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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
Photo by Gregor Zajac, Poland; Crossing Rothang Pass; India 2011 tour, Royal Enfield 350ccm

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Gregor Zajac, Poland; Crossing Rothang Pass, India 2011 tour, Royal Enfield 350ccm.



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  #16  
Old 1 Mar 2020
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Hello Michael,

It seems getting worse and it seems Italy is your problem, not Tunisia. I was just thinking, could you leave your bike in Tunisia and fly home from there after your trip? The last 24 hours has been an increase in both infection cases and deaths in Italy. Although the 2 persons confirmed having the disease in my home country (Iceland) arrived from northern Italy, our government has now declared all of Italy a danger zone and all passengers arriving Iceland from Italy now has to go in 14 days quarantine, both locals and foreigners alike.

Best regards,
Rögnvaldur
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  #17  
Old 2 Mar 2020
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Hi Rögnvaldur:

Thanks for the information you provided, it is thought-provoking.

At the moment, my schedule is to fly to Sicily from Canada on Tuesday the 3rd of March (with a plane change in Rome, in other words, Toronto-Rome-Catania), pick up the bike, and take the ferry from Palermo (Sicily) to Tunis on Saturday March 7th.

Once I'm in Tunisia, I'm not too concerned about getting back to Canada. I could take a ferry from Tunisia to either France or Italy, leave the bike in one of those two countries - or any other Western European country, for that matter - and then head back to Canada. Or, as you suggested, just leave the bike in Tunisia (in bond) and fly home from there.

I'm retired, so if I get stuck in Tunisia or (after leaving Tunisia) in Europe for a while, that's not a big concern.

My biggest worry right now is whether or not I will be able to get to Tunisia as planned on March 7th. What I fear is getting to Italy, then getting stuck in Italy. Not so much because of virus worries, but because who wants to get stuck in Italy, virus or no virus?

Michael
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  #18  
Old 2 Mar 2020
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I'm going from the UK to Cape Town via the west Africa route starting in May. I figure that with all of the other things(not) to worry about it's just one more to add to the list.................so I've decided not to worry about it

You're only old once
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  #19  
Old 2 Mar 2020
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While no one really knows how far this virus will progress, it would seem that every country bordering Italy closing its' borders is a pretty remote possibility at best, especially considering that most of them are EU members and part of the Schengen Agreement. If I were in your boots I'd still go and be prepared to change plans on the fly if anything takes a turn for the worse.

Not saying that it can't happen, but the possibility seems pretty remote.
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  #20  
Old 5 Mar 2020
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I´m in the same dilema, I´d planned a trip for about 6 weeks to the Stans via Turkey and Georgia in May and June so I´d set off in about 8 weeks time. My last hurdle was, until now, the Russian visa which I am about to apply for.
I´m gonna wait another week or two before making my decision, but, I reckon this is the tip of the iceberg disruption wise as there seems to be a lot of changes every day as regards the border openings. As late as today the Uzbeks have said that UK pasport holders, amongst others, would have to stay for 14 days in there accomadation.. .. it seems to be changing on a day to day basis and my Adventure that I have been looking forward to is starting to feel like a battle of nerves. ... Like I say I´ll leave it a bit until I take my final decision, but, it´s looking dodgy!!

Last edited by Radzz; 5 Mar 2020 at 15:10.
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  #21  
Old 5 Mar 2020
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Well, here's an interesting update:

Last week I booked passage on a ferry from Palermo to Tunis, departing Saturday March 7th. I booked this through an agent, "Direct Ferries".

Yesterday (March 4th), the Tunisian government announced that they were suspending the ferry service from northern Italy (in other words, Genoa) to Tunis because of coronavirus concerns. The government told the ferry operator to stop that service.

A few hours after that announcement was made, I got an email from the ticket agent telling me that the Saturday March 7th ferry from Palermo - about as far from northern Italy as you can get - to Tunis had been cancelled, and that they were refunding my payment for the ticket.

