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Travel Transportation Airs, Trains, Buses, and Boats, what should I do ? What´s a Eurail Pass? How to rent a car abroad ? Is it safe to take the bus?

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Old 05-10-2006, 12:55 AM   #1
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I read about traveling on a freighter for the first time a month or so ago, I'm quite taken with the idea of spending weeks or months on a small ship with a few people, just us and the open sea, pulling into smelly exotic ports and generally having a nice long adventure. Its not all that expensive, you get a nice cabin and your meals and so forth. There's a steward to make your bed, the cook makes your food- its not luxury but its not exactly roughing it either. Ive been reading a lot of online blogs and articles about it, but I thought I'd ask if any Tpunks have experience with it. Would you do it? Would you do it again? Tips for finding a good price? Is this some mad hatter idea? Or awesomeness? I really like the whole journey as the destination idea. And the thought of lying on the deck, in the middle of the pacific in the middle of the night, gazing at a perfect clear sky full of stars above... Sighting flying fish/whatevs during the day... Writing endlessly... I'm very adept at keeping myself entertained, no fear of boredom.

I'd probably take something out of the houston area that called in ports in central/south america, the south pacific, perhaps asia, and probably oz. Im not too keen on the mediterranean/europe/round the cape routes.
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:58 AM   #2
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s this some mad hatter idea? Or awesomeness?
Awesome radness if you can do it!!
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:22 AM   #3
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I haven't heard of anyone doing the "freighter" thing... But I do know a few different peeps who have set sail for an extended amount of time on small, private sail boats. They LOVED it.

I'll never forget...One of those friends told of how something broke down with the indoor facility, at some point during the trip....Anyway- I guess she grew pretty tired of hangin' her ass over the side of the boat every time she wanted to take a piss. Ha. Me thinks I might get tired of that too....

I think it sounds amazing! I'de definitely consider it....


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Old 05-10-2006, 06:59 AM   #4
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The only people I know who've traveled by freighter are the merchant seamen who do it for a living. For them, it's not the most comfortable existence - hard work, long hours, low pay, separations from friends and family and under-appreciated by those of us who couldn't get our coffee, shoes, and whatnot else if it weren't for their efforts, but most of us don't give a passing thought to them...

Sorry, that rant caught me by surprise, but I used to work with seafarers, and they're lives are not the easiest...but I met some of the nicest guys - even met up with a couple of them that I hadn't seen in over a decade, the last time I was in Poland...

Anyway, I'd love to travel by freighter, I think it would be an awesome way to go. It's good to know the realities, though - in general, boats only put into port for a short time, because port fees are so high. They pretty much dock, unload/load and leave, so if you do pick this method of travel, don't bank on having a couple of days to wander around the city - several hours is probably more realistic.

Also, if there are any problems with crew/cargo/shipping agencies, they can (not often, but it happens) be refused docking permission, and can sit at harbour for days, and even weeks, and during that time, the crew are sometimes forbidden shore privileges - depending on the reason for the delay. As passengers, I'm sure different rules would apply, but it's not a bad idea to do a good bit of research into the shipping line before booking passage, to see if they have had difficulties in the past. Some of the shipping companies have a rather poor record regardng their treatment of crews, and this can lead to being denied entry (kind of counter-intuitive, but there you go.)

Sorry to dump negativity at you - like I say, I think it would be an awesome way to go, it's just not necessarily the romantic adventure it may have been in the past... And I would DEFINITELY not go through the Straits of Malacca by freighter - piracy is alive and well and living there, and while the pirates are usually after the cargo, a hostage or two (often entire crews) are welcome, too...

Check out the International Sailors' Society (www.biss.org.uk) for more information about shipping in general.

