Planning your Trip

Mapping a Trip

Mapping a Trip

I think the links below show software and maybe the handheld something to make a map for my website of my trip, I am not sure.

Here is a great frustration for me, and extremely difficult to research from an Internet Cafe here in Cairo at one dollar per hour on someone else's computer, on my own, I can download, bookmark, file and do all sorts of organized moves.

I would like a GPS, or a Global Positioning satellite CELL Phone that I could carry and then download the information and make a map of my trips.

The lady that is driving around Africa in a Land Rover with her husband that has a domain name that is impossible to spell or type told me a little about this, however this is maybe one of them projects you need before you start and a lot of time to figure out.

Her link is on this post.

Fear is a reason many people have all these toys, they are leaving and very afraid they will get lost or not be able to call for help.

Satellite Telephones are big sellers where there is no way to contact people easily, like on the Amazon River, there are travelers that pay thousands of dollars to have a telephone they will only use a couple times in their life. I think Magellan is the big Satellite telephone company.

What is happening is the price is slowly, and very soon getting down to a price I can afford or a price that is not annoying and stupid. Nothing I do is so important that I need to pay one dollar per minute, maybe call my Mother with a capital M on Christmas, also my Father, however I am picking on Mom today.

I see maybe 10 cents a minute as the price that would make sense, or maybe 20 cents U.S.

However what these people do not do is show me the best workable combinations that will work, of course they are not sure it will work in Cairo, only the USA or Germany is normal.

I need the Cell Phone, Computer, Software, GPS device, maybe bluetooth, adapters, batteries, chargers all working together, I need a package that works anywhere on the planet.

Then again, I can go to the beach and keep my life simple.

Some great links:
NOTE!!!! Please post in the comments, do not click reply. I will get it both ways in my email box and the one Shares - Share you toys please with the world.
For those today who wish to comment. go here

I wish I knew the link, however does not generate a direct link until I publish.

Here is the direct link to this post, PLEASE post here so I can keep ideas in one place.

Mapping a Trip

Planning Trip to Africa

Planning Trip to Africa

Visa problems...
I want to know where every Embassy or Consulate in the world is for the country of Sao Tome?

I am planning a trip to Africa, as of today I wish to enter Nairobi, Kenya and go by land to Gabon and so forth.

Visa sites are annoying as they assume you are in your native country, for me this is the USA, however, I am not in the USA, therefore the Visa perspective changes.

I need a website that tells me... for example:

I need the location of all Sao Tome Embassies or Consulates in other countries, so maybe if I am close to one, I can go, but this scenario exist for all the countries. I am not interested in where they are located in the USA, I want to know in other countries.

Planning Trip to Africa

Travel by Jumping from GPRS to GPRS

Travel by Jumping from GPRS to GPRS
Kathmandu, Nepal Asia
Sunday January 21, 2007

I made a GPRS travel jump from Thailand to Katmandu, it was not planned, however, I was able to access the Internet with my cell phone in Thailand, now I can in Nepal.

I will not pay more than about one dollar USA per day for Internet access, as I am cheap, I be Hobo. The GPRS in these two countries gives me unlimited access for about one dollar per day.

This is with the idea that I stay about one month in each country.

I want to go to Africa now, I am trying to find GPRS connections in the various countries of Africa. An annoying process as nobody states the price.

There are many reasons for me to have an Internet connection by GPRS on an unlimited basis in my room. The biggest goal is to be able to blog daily.

I am fighting with small rules of travelers. There is this unwritten rule of the traveler culture.

I need to travel by land, I want to travel by land. I do not need to travel by land, yet I feel like I am letting down the traveler culture if I fly from one country to the next. The cost of planes has often, with a good plan made flying cheaper than the bus, and for sure trains in Europe.

Africa is not the same as Europe, or Southeast Asia and the flights are more expensive, however to achieve my goal of blogging daily. I either need to buy a satellite connection or fly from GPRS enabled country to GPRS country. JUMP

Flying is cheaper than buying a satellite connection, so jumping from GPRS to GPRS country would be cheaper. Yet, still remains the - Go by Land - rule of being a traveler. I suppose I can skip....

I think in terms of Jump, Hops and Skips.
Jumps are big
Hops are small
Skips are longer, yet fast

I can do two day by land trips across countries, sort of skip across them, but not avoiding the country. Then another traveler rule comes into affect...

How long do you have to be in a country to count it as country you visited?

I personally like to say I need 10 days to say I visited, if you want me to start to have an opinion I need a minimum of one month. The size of the country also is important. To have an opinion of any value for India you need to probably have at least three months, but really to even learn a little about India you need a year.

Brazil must be about one year.

IF you really counted the time, you would see I have spent about one month in any country I have visited. Therefore to go to three countries, I need three months of planned time in country. Many visas make the decision for me, I would think about 30 days is an average time allotted by visas to enter a country.

