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terratin

collecting countries

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5 minutes ago, Da Wards said:

 Two covid-19 tests in Bangkok cost us over $500 cad

 

Wow.. I looked it up, seems in Belgium Covid-19 (PCR) tests cost €46 (max.) and it's 100% paid by health insurance if it's a mandatory test. If voluntary (not by doctor's request) it's at the patient's expense. A test for travel is probably voluntary.

We're not prepared to sit shoulder to shoulder in a confined metal tube yet (although air is very clean and filtered and it seems no infection has been traced to air travel yet).

 

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45 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

Wow.. I looked it up, seems in Belgium Covid-19 (PCR) tests cost €46 (max.) and it's 100% paid by health insurance if it's a mandatory test. If voluntary (not by doctor's request) it's at the patient's expense. A test for travel is probably voluntary.

We're not prepared to sit shoulder to shoulder in a confined metal tube yet (although air is very clean and filtered and it seems no infection has been traced to air travel yet).

 

 

There just was this bit of news:
"

All passengers who were on a flight from Zante in Greece to Cardiff in Wales have been asked to self-isolate after some on board tested positive for Covid-19.

Public Health Wales (PHW) said seven people on Tui flight 6215 on Tuesday have now tested positive for the virus."

 

though it's not certain whether people actually got infected on that plane. It's more likely those infected stayed in the same hotel or went to the same bar.

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41 minutes ago, terratin said:

though it's not certain whether people actually got infected on that plane. It's more likely those infected stayed in the same hotel or went to the same bar.

 

Yes, it"s a lot more probable they got infected elsewhere. Planes are safe... and yet... not for us. Having seen the difference in the Netherlands compared to Belgium when going out to dinner and also what measures other countries take, we still limit ourselves. It's not worth it, there's always next year.

 

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2 hours ago, on4bam said:
2 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

Wow.. I looked it up, seems in Belgium Covid-19 (PCR) tests cost €46 (max.) and it's 100% paid by health insurance if it's a mandatory test. If voluntary (not by doctor's request) it's at the patient's expense. A test for travel is probably voluntary.

We're not prepared to sit shoulder to shoulder in a confined metal tube yet (although air is very clean and filtered and it seems no infection has been traced to air travel yet).

 

Wow.. I looked it up, seems in Belgium Covid-19 (PCR) tests cost €46 (max.) and it's 100% paid by health insurance if it's a mandatory test. If voluntary (not by doctor's request) it's at the patient's expense. A test for travel is probably voluntary.

We're not prepared to sit shoulder to shoulder in a confined metal tube yet (although air is very clean and filtered and it seems no infection has been traced to air travel yet).

 

Ouch. We thought it was quite high but still cheaper than eating the airline and hotel costs. Plus honestly we felt over 6 months in Thailand was more than enough.  Now if Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam had of reopened...

 

Fortunately the whole shoulder to shoulder thing was not an issue. In both flights there were many more rows of seats than people. In fact the first flight was a 777 with roughly 40 people. Would of needed a carrier pigeon to talk to someone else. I hear you though. I am severely immune system compromised so flying probably wasn’t the wisest action. 

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4 hours ago, on4bam said:

Planes are safe

 

Pre-COVID, the last three times I flew anywhere (two domestic flights and one to New Zealand), I came down with a heavy head cold a couple of days later. I'm pretty sure I caught one of those in the lounge waiting to board as someone sat right behind me and started coughing all over me, and the New Zealand one I might have caught from one of the other guests at the wedding I went to. Planes might be safe, but the whole process of flying anywhere usually means I'll catch something.

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Posted (edited)

@barefootjeff

Sounds like you need to just pretend that Covid never ends and plan accordingly for your flights.  Maybe just a decent idea for future travel in general.   I'd hate to do it on a long haul Pacific or Atlantic run, but I might even consider it next time I head across in 2021.  Hell of a thing to get accustomed to though, wouldn't it be? 

 

Last trip we made outbound in a flying tin can was 3/15/20.  Put on our N95 masks as we arrived a the airport drop off.  Wore them except for brief eating/drinking onboard.  Sanitized the crap out of our seating spaces when we boarded.  Kept the N95s on until we were clear of the airport.  Back then, there were no cases in the area of our destination, so we were free to live easy for 10 days.  Then the whole process over again on the way home.  They claim the current HEPA filters on aircraft with constant circulation is a good thing to have blowing in your face .. move those bugs down the road somewhere else.  Didn't take some of the airlines long to stuff the center seats again, though, did it?  We were traveling as family, so were not impacted by the center seat issue.  Made it back home on one of the last flights by our airline from that location.  There was so little traffic by then that they just dropped the route about a week later.

