutes ago, terratin said:

 

You can't get insurance for a trip that you booked more than a week ago, and viral infections are generally excluded here. Yes, of course I have insurance, but this is not covered.

That's too bad.    While travel in Japan might be a risk,  just traveling on an airplane becomes more of an unknown, because other passengers could be from anywhere.

 

I traveled to eastern Africa (Ethiopia) during ebola outbreak in western Africa.   There were medical staff set up just after we got off the plane that did a quick assessment (they had a thermometer that the could just point at peoples faces).  I don't know how much of that is going on now.  

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Not worried at all. Although cases are up outside China they seem to go down in China (Can we trust their data?). It's very well possible that in a few weeks time we'll all be back to normal.

 

As for insurance, if booked before this started and the official travel advice from the government is against non-essential travel we're covered. YMMV

 

 

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29 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Not worried at all. Although cases are up outside China they seem to go down in China (Can we trust their data?). It's very well possible that in a few weeks time we'll all be back to normal.

 

As for insurance, if booked before this started and the official travel advice from the government is against non-essential travel we're covered. YMMV

 

 

 

The university where I work has significantly restricted travel to CDC level 3 countries and has cancelled study abroad programs in Italy.   I work in a very internationally community.   About 18% of the undergrad students are Asian.  However, most of them don't go back home very often once they get to campus, even during the summer break.  

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2 hours ago, terratin said:

I might eventually have to cancel my trip to Tokyo. Anyone else in the same boat?

 

About a month ago I was hovering over the Buy button for a trip to Japan, would've been my first.  Found ideal flights, was studying the guidebooks and (more importantly) the cache map.  Would've been there now, caching up a storm.  But watching the virus situation closely, I didn't like what I saw...  Still don't.  I'm staying close to the VPHQ bunker until things improve.

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10 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

 

About a month ago I was hovering over the Buy button for a trip to Japan, would've been my first.  Found ideal flights, was studying the guidebooks and (more importantly) the cache map.  Would've been there now, caching up a storm.  But watching the virus situation closely, I didn't like what I saw...  Still don't.  I'm staying close to the VPHQ bunker until things improve.

 

Yeah.. I booked last autumn. Thus could not know this. We'll see how things go. The airline has not restrict any trips other than to China and Korea. For me problematic would be a possible quarantine though.

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On 2/21/2020 at 9:16 AM, Vooruit! said:

 

Haha, nice to see I'm not the only one wanting to find as many different cache types in every country I visit. I've got a fitting challenge cache in the pipeline, for which the checker is already online: https://project-gc.com/Challenges/GC8JTHP/44683. It requires you to find at least 100 country/cache types combinations.

 

This challenge came online last week, along with another 'international' one, for which you have to attend events in at least 5 different countries (named 'Blending in').

 

So much for the spamming part. On-topic: I've got 2 trips planned for this year, a business conference in Lithuania to which I'm adding a couple of day to visit Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Russia (Kaliningrad) and Belarus. In the summer we'll be spending 2 weeks in Romania, with a sidetrip to Moldova - supposedly the least visited country in Europe or something. We'll see...

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On 2/27/2020 at 9:28 AM, terratin said:

Btw, any of you travelers worried about the coronavirus in combination with your plans? So far there's no travel warning/cancellation, but I might eventually have to cancel my trip to Tokyo. Anyone else in the same boat?

 

I'm teed up for Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Svalbard in July. Outbreaks in the first two, so far none in the last two. Have to play it by ear I suppose, it's four months yet. The flying part is actually the more concerning; being penned up for several hours with "who knows where they've been" doesn't engender confidence. I'm in the statistically high risk age zone, too. Luckily I did all the booking myself and almost everything is no penalty cancellation. I'm also planning on Seattle in August... the epicentre in the States right now, so I'm hoping that situation cools off by then, as well.

Edited by skramble
clarification

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On ‎2‎/‎27‎/‎2020 at 9:28 AM, terratin said:

Btw, any of you travelers worried about the coronavirus in combination with your plans? So far there's no travel warning/cancellation, but I might eventually have to cancel my trip to Tokyo. Anyone else in the same boat?