Nigeria is causing a big Africa Visa problem, as they want me to apply for a Visa in the USA only, it is possible that I dollar-my-way-through. Hope if I pay or stay the course longer in Benin, I can talk the Nigerian embassy into giving me a visa to travel in or across Nigeria. I cannot just go to Niger and into Chad to avoid. I can fly around Nigeria.

Africa does not have good backpacker paths established. They just do not make it easy to go overland without tons of research. I am American, the rules change for each country, a German, a Brit, and get even more complicated. If you was Israeli, then life has little land mines.

GPRS for me should cost less than 2 dollars per day.
SATELLITE needs to cost less than 30 dollars per day.

Paying 30 dollars per day to blog, that is paying a lot to blog. On the other hand, Africa is not the same as South America or Southeast Asia where every Tom, Dick and Harry goes and blogs. It does get closer to being an adventure. Plus someone has to forge a path.

I call it an adventure when I could get killed. I do not see Africa as a big adventure, but a lot closer than South America, Southeast Asia is tourist grade all the way, hard to find an adventure.

Rambling and rambling, the cathartic value of blogging, trying to find clarity where none exist.

Travel by Jumping from GPRS to GPRS
Kathmandu, Nepal Asia
January 24, 2007 is one of my choices for the Top 10 Travel Sites of 2006 in English, a year in Review. I have not chosen where in the list, yet I am sure it is in the Top Ten.

It was Number ONE for the Top 10 Travel Sites of 2005, and it has not lost much ground or status if any in the last year.

I wrote this about the site in my smaller explanation last year:

Facts and data, information is has entered the game, it is a reader edited and created Encyclopedia of information in many language and for everyone to use for free. I personally first use the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia installed on my computer first, then will by design go to the Wiki Encyclopedia online, however it is normal for me to see them in a top search results in This is good, I do not have to hunt for them, they are trying to find me. The hit a home run when I discovered a well compiled and complete list of LCC - Low Cost Carriers - These are the cheapest of the cheap airlines, and NOT listed or sold normally by travel agents, you will not find these airlines in Orbitz, Travelocity or However you will find them in the WIKI -

So, what do I think a year later?

I am doing this as one of them MORE things, to create a link whereby a person could read more. Therefore when I publish the year in review for 2006, they will go to this link.

A friend was giving me the test of my thoughts, she said, what is your criteria, why, what are the rules, what or how do you make the choices. She did not like my answer,
- It is my opinion. -

She gave me, told me a different opinion, on my opinion. But, she was saying you are a travel writer, I start to push and shove, saying I am not, but I started to think about her intention. She was saying, you are writing to tell somebody your choices, so by technical default, I am writing about travel and I cannot evade.

Ok, why do I like, well first, I do not have to go looking for them. They have designed one of the perfect SEO sites, the search engines like and love them. IF and when I forget to go, then Wiki come to me, it is a search result in

I have surfed around on some other sites, trying to find or discover what the experts have to say, I have not really found, however, I have found Maybe some type of nebulous relative.

Who has time to figure out, not me, I have a room in an Internet cafe, it just does not work. is on the destination label of travel, or sides up and annies up when you are trying to choose a destination. If I am planning a trip to Africa, I can get great insight into how and where to visit by going to

Travel is not a Hotel, travel is about visiting countries, locations and destinations. I sometimes think people should just go down to the local 5 Star Hotel and take a week vacation, and forget to spend the cash to travel. If you don't leave the resort or hotel, then probably the best resorts are in the USA, no culture clash.

However, if you are going to leave the resort, then better get on and learn a little or a lot about where you are going.

Encyclopedia.... it is an online Encyclopedia. It is a tool to learn, and an extremely valuable one, probably the worlds most comprehensive and well managed and categorized place to learn.

Only the Internet has more...

What is wrong with the

The do not send me a set of DVD 0r CD Rom so I can use in the Jungle. I so far need an Internet cafe to use. This is a want, not a need.

Note, if you call yourself the intellectual type, then if you want to be a player, you should be aware of

Thank you to all the contributors of

I need to create some sub-categories and expand this list, because some of the readers do only care about Hotels and Airplanes.

Feelings Seeing Hearing Thinking

Hearing Sight Smell Taste Touch
Kathmandu, Nepal Asia
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A friend requested I think about posting my top 10 photos of 2006.

- I have very little interest in the beauty of the photo, so if I were to make a page of my 10 favorite photos, it would be boring and difficult job, something I would avoid. -

My first thought was a thought of revulsion, as I do not like to look at photos. I am annoyed looking at my own, and super annoyed looking at other peoples photos.

I use photos to think, and to remember, not for a physical feeling rush. My sense of sight is not my favorite sense organ.


I went on a journey of curiosity and delved into a bigger list of senses.

