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Old 4 Nov 2010
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 20
Gripe about geology & climate!

Hi everyone, I just feel the need to vent and have nowhere else to turn to! Currently in central Thailand, our plan was to continue down through Indonesian's islands to hop back home to Australia. Now we've got major flooding on the Thai-Malay border (among other Thai areas) and the Indo volcano is showing no sign of settling, on top of continual earth tremors and a recent tsunami. We've just passed 16 months on the road, only 2.5 months to go till we finish, and now we’re thinking we're going to have to fly straight home via Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur instead! Funny thing is, our first big trip together 11 years ago was altered due to a major earthquake in Istanbul, Turkey, where we were flying in and out. We decided to cancel that part of the trip. And here we are again!

We're frustrated and don't know how to make the decision on what to do next. It’s so hard to know what to do, whether to trust that we can skip through the bad areas due to our own transport or that we’ll be safe from further issues. Indo is a volatile area geologically, so how we do know this is as bad as things are going to get? There seems to be a lot of activity down there right now, earthquakes and volcanoes, even baby Krakatau is acting up – right where we need to take a ferry! On top of that, it’s heading into Indo’s monsoon season and the SE Asian weather has been pretty fierce lately – is that a sign of things to come? Are we just going to end up in trouble? If we have to avoid certain areas, are we going to end up in worse ones due to rains and bad roads?

There’s also the humanitarian considerations. Should we be tourists in an area that is suffering? Well, the tsunami-hit islands are not where we're going, and the volcano is in just one area and could mostly be avoided (unless things get worse!). However, we’re worried about going near the volcano because of limited food and accommodation supplies, desperate people, and surely tourists are the last thing anyone will want there. Even now we're waiting to see how things go around the Thai-Malay border so we can cross the border before making an overall decision, but it's still not going to be a good place for tourists to go. We were also planning on getting our Indo visa in Bangkok, but wondering if it’s now a waste of money?

Has anyone else had to go through this sort of decision? I know a lot of people must have had trips cut short due to family and other emergencies, but what about natural disasters (or potential ones)? Did anyone get caught in the Pakistan floods or previous Asian tsunamis?

Unfortunately we don’t have the money (and therefore the time) to be able to sit and wait this out – we either have to go in the next 2 weeks and go the whole way (can’t go halfway and change our minds), or not go at all. Our only other option is to leave Asia ASAP and use our meagre funds to fly to one edge of Australia, in order to have a final adventure making our way home to the other side of Oz. It’s tempting, but we don’t know if we have enough money, plus we dumped all our camping gear before Asia so we have to buy new stuff! At least it might deal with this feeling of having the trip cut short and ‘failing’…

Or will all this blow over in a few weeks’ time while we’re sitting back home kicking ourselves for being so worried, left only with the feeling that we didn’t achieve what we set out to do?

Yours in confusion, frustration and desperation!
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