Thursday, March 8, 2012

Version 1.1 of our route

More research and more thinking and we have decided to modify our route a bit. Originally we planned on going from Darwin, Australia into Indonesia and then stopping at Christmas Island and Cocos-Keeling Islands, which are Aussie territory, on the way to Mauritius and South Africa. There is a problem with this however. First, our Oz multi-entry visa would expire while we were in Indonesia so we would need to get another visa (don't get me started on wondering why Australis requires visas for Canadians). More importantly, when we arrived at Christmas Island we would be subject to the draconian quarantine laws again. Whatever food we bought in Indonesia - where I assume the food would be terrific and cheap, would be seized. We would have to provision again in CK, where apparently the cost is about 2x that of mainland Oz - which is not cheap to start at. The quarantine fee is $355 AUD or around $370 Canadian or US + the cost of the costly food, so it would be easy to see this being an extra $1000.

SO, the new plan is to go from Indonesia directly to Chagos Archipelago which is due south of India at around 5°S. The islands are uninhabited British territories after the Brits kicked all the people off so they could make a major military base at Diego Garcia Island (you are not allowed anywhere near there). There is another possible advantage here - you are crossing the Indian Ocean a bit further north so the winds might be a little less. Although the trip from Chagos to Mauritius would be a bit more rugged - a bit more on the beam than running. We have to decide to go either north of Java or south from Bali. Not much difference in distance. Bali to Chagos is 2565 nm, while Chagos to Mauritius is 1145.