Edited by ecanderson

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

Yes, it"s a lot more probable they got infected elsewhere. Planes are safe... and yet... not for us. Having seen the difference in the Netherlands compared to Belgium when going out to dinner and also what measures other countries take, we still limit ourselves. It's not worth it, there's always next year.

 

 

I'm currently in Croatia. I felt safe on the flight, which also just was half full and all people spread out as far away from each others as possible. Very few tourists, and I would say it's quieter than at home, by a lot! But I evaluate when I go somewhere whether it's fine, or too many people and time to go elsewhere. Though mostly my interests are not really in mass-tourist happenings or parties.

Edited by terratin

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We're a bit depressed today. We were supposed to start our tour around Namibia today (flying out yesterday evening). It looks like there will be no border crossings anymore this year :wacko:. Best we can do might be  hopping into the Netherlands for one day.

On the bright side, our 2021 itinerary  is 100% prepared and we have more time to prepare our 2022 trip which we are already planning. Let's hope that little bug is defeated by then.

 

 

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We finally gave up the fight and came back to Canada after just over 2 years of living abroad. We finished our 14 day mandatory quarantine a couple days ago and today picked up our first ever caches in Ontario (sorry, I know this is supposed to be country collecting). We will crossover into Quebec in the next couple days and gather that province as well. From there  we shall see  if a housesitting opportunity works out for us. If not, we will  likely winter in Prince Edward Island (another new province for us) and then hopefully stay with friends in Norfolk for a couple months. NE Canada and US are both mostly virgin territory for us so looking forward to the next few months.

 

Btw... I am curious how people choose to display their home location if they decide to move elsewhere? Either will affect your distance from home stats . I will never come close to the amount of caches I originally found in BC so I am leaning to leaving that as my home location.

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If you want to hide a cache you need to change your home location. Also, if you want to see events near you and open the map near your home location this might be necessary as well. If I remember correctly, notifications work differently.

So basically: Yeah, moved internationally an awful lot of times. That distances and other things change doesn't matter to me. If I worked on a 360 degrees from home challenge and moved then I just start again. Hey, I have about 1000 caches in one degree, and distance from home looks like this (see below).

Good luck after this move! On to new adventures, eh? :)

 

 

 

image.png.4c888768ce64349a696aa7c446ec19ce.png

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I won't be leaving the country this year, it appears. I think we'll have one or two trips to the Caribbean next year.

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I had quite a few trips abroad, but it mostly involved taking a train to Germany. Well, I did add Croatia and Czechia to my list this year, and might or might not add Monaco in December. We'll see.  I certainly have nothing long-distance planned even though I keep on getting fab flight offers. Just now Amsterdam to various towns in Canada for 250 Euro in Summer. Oh well... At least on Saturday I hope to add two more Dutch municipalities to my ever-growing list.

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10 hours ago, terratin said:

might or might not add Monaco in December

 

Nice makes a convenient jumping off point for Monaco. We got a pretty cheap flight there from Frankfurt in November 2018. I imagine it's an even cheaper flight now. Once in Nice, it was an easy train ride to Monaco. We did it as a day trip, as even in COVID times I expect it's a lot cheaper to base in Nice than to do a whole stay in Monaco.

 

As far as itty bitty countries go, we enjoyed San Marino more than Monaco. Perhaps if I had sharpened my baccarat game before our visit...but they probably frown on bringing a five year old into the casino.

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10 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

Nice makes a convenient jumping off point for Monaco. We got a pretty cheap flight there from Frankfurt in November 2018. I imagine it's an even cheaper flight now. Once in Nice, it was an easy train ride to Monaco. We did it as a day trip, as even in COVID times I expect it's a lot cheaper to base in Nice than to do a whole stay in Monaco.

 

As far as itty bitty countries go, we enjoyed San Marino more than Monaco. Perhaps if I had sharpened my baccarat game before our visit...but they probably frown on bringing a five year old into the casino.

 

Yep, I got a 40 Euro return flight. Which I can cancel if needed. To be honest, I don't care much about Monaco, but there's an interesting Roman quarry about 300m above town. I will probably just get a cache in Monte Carlo to get it on the map, and then hike up to the quarry. And then I decide depending on conditions. A Le Corbusier villa might be worth a visit, Nice has a few interesting museums and also a bit of Roman archaeology...

 

Actually, I looked at San Marino, but it's not quite as easy to get to. Certainly involves lots of train travel. I might keep it for some as of yet undefined vacation in Italy some time in the future.