We just found out our May tour of Israel/Jordan has been postponed until 2021 due to the virus.  We were there in 2017 but were hoping to pickup a Palestine cache this time.  Travel insurance doesn't payout for "fear" so delaying was better than cancelling.

 

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On 2/27/2020 at 12:28 PM, terratin said:

Btw, any of you travelers worried about the coronavirus in combination with your plans? So far there's no travel warning/cancellation, but I might eventually have to cancel my trip to Tokyo. Anyone else in the same boat?

 

Whelp our honeymoon (and my caching trip!) is basically kaput - UK, France and Italy were on the list... can't go anymore -_-

#TravelBan

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On 2/27/2020 at 6:28 PM, terratin said:

Btw, any of you travelers worried about the coronavirus in combination with your plans?

 

The nice part about my job is that I get 4-day weekends to travel.  The drawback is that my supervisors have the authority to kibosh travel in such cases.  Right now I'm only limited to traveling to specific areas, but that may change to limiting my ability to leave Germany if the CDC warning category for Germany is elevated.  It may even end up delaying our return move to the US.  So, yes, our plans are rather up in the air (or stuck on the ground, if you will) at the moment.

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4 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

The nice part about my job is that I get 4-day weekends to travel.  The drawback is that my supervisors have the authority to kibosh travel in such cases.  Right now I'm only limited to traveling to specific areas, but that may change to limiting my ability to leave Germany if the CDC warning category for Germany is elevated.  It may even end up delaying our return move to the US.  So, yes, our plans are rather up in the air (or stuck on the ground, if you will) at the moment.

 

Same ship Hzoi; hope your PCS isn't delayed!

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On 3/11/2020 at 2:08 PM, hzoi said:

 

The nice part about my job is that I get 4-day weekends to travel.  The drawback is that my supervisors have the authority to kibosh travel in such cases.  Right now I'm only limited to traveling to specific areas, but that may change to limiting my ability to leave Germany if the CDC warning category for Germany is elevated.  It may even end up delaying our return move to the US.  So, yes, our plans are rather up in the air (or stuck on the ground, if you will) at the moment.

 

I had a chat with HR today. My Japan trip is private of course, and so far they recommend going if I feel like it as the travel warning for Japan here  is only level 1 on a scale of 0-3. We'll see how things develop. But I've pretty much decided to not go. Just hoping that the airline cancels the flight as I might get some money back then. Hotels is at least no problem. Haven't checked the trains to the airport yet. I might be able to cancel or rebook for something else. Or not.

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In three weeks I was due to leave for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. That's now on hold. And, a tour/cruise Canada/Alaska in June is cancelled. Time to do some work around the house for at least the next six months.

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Our trip to Slovenia is "officially" still on but... Airline changed our return flight to one day later. That means adding an extra night accommodation and and extra day rental car.

However, since Belgium is almost at complete lock-down and it looks like Slovenia is a bit behind concerning the amount of infections, I guess the next few days they will take the same precautions. This will then force the airline to cancel our flights and return our money. Should we cancel ourselves now we'd probably have to forfeit our tickets. Hotel and rental car can still be cancelled at no cost. Looks we're good so far.

In any case, we're prepared. I'm sure our visit to Slovenia will not happen as planned but we'll reschedule until after this mess is over.

No risk for the two other "long weekends" away we have planned but those can also be cancelled without cancellation fee.

 

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I just cancelled my trip to Tokyo next week at just minor costs. Still undecided what to do. Rebook in autumn, cancel and do something else? Seen good deals to Seoul in october/november, or Philippines. There are likely more options as well. 

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1 hour ago, terratin said:

I just cancelled my trip to Tokyo next week at just minor costs. Still undecided what to do. Rebook in autumn, cancel and do something else?

 

Rebook in autumn for Japan!!

Look up the autumn colors and plan accordingly B). We were impressed by the scenery during our October trip (left end September for 4 weeks)

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26 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

Rebook in autumn for Japan!!

