Monday, September 24, 2012

Fancy a really long bus ride?

Right now, I'm wishing I was younger and not partly disabled . . . because Epic Overland is organizing a thirteen-week bus tour from London, England to Sydney, Australia.  It runs through Europe and the Middle East to India and the Asian sub-continent, then down through the Pacific islands of Indonesia and surrounding areas to get to Australia.  (No, of course the bus doesn't drive the whole way!  You have to fly over certain areas, like the bits of the Pacific Ocean that get in the way from time to time!)

To whet your appetite, here's the itinerary for Week 9:

As we head south through Malaysia, we pass through tropical rain forest and into the cooler climates of the Cameron Highlands en route to the soaring, futuristic city of Kuala Lumpur. From colonial mansions and the bustle of Chinatown to the modern splendour of the Petronas Towers – the tallest twin buildings in the world – we will have time to explore what KL has to offer before moving on to the historic port of Melaka.

From the modern city of KL, we head to the fascinating mix of old and new in the island republic of Singapore. The former colonial bastion is rated as having the best quality of life in Asia, combining history and shades of empire with an increasingly thriving metropolis.

A short flight carries us to the final section of our Asian odyssey and another total change of scenery on the Indonesian island of Java, the world's most populous island. Those people are well spread out and the island mixes bustling cities with extraordinary, dramatic scenery. Forged out of volcanic activity, Java is studded with spectacular sights and volcanoes – which just may provide some added action – as we strike east via ancient temples, bubbling mud pools and paddy fields.

Our first stop on the island is the capital Jakarta, which dates back to the 4th century and provides plenty to see as we acclimatise to life in Java before heading onto the city of Bandung.

It sounds like a fascinating journey.  I'd love to have sufficient money, time and fitness to tackle it (although a full quarter of a year in a bus might stretch one's patience to the limit!).


1 comment:

NotClauswitz said...

It all sounds great till they mention the Middle East and I begin to wonder who gets to be the door-gunner. I've been on buses (and trains) in India and it's a stinking hell-hole where you're bound to get dysentery, jaundice, malaria and worms even with the proper shots - and bitten by flying insects that are bigger than hummingbirds. My childhood memories are beginning to turn sour as I get older.