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At this time I wouldn't even consider crossborder trips. Any trip involving public transport by land, sea or air is out of the question too. As many countries around us are taking extra measures it's hard to make plans anyway.

 

 

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On 10/14/2020 at 10:10 PM, terratin said:

I had quite a few trips abroad, but it mostly involved taking a train to Germany. Well, I did add Croatia and Czechia to my list this year, and might or might not add Monaco in December. We'll see.  I certainly have nothing long-distance planned even though I keep on getting fab flight offers. Just now Amsterdam to various towns in Canada for 250 Euro in Summer. Oh well... At least on Saturday I hope to add two more Dutch municipalities to my ever-growing list.

I wouldn't consider travelling anywhere at present, unless it was for an important reason, such as medical. Europe is having a surge in Covid. Fine to talk about future trips in years to come, but to talk about a trip this year appears to be living in an alternative universe, where there is no Covid.

As for myself, I don't know when I will be able to travel overseas next (our borders are closed); maybe not even next year, unless the few remaining Covid caches in Australia (I think about 15 new cases today) can be eradicated and we can make a bubble with NZ and perhaps some Pacific Islands. Even some state borders are closed to cross border visits.

 

My last new country was PNG in February.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, terratin said:

Actually, I looked at San Marino, but it's not quite as easy to get to. Certainly involves lots of train travel. I might keep it for some as of yet undefined vacation in Italy some time in the future.

 

We went to San Marino during our trip to Italy last Christmas, flying into Bologna and renting a car. We stayed our first couple nights in Ravenna and took a day trip to San Marino by car.

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12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

...and we can make a bubble with NZ and perhaps some Pacific Islands.

 

 

Fingers crossed.  We just had our first non-quarantine flight go to Sydney (that's a flight where the passengers are not required to quarantine in Australia upon arrival, due to all passengers on board qualifying on certain pre-conditions).  Hopefully we can get into a position soon to have the same for flights coming back from Oz to NZ.

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You're lucky to live on an island and the efficient handling of the pandemic. Europe is a different matter, very build up, lots of crossborder traffic...

 

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31 minutes ago, on4bam said:

You're lucky to live on an island and the efficient handling of the pandemic. Europe is a different matter, very build up, lots of crossborder traffic...

 

 

Yep.
I have to say though that sitting in a train with two other people in the compartment to cross a border, or visiting a tourist trap such as Split or Trogir while there are just a handful of other people at most feels much safer than squeezing into a full supermarket where nobody cares about masks or keeping a distance (yes, the Dutch know everything better and don't listen to government). Plus when I go somewhere I'm always prepared to do a u-turn and go back or go somewhere else if a place turns out to be too crowded. And I've done that a few times. Helps of course if you have an interest in things that in normal times are not too crowded either of course.

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15 minutes ago, terratin said:

 squeezing into a full supermarket where nobody cares about masks or keeping a distance

 

Masks are mandatory for months here in shops. Keeping distance is also respected most of the time. BTW, it took the Dutch a long time to strengthen the Covid-19 measures. We're waiting to see what gets decided today.

Most destinations are not a problem, it's getting there safely and limitations at those destinations. Going somewhere where restaurants and bars are closed is no fun (and a sanitary problem during the day).

We might (big if) book a cottage in the SE of Belgium near the German border in November if all goes well. Self-catering most of the time and walking in the woods seems very safe B). It's also the area with the least infections (in numbers and %) and we might cross (walk) into Germany for a few caches.

It will be a very last minute booking anyway but for a Mo-Fr stay it shouldn't be a problem.

 

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13 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

Masks are mandatory for months here in shops. Keeping distance is also respected most of the time. BTW, it took the Dutch a long time to strengthen the Covid-19 measures. We're waiting to see what gets decided today.

Most destinations are not a problem, it's getting there safely and limitations at those destinations. Going somewhere where restaurants and bars are closed is no fun (and a sanitary problem during the day).

We might (big if) book a cottage in the SE of Belgium near the German border in November if all goes well. Self-catering most of the time and walking in the woods seems very safe B). It's also the area with the least infections (in numbers and %) and we might cross (walk) into Germany for a few caches.

It will be a very last minute booking anyway but for a Mo-Fr stay it shouldn't be a problem.

 

 

I know... I've been shaking my head in despair for months to be honest. There were times when I stopped going to the market because people just didn't care. One of the market folks asked me why I stopped coming. Explained that people just bloody ignored the rules for distancing at the market. He thought I was exaggerating. Been offended for wearing a mask months ago in a supermarket as well...