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Old 05-10-2006, 12:04 PM   #5
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Ah, I would dig a freight travel. I've heard of the merchant sailor thing, which is hard and sucks, and I've heard of the ritzy little private boat on the ocean thing, which is...ritzy... but I think something in between would be just right.
I'm looking into doing a semester at sea. Nothing like studying on "the big blue wet thing" (muppet movie reference)! Let me know if you find any promising information; I'm in.
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:12 PM   #6
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pirates? neat steph let's go meet some pirates!

heh. just kidding.
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Old 05-10-2006, 01:50 PM   #7
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New school pirates suck. They're not all "arrrrr" n' shit. And they don't have hooks for hands.

They're more like the little gun-toting people in The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou:

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Old 05-10-2006, 01:57 PM   #8
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I say we start a pirate revolution to bring it back old school style!
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:21 PM   #9
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Already on it, matey...
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:48 PM   #10
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You make a brilliant pirate!

I always like it when there is a "pirates and wenches" theme for a night out!
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Old 05-10-2006, 03:09 PM   #11
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life aquatic is awesome. that is all.
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:26 PM   #12
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This pirate trend that she's come up with... this is gonna be the new look for the 90's. You're gonna be the first pirate!

But, I don't want to be a pirate!


I'd do the freighter trip but it would only be cool with some other people... might get a little cabin fever otherwise.

Anyone want to go? Halifax to somplace warm
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:03 PM   #13
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I dont know, those pirates look like thier kickin it pretty oldschool to me. Rowboat and everything.
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:16 AM   #14
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Except for one minor detail, machine guns...

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Old 05-11-2006, 11:29 AM   #15
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i worked on a private yacht for a while going from port to port just incase the owner of the boat decided to show up. we would get a call saying he might be in nantucket one week so we'd go there and go into port just incase he showed up, this continued on for another year.

traveling by boat is a great experience. my cousin was the assistant capt. on the boat and i got to tag along as the third guy on the crew of 3. I basically just made sure everything not involving actually driving the yacht was under control and clean. I guess when someone pays 20 million for a yacht they expect it to be clean when they get on board.

anyway, the only downside to it is sea-sickness. i had spent a decent amount of time out on the water prior to taking this job, but nothing really prepares you for nonstop days on the water, especially if its not like a monster cruise ship. and no matter how used to the water you are, if it gets rough, you get sick. we tried to beat a storm on our way to key west. we didnt quite make it in time and were in some rough waters for a while, the captain of the yacht has been basically living on boats for 20 years and he was sick. there is no avoiding it.

i was onboard just long enough that the job was awesome and never really lost its novelty status. however, if i had done it for another year it might have gotten a little old. its pretty much impossible to keep any friends other than the other guys onboard and your never anywhere long enough to really form any true relationships.

the one positive is that we went to some awesome places, and girls seem to take a liking to guys who bum around sailing city to city.

as for the freight thing, i would say it would be cool to do, but u have to understand that you will lose contact with everyone off the ship probably and you'll most likely get sick at least once (and sea sickness is the worst ever!).

all in all though, i'd do it again in a second. as in i'd go back and relive that year over again. i probably wouldnt go do it for a second year because i like to be in contact with people, and i have a girlfriend now, so i want to remain in contact with her, and i wouldnt be able to meet any girls when we were docked somewhere.
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:12 PM   #16
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Yeah man, Id do that in a second too. SOunds like more of a thing you need to know someone to get into though.
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:25 AM   #17
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Someone asked about a way to do this as means to get back to the States from Europe. I found a really good link with great information on setting it up, costs, the reality of it, etc. I had it bookmarked, but my bookmarks are all screwed up. Anyhow, if you search through some posts on cheap ways to get back to the States, it was in there somewhere.
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:11 PM   #18
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I'd love to do something like that...only problem for me is I'd likely starve as I am allergic to fish!
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by kingcrazylegs@May 12 2006, 09:11 PM
I'd love to do something like that...only problem for me is I'd likely starve as I am allergic to fish!*
[snapback]120341[/snapback]
are you allergic to sharks too? seaweed's good for you ya know. :P
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:11 PM   #20
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Sharks ARE fish, silly.
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