Mrs Ericle & I leave tomorrow on an odyssey that will, hopefully, see us circumnavigating our pebble in exactly 100 days. As a child I was greatly inspired by Jules Verne’s Around The World In Eighty Days, which I must have read at least a dozen times, but it will not come as a surprise to you to learn that this particular journey has not come about as an instant response to a wager; rather one that has been a while in the planning. However, I do hope that our trip will still somewhat be in the spirit of Phileas Fogg’s motif that: “The chance, which now seems lost, may present itself at the last moment.”
Unlike the fictional Victorian adventurer, we will be heading off in a westerly direction. Our first (scheduled) stop will be Los Angeles. We will also be forsaking the joys of the packet steamer for the far less comfortable pleasures of economy seats on a jet airliner. And in this particular case I am not being economical with the word ‘economy’, as the tariff for a seat on this sector will set us back the amazingly low sum of £198 for a journey of some 5445 miles as the crow flies. For this price one gets no sustenance or entertainment, but I am assured that we will not have to stand.
Our full itinerary is:
Jan 7th – 11th: South California. Visiting The Ericle’s cousins
Jan 11th – 13th: Flying across the Pacific to Auckland, touching down briefly at Papete, Tahiti, en route. Amazingly the first 4100 miles of this journey will take 8 hours, whereas the second stretch of 2550 miles will take 1 day and 5 hours. Go figure!
Jan 13th – March 13th: New Zealand. We will be spending much of our time with Mrs. E’s family – her parents in Tauranga and brother’s family in Napier – but will also spend 3 weeks exploring the South Island in a campervan.
March 13th – 16th: Sydney. Visiting good friends
March 16th – April 17th: India. We land in Delhi, where we will spend 3 days. We then fly to Chennai, in Tamil Nadu, and proceed immediately to Mahabalipuram. We have booked 3 nights at the Sri Harul Guesthouse on the beach but after that have no fixed itinerary excepting that we have a flight on April 14th from Trivandrum, in Kerela, to Mumbai, where we will spend our last couple of days in India.
April 17th: Return to Blighty, when we hope to find you – our most valued reader – in good health and spirits. In the meantime stand by further dispatches.