Bars and restaurants closed is no problem for me. Get nice charcuterie or cheese, fresh bread, and eat in. Well.. sanitary... ehm.. lets say if you're out in nature all day you don't expect a loo to pop up somewhere (though I've seen them on Aland).

Good luck with your trip! I'd considered SE Belgium and Luxemburg for a trip at the beginning of this year. Ho hum...

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Australia also has state borders and at one stage they were all closed and guarded to keep people from crossing. Back in April I was confined to a land locked 'island' the ACT. It's 2,358 km²; about the size of County Wexford in Ireland, but even much of the 2,358 km² was blocked off. Our states could be compared to European countries. We closed our state borders, so why are European borders still open?

Some of our borders have reopened, but not all. Even for the open ones, we might still need to apply for permission before crossing. This is how the virus is controlled. We had almost eliminated it, but then Victoria gets a second wave and the numbers surged. The Victorian border was locked down and the state went into strict lockdown. This was to stop it spreading to other states. The numbers of cases plummeted.

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-coronavirus-covid-19-data

This is what happens if borders are closed, people can't cross them and lockdown is introduced.

image.thumb.png.40c7b9dcbf1f31945a753f4714dc097a.png

Edited by Goldenwattle

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1 hour ago, on4bam said:

You're lucky to live on an island ...

 

 

I live on an island, how come we’ve done so badly?

 

1 hour ago, on4bam said:

... and the efficient handling of the pandemic.

 


Ah, that’ll be it! ☹️😷

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15 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

 

I live on an island, how come we’ve done so badly?

 


Ah, that’ll be it! ☹️😷

 

At least you can always get your eyesight tested. :antenna:

 

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3 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

Masks are mandatory for months here in shops. Keeping distance is also respected most of the time. BTW, it took the Dutch a long time to strengthen the Covid-19 measures. We're waiting to see what gets decided today.

Most destinations are not a problem, it's getting there safely and limitations at those destinations. Going somewhere where restaurants and bars are closed is no fun (and a sanitary problem during the day).

We might (big if) book a cottage in the SE of Belgium near the German border in November if all goes well. Self-catering most of the time and walking in the woods seems very safe B). It's also the area with the least infections (in numbers and %) and we might cross (walk) into Germany for a few caches.

It will be a very last minute booking anyway but for a Mo-Fr stay it shouldn't be a problem.

 

 

We own a house in an area that is a tourist destination that we have on AirBnB.  Last year we only had a few renters over the summer. This year then entire month of July was rented, We blocked the listing in August to get some work done, then put it back on in September.  We had a couple of bookings in September,  most of October, and all of November booked.  It's almost all people from New York City looking to get out of their house/apartments to an area that has low covid numbers.  Most of the people in the town are good about wearing masks as it's mandatory in any indoor public place.   In general, people really want to get outdoors more now and it's a really good place to do that. 

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3 hours ago, terratin said:

 

At least you can always get your eyesight tested. :antenna:

 


As long as you’re prepared to drive. 😉

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2 hours ago, IceColdUK said:


As long as you’re prepared to drive. 😉

 

Now, there's an Adventure Lab waiting to happen...

 

e2a:

The idea of which prompted me to look at Barnard Castle to see what caches there might be around there. And immediately found this log:

 

Quote

14:56 After popping into Barnard castle for lunch and a quick eye test I was able to spot this one easily

 

Edited by Blue Square Thing
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On 10/13/2020 at 1:58 PM, hzoi said:

I won't be leaving the country this year, it appears. I think we'll have one or two trips to the Caribbean next year.

 

I'm out of the country this fall... but with liberty restrictions looks like I won't be able to claim any new countries BUT if I play my cards right I should be able to create an Earthcache or two in a new foreign country. Not quite the same as logging a smiley in a new country, but rewarding nonetheless!

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Honduras, who'd have guessed?

 

Honduras is only semi-welcoming of travellers right now.  They demand a negative PCR test before arrival, and that's not good enough for me; I know something of the (shaky) reliability of those tests.  Here's the site for checking travel rules (with annoying CAPTCHA); I'll go almost anywhere with the right offer, and right now Mexico is leading the pack.  Canada also needs to improve the offer for returning home; you are not sticking anything up my nose if I have no symptoms.

 

Back to Honduras...  I spent a week in Copan Ruinas, the little town close to the archaeological site of Copan (pre-caching), learning Spanish, eating great food (a fabulous restaurant), and letting the town charm my socks off.  Returned to my hotel one day to find it swarming with police - carrying luggage.  Some sort of conference of the nation's finest.  On Saturday I walked the couple of kilometers to the ruins finally, along a nice shaded path also swarming with police.  It was their day off too.  Felt very safe.

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