Look up the autumn colors and plan accordingly B). We were impressed by the scenery during our October trip (left end September for 4 weeks)

Yeah. Tbh, I could only do exactly the same trip, and that would be more expensive than e.g. flying to Seoul and see red foliage there. Still undecided

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On 2/28/2020 at 1:32 AM, Vooruit! said:

 

Unfortunately, they're actually the same cache type. Look at GC2401K, the Lost & Found event you've attended. It actually says 'Community Celebration Event'.

 

But: come to think of it, I could implement some temporal logic based on the year the event was in. :)

 

No, the event I attended was a 10 Year Celebration, which has now been turned into a Community Celebration Event.  The Lost & Found events were a different cache type and are now the HQ Celebration event.  So there were and still are 2 different cache types, just that each one has changed name.

Edited by funkymunkyzone

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I have a trip booked (group tour) in Italy set for July. I booked it in Dec. As of now, they are cancelling all Europe trips (Italy cancellation was a lot earlier) up to April 30th. I am reallyyyyy debating about what to do. I think the perfect scenario would be for me to re-book it for next summer. Sad but I think it is the best to do. One thing that worked out is that I haven't bought my plane ticket :)

 

Edited by psychpineapple

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Chances are you're OK for July. Looking at the graphs and with drastic measures that are taken, things might be looking a lot better in 2 months time. As for plane tickets by then, prices may be low to get business going again or high to make up for the losses.

 

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2 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

No, the event I attended was a 10 Year Celebration, which has now been turned into a Community Celebration Event.  The Lost & Found events were a different cache type and are now the HQ Celebration event.  So there were and still are 2 different cache types, just that each one has changed name.

 

 My recollection was that the 10 years event I attended was a 'Lost and Found Event'.  I checked an old 'My Finds' PQ, dating back to June 2019, and I see this:

<name>GC259VK</name>
<desc>10 Years! Woking, UK by Mr.Dewdrop &amp; Ten Miles Max, Lost and Found Event Cache (1/1)</desc>

The same cache in a current GPX file now shows:

<name>GC259VK</name>
<desc>10 Years! Woking, UK by Mr.Dewdrop &amp; Ten Miles Max, Community Celebration Event (1/1)</desc>

 

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Seoul booked for autumn. Glad I remembered there was a good deal a few days ago. Caching there looks great: just simple traditionals without masses of multies and mysteries. Nice.

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3 minutes ago, terratin said:

Btw, isn’t it time for a new country souvenir, or is this next week?

Coronia B)

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1 hour ago, on4bam said:

Coronia B)

Was due for release except there was a bug in it.

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On 3/16/2020 at 9:34 AM, on4bam said:

Our trip to Slovenia is "officially" still on but... Airline changed our return flight to one day later.

 

It's off. Our airline cancelled all flights for the next 4 weeks. While we would only fly in 5 weeks time chances are these 4 weeks will be extended so rental car and hotel have been cancelled. Our planned itinerary file remains on the computer and if at all possible we'll make our trip later this year or around the same time next year.

Now let's hope the airline (part of Lufthansa) doesn't go belly up because of this, they were already having a hard time before this started.

 

 

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I’m waiting for my trip to Prague to be cancelled (the giga) but it’s still too far ahead. And at the moment I could not rebook to a good fare in September. 
 

edit: I just managed to change booking for free. Perfect.

Edited by terratin

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8 hours ago, terratin said:

I’m waiting for my trip to Prague to be cancelled (the giga) but it’s still too far ahead. And at the moment I could not rebook to a good fare in September. 
 

edit: I just managed to change booking for free. Perfect.

I have read that a few airlines are temporarily removing their rebooking fees.

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7 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I have read that a few airlines are temporarily removing their rebooking fees.


exactly. That’s what I’ve been making use of for my trips in March to May. So far I’m only 30 Euro out of pocket as I accidentally booked a night in a cheap hotel without free cancellation option. Oh well, could be worse *shrugs*

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24 minutes ago, terratin said:

booked a night in a cheap hotel without free cancellation option

I booked an apartment for a week where it was free cancellation up to a month before. After that it became 50% of booking fee. The event I was to attend got cancelled a day into the 50% fee time. One day...bummer.