BUT... The ferry company's website (Grimaldi Line) still shows the Saturday March 7th Palermo to Tunis ferry as operational, and the ferry line is still selling tickets.

I don't know what is going on. I'm in Catania, Sicily right now, and will ride to Palermo Friday morning and try to sort things out at Grimaldi Line's head office there.

If there is one take-away from all of this, I think it is that the next few months are not the time to be departing on multi-country trips - see fellow forum member Radzz's post directly above.

I think the chaos arising from this virus is going to get worse before it gets better.

Michael

PS: I flew Air Canada from Toronto to Rome on Wednesday. I have never seen a flight so empty. Only 4 passengers out of 42 total in business class, and only about 25% full in the back. When I booked this flight a month ago, it was nearly sold out, with a waitlist for business class.
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  #22  
Old 5 Mar 2020
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if this gets bad, you will be the travelling stranger bringing disease and pestilence, so you might not get the sort of welcome you expect.
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  #23  
Old 5 Mar 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
If there is one take-away from all of this, I think it is that the next few months are not the time to be departing on multi-country trips - see fellow forum member Radzz's post directly above.

I think the chaos arising from this virus is going to get worse before it gets better.
I agree, and as of this week I have very reluctantly cancelled my Russian visa application, that was going to take me UK to Magadan and back via the Stans. It's a gamble of course, and it may all blow over in which case I'll be even more gutted, but I can see an awful lot more chaos happening before it stabilises. I don't think this is a good year to be setting off on a long trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post

I flew Air Canada from Toronto to Rome on Wednesday. I have never seen a flight so empty. Only 4 passengers out of 42 total in business class, and only about 25% full in the back. When I booked this flight a month ago, it was nearly sold out, with a waitlist for business class.
As you may have heard the British airline Flybe went bust today. They had been struggling for a while, but a friend who works there tells me since the coronavirus crisis hit they have had whole flights going off almost empty.
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  #24  
Old 5 Mar 2020
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Originally Posted by Radzz View Post
...it seems to be changing on a day to day basis and my Adventure that I have been looking forward to is starting to feel like a battle of nerves. ... Like I say I´ll leave it a bit until I take my final decision, but, it´s looking dodgy!!
Sure, it is changing on a day to day basis and will probably continue to do so for the next few months. So why not go ahead and get the Russian visa to give yourself additional "optionality", so that you can decide whether or not to go much closer to your travel date? Yes, it will cost you, but wouldn't it be worth it?
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  #25  
Old 5 Mar 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
I think the chaos arising from this virus is going to get worse before it gets better.

PS: I flew Air Canada from Toronto to Rome on Wednesday. I have never seen a flight so empty. Only 4 passengers out of 42 total in business class, and only about 25% full in the back. When I booked this flight a month ago, it was nearly sold out, with a waitlist for business class.
Worse before better sounds like a safe bet. On the other hand, I've been complaining almost nonstop about how full flights have been these past few decades, and I'm looking forward to maybe stretching out across 3 or 4 seats during my upcoming Air Canada flights...provided they're not canceled.

I've already been re-scheduled to spend an overnight in the Montreal airport, and if there is further juggling i expect it'll get awkward, but things do tend to work out in the end. I'm only slightly more concerned about my vaguely-planned summer trip to Central Asia, but I'll keep planning and try to keep my options open.

According to one report I read, corona virus cases are doubling every 6 days in my area of the US--most of them undiagnosed. If that remains true--obviously it's all guesswork at this point--we'll all have been exposed repeatedly within 3 or 4 months anyway. I don't see any practical way around this, given I'm not prepared to retire from human contact and live as a mountaintop hermit.

I'll be back to whine and moan if my holiday, scheduled to start in a week and a half, evaporates in the turmoil.

