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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 8 Feb 2008
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noob> So you get to outskirts of a town, what next?

Excuse this as a noob question, but if you're in a country where you don't speak the language (somewhere 2nd/3rd world, maybe Pakistan) and you get to the outskirts of a city/town, what do you do next? How do you find somewhere to stay, do you just drive until you see something? Or have you got something planned, if so how do you find it, since I'm guessing you don't carry a map/GPS with full details of every city?

I'm stressed about finding safe bike friendly accommodation and food on a long trip.
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  #2  
Old 8 Feb 2008
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I think whats important to remember with alot of places, is there aren't that many places you can go. Normally a city lies on a 'major road' (which might compare to a small b road in the UK).

You either drive one way or the other. You probably came from one direction, so you probably should carry on the other direction. Most cities are nothing like London/Manchester and may be made up of 3/4 roads. You will also realise very soon that western travellers are the oracle of information, coming in the opposite direction, people swap addreses, good places to eat, stay, maps. Its very simple especially when there are lots of backpackers about.

Hotel is an international language. The word 'Hotel' will be liberally plastered around. The international sign for 'i need a place to sleep' is to place two hands togethor, put your head on them, close your eyes and make snoring noises. Then raise your hands to say where is. Its very simlpe how to communicate. Food wise...you'll never stave. Sometimes you'll end up eating packet noodles or crisps for a week (Cambodia preah vihear...not a culinary treat)...but its half the fun.

Finally...just remember 'It will be alright'
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  #3  
Old 8 Feb 2008
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Hmmm let me think...

Difficult question
- You could get the attention of a local and draw pictures in the sand of what you are seeking and maybe get a favourable response (They would also need to draw in sand).
- You could drive around and around for hours and hours until you accidentally find what you're looking for.
- You could decide it's too stressful to contemplate and turn back.
- You might feel it's not worth the hassle and drive straight through the place (just keep going straight)
- Pretend you've had a terrible accident so someone calls the emergency services (presuming there is one) and hope they finally provide you with a translator so you can ask your questions.
- Proceed into the town and pretend you are crazy until someone is compelled to help you.
- Hide by the side of the road until you see someone passing that might be going somewhere interesting and follow them and stick to them like glue until you get your bearings.
- Knock on the first door that has a sweet smell of cooking and happy music billowing out and hope they're friendly.
It might be easier to read a book or two (lonely Planet), Search the internet (Lots of info even on this site) but I find bumping into other travellers on the road is sometimes the best source of info.
Happy travelling
Richard
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Old 8 Feb 2008
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In India & Pakistan you can always ask a tuk-tuk driver to drive to an hotel. Be aware that a lot of then expect a kickback from the hotel which will of course be passed on to you.
Make shure they know what sort of price range you are after.
They will want to charge you a fee for this service... I think the going rate for tuk-tuks is about 300rupees PER DAY so establish what they want to charge you BEFORE you go with them.

John
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Old 8 Feb 2008
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Biggest tip....Smile!! best comunication device in the world!

Don't stress about it once you get on the ground you'll find your own way.
The most common statement made by people when they first go traveling... " Everyone was so friendly!" And they will say this with some kind of wonder and surprise.(we must have such a dark view of humanity!) Especially because you are from another country, once you get off the mega touristy tour bus route, you'll be just as much a novilty to them as they are to you. I've been traveling for 4 years from the Middle East to Asia to Europe to the Pacific, and I'm constantly humbled by the generosity of the world. And most humbling of all the more "economicly deprived" the area is (i.e. the less they have in western terms) the more welcoming and friendly they are. But no matter where you are if you're from another country and out of a tourist group, and have an open smile on you face, people will always be more helpfull and friendly to you than their fellow countrymen.

I remember seeing a book ( by Lonely Planet i think) it was a book full of pictures, so you would point at what you wanted in the book and show the person ( i.e picture of a plate of food, hospital, hotel) That way if you traveling through several counties/ languages you can use it all the way. I saw the book in a shop and chuckled to myself, thinking how simple it was and how often i could have used it!!!


Long story short..... Chill Jono! Go with the flow and smile a lot (sometimes like an idiot helps! ) make a few hand gestures and you'll be fine!!! - think of it a s huge game of charades! ;0) It's a bit hard at first but you'll get in the swing of it in no time! (just leave your western paranoia and suspicion at home)

Happy travels!!

"he who travels lightest, travels happiest" - Budda
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Old 8 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSheffer View Post

Finally...just remember 'It will be alright'
This is really all you need to know, on this and pretty much any other topic. So that's the HUBB complete then.

Now what are we gonna do???
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  #7  
Old 12 Feb 2008
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That's how you keep yourself occupied during the six months or more of planning your trip. You will discover every blog/website/publication etc vaguely related to your journey. You will have detailed routes/camping areas/hotels/food plans/bike/gear etc etc sorted down to the detail. I have found it the only way to cope between trips. My wife calls it an obsession (I think it was getting the bike up 11 floors in the lift with the help of 5 blokes and stripping it in our apartment living area to get it out of the rain and kitted in time that finally convinced her). You will find travelling easier than you think and much of the planning overkill, but it's fun and gives you piece of mind. Having a list of accomm options in your kitbag is useful, but you'll eventually rely mostly on word of mouth, be it locals or other travellers. And in most countries the locals will be more than happy for you to camp on their property.

Incidentally, another universal word - "".

cheers, Brett
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Old 12 Feb 2008
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Arrow Go ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettUAE View Post
Incidentally, another universal word - "".
Piva in Russian ?

Anyways .. once out of town you are probably headed somewheres .. (north, south etc) so take the road going that way .. food - lunch around midday - look for people - they eat too you know .. ask them .. make eating motions..

Say 3 hours before sunset .. find more people .. ask them about a place to stay .. make sleeping motions .. and may be through in eating too.
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Old 12 Feb 2008
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Well kids that have not learned to talk dont die most of the time. Just go to shop selling food point at some food then point at you mouth wave some money in there face you get some food. Bike friendly accommodation they take a bit more looking sometimes you will not find any. Bring a tent if you like to stay out of towns. Many places to sleep for a night under your bike bring a tarp.

A little homework on the places you want to go some maps will go a long way. Try to learn to say please and thank you a little gos long way. smile and a wave will get the rest of the way.

Even babies get what they want. pointing and head nods will get you by.
books like Wordless Travel Book and Point It Picture Dictionary may help a bit more. google it.
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  #10  
Old 19 Feb 2008
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I usually try to find the town center. In Central America each town usually has a central plaza. That's where the old and inexpensive hotels are. Try to find a hotel with secure parking. Sometimes that means parking your bike right inside the hotel.

If the town is growing, there might be better hotels on the main roads near the outskirts.

Keep an eye out for back-packers. European back-packers tend to find the good towns and cheap hotels.
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  #11  
Old 19 Feb 2008
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Doing your homework ahead helps
When possible, avoid really big cities

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 08:11.
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