 

I went away last weekend and stayed one night in a motel. I suspect that will be my last away for some time. Found lots of caches though.

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On 3/17/2020 at 1:49 AM, terratin said:

Seoul booked for autumn. Glad I remembered there was a good deal a few days ago. Caching there looks great: just simple traditionals without masses of multies and mysteries.

 

I hope you can make that trip work.  I love love love caching in the hills around Seoul.  Not to mention the food, OMG.

 

May I recommend the Insadong district to stay in.  It's very walkable, with more people than cars it seems, and great food everywhere.  And right below, the Jongno-3 station with 3 rail lines basically going everywhere.  Commuting to a hike is as easy as I've ever seen it, matched only by Hong Kong.

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2 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

 

I hope you can make that trip work.  I love love love caching in the hills around Seoul.  Not to mention the food, OMG.

 

May I recommend the Insadong district to stay in.  It's very walkable, with more people than cars it seems, and great food everywhere.  And right below, the Jongno-3 station with 3 rail lines basically going everywhere.  Commuting to a hike is as easy as I've ever seen it, matched only by Hong Kong.

 

Thanks a lot. This is fab info! I've not bought a travel guide yet, and neither looked at where to stay. This is the kind of info I was looking for. That district is also great for exploring Seoul, right?

 

So far my rough ideas: A day hiking in Bukhansan. Maybe a trip to Suwon (next to countries I collect UNESCO sites), or one of the gardens further north? Or the demilitarized zone? Phew.. there's so much to see, and so little time (7 full days). And food! Well, if things go wrong I'll get a full refund on the flight. That's why I was confident to book this.

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Definitely, Insadong is very central for exploring; it's "temple & palace central".  Narrow streets, lots of walkers, and I'm not sure, but it seems walkers have right of way over the few vehicles.  I've stayed at Bibimbap Guesthouse (ondol style, futon + heated floors), also Top Hotel & Residence (standard but compact hotel room), both recommendable and right in the heart of it.  But there are tons of choices.

 

Bukhansan, yes, a wonderful hike with many caches, and cat, yes cats, on the summit.  Transportation might be tricky; it was lucky for me:

Quote

First of a beautiful morning for me, after walking up from the bus stop on the highway. I'd been prepared for a long wait for that bus at Gupabal Station (the internet had warnings), but it arrived the very same moment I did, and we took off immediately. I even got to sit. (For contrast, at the end of the day I caught the same bus just a bit farther north, and it was Indian-train packed; I barely squeezed in. Had I come back down to the same spot with all the other hikers, I'd have been left standing at the curb. Now what?

 

d5b9a6ee-aa35-468d-8e12-829ed409e513_l.j

 

The highly-recommendable JSA tours are unfortunately off for the foreseeable future, something to do with a swine flu outbreak, and they can't go rounding up wildlife in minefields.  Tours called "DMZ", all that's on offer just now, only go to the edge of the DMZ and peer in, a distant second choice.  Maybe not worth the bother.

 

I'm excited for you.  Already I'm aching to go back a third time.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
Added cat

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22 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

Definitely, Insadong is very central for exploring; it's "temple & palace central".  Narrow streets, lots of walkers, and I'm not sure, but it seems walkers have right of way over the few vehicles.  I've stayed at Bibimbap Guesthouse (ondol style, futon + heated floors), also Top Hotel & Residence (standard but compact hotel room), both recommendable and right in the heart of it.  But there are tons of choices.

 

Bukhansan, yes, a wonderful hike with many caches, and cat, yes cats, on the summit.  Transportation might be tricky; it was lucky for me:

 

 

 

The highly-recommendable JSA tours are unfortunately off for the foreseeable future, something to do with a swine flu outbreak, and they can't go rounding up wildlife in minefields.  Tours called "DMZ", all that's on offer just now, only go to the edge of the DMZ and peer in, a distant second choice.  Maybe not worth the bother.

 

I'm excited for you.  Already I'm aching to go back a third time.

 

Thanks a lot again :wub: I'll see what's possible with Bukhansan in due time. Cats on the summit though? Wow, I love cats!

