Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 78 (Sunday April 27) – No money!

Today I went for a walk to the Botanical Garden, walked along the shore of Lac Léman, and jumped on a mouette to cross the bay.

The mouettes are the little public transport boats that have transported the Genevois across “their” lake for more than 100 years, and although modernized they still have the charm of “la belle époque” (on the dark side, it was in a mouette that the Austrian empress Sissi was assassinated by an Italian radical). The lake was alive with great looking ships and hundreds of sailing boats, which were celebrating the first sunny Sunday of spring.

On a whim I decided that it was time to make an escapade to the Alps, so I decided to go for three days to Zermatt. So I went to the train station, used my last francs to buy the ticket, and then stopped at the bank to replenish my wallet at the ATM. Imagine my shock when the stupid machine spit out my card saying that I couldn’t withdraw any money. Not funny. OK, so I went to a second bank, and then to a third one. All to no avail; the stupid machines refused to give me money! Now what? I still had with me a few dollars and euros, so I could finance the trip to Zermatt, but it was very uncomfortable to feel cut off from my source of funds.

Worried about money I came back to the house, connected to the internet, and took a close look at my finances. The probable reason for the refusal of the ATM machines was that there were several automatic payments that had been done last Friday, so I figured I should wait until Tuesday to really panic. However, looking at my bank account I realized that I had less money than I had expected (isn’t that always so?), which called for some review of my further travel plans. The trip through the Trans-Siberian had to be reconsidered, and after much agony I decided that I could not really afford it. Rats!

So I spent the afternoon considering alternatives, and have come up with the following alternative plan, which also takes in consideration the issue of visas and connections from one place to another. Plan B looks like this:

June 3 – Fly from Geneva to Barcelona.
June 3 to June 13 – Travel through Cataluňa and the South of France by rental car.
June 13 – Fly from Madrid to Frankfurt for the Kobberger’s Sommerfest.
June 16 – Fly back to Madrid to stay with Juan Ley and his family.
June 25 – Somehow get to Paris for a few days.
June 29 – Somehow get back to Frankfurt.
July 2 – Fly to Malaysia and visit the mainland by rental car.
July 9 – Fly to Borneo and visit by rental car.
July 16 – Fly to Philippines and visit by rental car.
July 22 – Fly to Honolulu and visit Ouahu for a couple of days.
July 24 – Fly to Hilo and visit the volcanoes for five days
July 29 – Fly to Mexico!

I am little bummed by having to give up the trip through Russia, but Plan B is about half less expensive, and if I “combine” it with the previous visit to India it does feel like I have made enough scales through southern Asia to call it a tour around the world.

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