Well, not to give up the suspense, but the next month is going to be by land. Lots and lots and lots of land.
In this case and entire month of train travel as part of the Ultimate Train Challenge – some 25,000 kilometers/15,500 miles from Lisbon, Portugal to Saigon, Vietnam — all by train — all in 30 days.
Frankly at this point, about 12 hours before I depart, I am both excited and a little scared. It has been a long time since I have felt the latter emotion.
I hate failure with the intensity of the sun. And this is an endeavor that I have, only recently upon doing a bit of research (yes, I know, perhaps doing that a few months ago would have been a good idea), I have come to realize… failure is a legitimate possibility.
There are a variety of reasons for possible failure, and by that, I mean failure not only in making it to Saigon in 30 days, but my personal quest of riding trains for 30 straight days. From physical exhaustion to the need for showers to not having places to put my luggage when I want to wander to lack of laundry facilities to so many more things running through my head right now.
I am slightly worried.
The Amazing People of Hostel Bookers
One thing I don’t need to worry about is that on the times that we do have arranged to lay our heads down to rest, in a hotel or hostel and not a train, that they are going to be wonderful places to stay.
The folks at Hostel Bookers have also set us up for a night or two in Moscow at Prosto Hostel, before we embark on the six days from Moscow to Bejing and I can’t wait to see if it measures up to the Rossio Patio Hostel. Then when we arrive in Saigon at the end of this bit of craziness, they have set us up for a week at the Thien Thao Hotel to rest and recover.
Which frankly, I think I am going to need.
Although I am having more pre-trip jitters than I have had in quite some time, I am extremely thankful that we have managed to get such great sponsors for a first time event. Hostel Bookers is one that I particularly think might end up saving me from my personal quixotic quest to spend almost 30 straight nights sleeping on trains — I expect to get an email from my new friends there in a week or ten days saying “you sure you don’t want us to put you up in a hostel for a night or two?”
Not going to make a prediction now whether I would accept or not… but I am thinking I might welcome the offer…