|August 9: Begin trip with a flight to Beijing, by way of Seattle and Tokyo
Aug 11-13: Unsure how I'll spend these three days before I need to be in Ulaan Baatar ("UB"), the capitol of Mongolia to start a two week trip into a part of Mongolia. Options 1: fly to UB, and spend two days geting acclimatized to the region/culture. Option 2: Hang in Beijing for two days before flying to UP. Obviously, I have tough choices to make already.
Aug 14 - 28: Two week hike, horse car trip across the the Hovsgol and Darhadyn regions of Mongolia. These regions are in the very northcentral part of the country, bordering Russia, to the west of Hovsgol Nuur (lake). I will be on a trip with an outfit called Boojum Expeditions, which is based in Bozeman.
Aug 29-30: Spend a couple of days in UB before heading out for my next adventure.
Aug 31- Sept 11: Join my friend and president of the PCA board, Rich Reading, at his research base camp south and east of UB. He is studying Argali sheep, an endangered species.
Sept 7 or 8: Take a 30 hour train ride to Beijing, where I will have 3-4 days of sightseeing before my next flight.
Sept 13: Fly to Fiji, by way of Tokyo. Spend the next three weeks in Fiji, pursuing a difficult agenda. I start with taking an open water scuba diving course to get my diving certification. Then I spend a week or so in both the Yasawa Islands, and a week or so exploring Vanua Levu and Taveuni — see Fiji map for geographic reference.
October 5th: Fly to Australia for four weeks in the states of Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. I will first head north to the Cairns area to go out to the Great Barier Reef, see some Aussie rainforest, and get into the drier "bush." The only others hopes/plans I have are (1) to hike in Tasmania, and (2) to hopefully hook up with two Bozeman friends, Gary and Raina, for that hike.
Nov 2 (Election Day): I will be traveling to the peaceful country of New Zealand, where I will spend 5 weeks. I fly into Aukland, and plan on spending most of my time on the south island. I will probably take 3-4 "tramps on tracks" (backpacking trips on wilderness trails), visit some national parks (mostly coastal), and go find some penguins to see.
Dec 6: Fly to Bangkok by way of Kuala Lumpur. I will spend four weeks in Thailand, with some time in Bangkok, some time in the northern area of Chiang Mai, a short trip into Cambodia to see the ruins of Angkor Wat, and then spend the better part of two weeks in the beaches and islands of southern Thailand (where I will spend "the holidays" on the beach, snorkeling, diving and/or rock-climbing).
Jan 6: Flying out of Phuket, I head to southern Africa for six weeks. I expect to spend time in Botswana, Namibia, and parts of southern Zambia - lots of wildlife (although it will be the "rainy" season, which may make it a bit harder to see the classic "critters congregating at the watering hole" scene). At present, a friend from Bozeman (Steve) may join me there, as well as a friend from Eugene (Sands).
February 19: Short of some unexpected, but not out of the question, change in plans (most likely it would be staying in southern Africa to work on some wildlife conserv ation project for a few months or longer), I fly home to arrive in time for the best part of Bozeman's ski season.