Mark
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  #26  
Old 6 Mar 2020
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
Sure, it is changing on a day to day basis and will probably continue to do so for the next few months. So why not go ahead and get the Russian visa to give yourself additional "optionality", so that you can decide whether or not to go much closer to your travel date? Yes, it will cost you, but wouldn't it be worth it?
Yes it´s a good point and an option, but it´going to cost me roughly 500euros for the double entry visa I need plus all the E visas to the stand lands. I´ll give it 2 weeks and if it hasn´t improved by then , that´s it :-)
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  #27  
Old 10 Mar 2020
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I have got my flight booked to Ireland and was planning on heading off at the start of April, my passport is currently at the Russian consulate being processed for a business visa, im really not sure how this situation is going to escalate, Italy has just gone full lock down and I would not be surprised at all if this could be repeated in other countries within a month or two. I was going to go to Central Asia and it already looks like some are imposing travel restrictions that make it logistically much harder for me and again, this will probably only get stricter.

I am seriously considering cancelling my flight and taking the hit in my wallet on my visa, I guess the silver lining is I can save for longer and make the trip better when it eventually clears up
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  #28  
Old 10 Mar 2020
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Hey guys, would like to know what you think about my situation and what you would do:
My friend and I have booked transportation of our bikes from Norway to Alicante, Spain in less than two weeks, and then we're flying down a month later to pick up the bikes and start our three month trip to Morocco, Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.

However, how this Corona craze is escalating, I'm worrying that Spain might be closed down when we're supposed to go there, and that our bikes will be stuck in Spain while we're somewhere else. I've been thinking about keeping the bike in Norway until departure time, and either ride down to Morocco from Norway, or if Spain or Morocco is closed for entry, we could go somewhere else. We've already paid for transport and flight tickets, so that would be money down the drain, and wr would get less time to ride in Morocco. It would be annoying to throw the time and money away, but I would be even more regretful if our bikes are unreachable and we don't get to go at all.

What would you guys do in this situation?
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  #29  
Old 10 Mar 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hkon89 View Post
Hey guys, would like to know what you think about my situation and what you would do:
My friend and I have booked transportation of our bikes from Norway to Alicante, Spain in less than two weeks, and then we're flying down a month later to pick up the bikes and start our three month trip to Morocco, Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.

However, how this Corona craze is escalating, I'm worrying that Spain might be closed down when we're supposed to go there, and that our bikes will be stuck in Spain while we're somewhere else. I've been thinking about keeping the bike in Norway until departure time, and either ride down to Morocco from Norway, or if Spain or Morocco is closed for entry, we could go somewhere else. We've already paid for transport and flight tickets, so that would be money down the drain, and wr would get less time to ride in Morocco. It would be annoying to throw the time and money away, but I would be even more regretful if our bikes are unreachable and we don't get to go at all.

What would you guys do in this situation?
Personally I would first look at my travel insurance to see if it covers me for cancelled flights due to pandemics and epidemics - some have an exclusion for that - to see if I could get my money back on flights etc.

As far as the trip is concerned I suspect that your best option is that which is most flexible - so riding the bike down may be it. The destinations may have to change as well, but you may have to accept that it isn't going to happen this year.
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  #30  
Old 10 Mar 2020
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Originally Posted by Hkon89 View Post
Hey guys, would like to know what you think about my situation and what you would do...
Allow me to turn your question around in the other direction, this might assist you in making your decision:

Last Saturday (March 7th 2020), I escaped from Palermo, Italy to Tunisia on an Italian ferry. I'm now in Tunisia, riding around. So far, sounds good, but:

Am I going to be able to get out of here? This is what I am now a wee bit worried about. Even if there is no government intervention, there is a good chance that the ferry companies will cancel sailings from Europe to North Africa simply because there won't be enough people on board to pay the fuel bill. There were only 60 people on the ferry Italy - Tunisia last weekend.

There are only two ferry destinations from Tunisia: Italy and France. Obviously, I don't want to return to Italy, I would not go there even if the ferry company gave me a free ticket. That leaves one destination - Marseilles in France. If the ferry company operating that route pulls the plug, that means I need to start thinking about applying for Tunisian residency.

So, to return to your question: How would you feel if you made it all the way down to Morocco, but were then unable to get back home?

Michael
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