It's still so far in the future, and I'll have to see what CV does until then anyway. But yes, I'm super excited. So odd: I was looking forward to Tokyo, but wasn't quite so excited. I also didn't have so many ideas on what to do. I've never considered going to Korea before for some reason. It just wasn't on my radar.

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Received an email this morning from Azerbaijan government stating that my E-Visa has been "annulled".

Our prime minister yesterday has announced a Do Not Travel advice to all Australians, which to me means international travel as we are an island.

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My round Australia cruise was cut short and we are now back home.  We were supposed to go right round Australia for 28 nights, but we went Sydney - Melbourne - Burnie (where we were told the bad news) - Hobart and back to Sydney.  So, I didn't get the two missing Australian states (WA & SA) and I didn't get to PNG.

 

The good news is that we get a very generous compensation package which will go some way to bringing my fantasy of a 2023 full world cruise into reality.

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37 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

My round Australia cruise was cut short and we are now back home.  We were supposed to go right round Australia for 28 nights, but we went Sydney - Melbourne - Burnie (where we were told the bad news) - Hobart and back to Sydney.  So, I didn't get the two missing Australian states (WA & SA) and I didn't get to PNG.

 

The good news is that we get a very generous compensation package which will go some way to bringing my fantasy of a 2023 full world cruise into reality.

Sorry to hear that. I got my cruise over just in time. Australia and PNG. We got to land at all ports except Rabaul, where we weren't allowed ashore. We landed in three other PNG ports though.

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4 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Sorry to hear that. I got my cruise over just in time. Australia and PNG. We got to land at all ports except Rabaul, where we weren't allowed ashore. We landed in three other PNG ports though.

I got lucky with my cruise/tour of New Zealand in February. New Zealand has hunkered down and Oz has now followed suit, even our island state of Tasmania has cut itself off from the mainland. Anyone going there MUST self isolate for two weeks or face the law.

Gill & Tony, you can look forward to rebooking when all gets back to normal, whatever that normal will be. I've done 1.5 circumnavigations and I've run out of Oz cruise destinations.

Good luck y'all up north. From what we're seeing in our media methinks you have a rough road ahead. Washy, washy, washy.

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6 hours ago, bflentje said:

Thank God all of the bragging about country hopping will slow for a while. ;-)


oh come on! I would have changed the name of this thread if I could, but let everyone play as they like. Some ‘brag’ about climbing caches or doing 24h powertrail caching, others combine their hobby of travelling with caching. Why not.

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6 hours ago, terratin said:
13 hours ago, bflentje said:

Thank God all of the bragging about country hopping will slow for a while. ;-)


oh come on! I would have changed the name of this thread if I could, but let everyone play as they like. Some ‘brag’ about climbing caches or doing 24h powertrail caching, others combine their hobby of travelling with caching. Why not.

 

I've been participating in this thread since it was created and have read all 39 pages of posts.  I've never thought of any posts here as bragging even though I'm envious of those that are able to travel more frequently than I (especially those that live in Europe).  

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5 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

I've been participating in this thread since it was created and have read all 39 pages of posts.  I've never thought of any posts here as bragging even though I'm envious of those that are able to travel more frequently than I (especially those that live in Europe).  

 

Yes, I know :tongue: You're one of the regulars here.

Anyway, no traveling at the moment. Movement is not yet restricted here (just a note to keep a distance to people) but there's only so much I can do. So .. I guess it's time to get into puzzle solving again :antenna:

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Belgium today closed it's borders. Police is stopping people driving to the coast even if they have a second home there.

No non-essential movements. No new countries for a while.

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On 3/17/2020 at 4:49 PM, terratin said:

Seoul booked for autumn. Glad I remembered there was a good deal a few days ago. Caching there looks great: just simple traditionals without masses of multies and mysteries. Nice.

Seoul has great caching. Hopefully things with the virus clear up and borders start opening up again. Before you come, if you want to send me a message I can give you recommendations on some of the best caches in the area. 

Namsan in the center of the city and following the path of the three virtuals is what most tourists do. I've set up the first Adventure Lab in the city in a nice historic district too. There's so much in Seoul to enjoy. Seven years in and I'm still finding new and amazing places.  

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