This one has 32:

This list has 53:

I was observing and thinking the other day, that Nepali people have very little awareness of other people. I can use this list to evaluate a culture.

I would put this as number 16 in the list of 53.
- 16. Space or proximity sense. -

As a funny quip or common terms, I would say about Nepali people.
- Most likely to just stop in front of you.
- Most likely to spit in front of you.

I could assess they may have little
- 8. Sense of motion. Body movement sensations and sense of mobility. -

As almost standard in the poorer countries, they have little sense of time.

I could classify countries into categories of what they are good or not good and use these lists to evaluate countries, cultures and groups of person on the planet. However, sadly, in a political correct world, we can only compliment, we cannot say or talk about what a country needs to work on in an blunt terms. We must just diplomatically say or allude to a problem. This may be the biggest obstacle to human development.

We cannot say,
- The love to lie around and do nothing, like a dog -
Some cultures love the feeling of maybe comradeship and lack of sensory stimulation, others are addicted to movement.

The India people chew this Betel Nut and spit it all over the place; they could be accessed to love the sense of taste. I see travelers that demand to taste all the foods, or as happened the other day, a man was demeaning my drinking of instant coffee, and said I should drink the special coffees sold. I sort of thought he had little awareness of differences in people, the likes and dislikes of a person, especially the ones that do not affect others, like drinking coffee is not a problem in life for many. Unless, for some silly reason I force a person to drink instant coffee.

I would say these two lists are insightful and should be read closely by people. If I can or they could truthfully discover what makes them happy, they could go in search of this.

The bottom line, I do not like to take photos for the beauty of the photo, I like to take photos more for a taxonomy sense.

principles of classification: the practice or principles of classification.

I have very little interest in the beauty of the photo, so if I were to make a page of my 10 favorite photos, it would be boring and difficult job, something I would avoid.

However, has now given me an ability to label my post, this is an extreme rush for me, I love this, and I could sit around and label or classify thoughts for a long time. I love databases, I love the ability to sort, categorize, sub-categorize and classify.

In the end, I like ideas more than music, and pictures.

I do think if a person would see what they do, not what they think they want to do, but take a list and check off what they like to feel or sense. The difficult part is many persons wish to be famous as being smart or intellectual. The constantly try to read the intellectual book, never read them, however when they have any chance, they go out with their friends and listen to very loud music.

What we want to be, and what we do is the gap that keeps us from understanding ourselves.

Hearing Sight Smell Taste Touch

Ghana to Ethiopia or Ethiopia to Ghana

Ghana to Ethiopia or Ethiopia to Ghana
Katmandu, Nepal Asia
January 31, 2007

I have had a difficult decision to make, I finally have found a good reason to travel from Ghana to Ethiopia or from West to East, and not from Ethiopia to Ghana.

I am making a land trip of about 4500 miles across the center of Africa. This trip could be dangerous, or as normal, it could just be hard on my butt. This is a lot of sitting on my butt time, I think maybe I averaged about 25 miles per hour the last time in West Africa; therefore I have about 180 hours of butt time. This is not bad, just about 7.5 days of travel.

Why travel from Ghana to Ethiopia?
If I start in Ghana or Togo, I can have two months of French practice before I enter the Congo.

I learned that the Congo uses the language of French as their business language. My travel French is about a 2 and I need to get it up to a 5 or 6 on a 10-point scale. Therefore, if I travel in Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon and miscellaneous countries before I enter the more dangerous Congo, I can hope to get my French language skills up to a 5 or 6 and it will be safer. I will need less dependence on my instincts and maybe talking with the Frenchies along the way to suss out the situation. The majority of the French Expats I met on the Trip from Cote d-Ivoire to Niger by land last time only spoke about a 1 or less in English, therefore I was not able to discuss anything with them. I did meet ONE German and ONE Swede who spoke English well enough to explain some of the ins and outs of Africa, however generally I was on my own. The Peace Corps person did have an idea about the country they were in, but had little cross Africa travel.

Just what every Mother wants to hear, her son wants to travel across the Congo by land or river. I only live or die once.

Ghana to Ethiopia or Ethiopia to Ghana
Pokjara, Nepal Asia
February 5, 2007

Reference - Planning - Facts and Data

This is one of my Top Travel Sites of 2006 in the English language and for travelers, not tourist. I suppose or would think the requirements of a traveler supersedes the requirements of a tourist so would encompass tourist.

I would be hard pressed in a way to say which site is really more valuable, or

I like facts, Wiki is more about facts, and data, while is explaining. The big difference is has some professionals they pay to answer questions. While Wiki has people that enter free information. Wiki does not push external links, therefore they are saying to me the public.

Stay on WIKI, you cannot leave.

While say, here are are specially selected choice of best links chosen by a PRO.

WIKI can snub a PRO and is in many way, ANTI- anything big, so they would negate the value of Bill Gates... I was laughing, when I was at the WIKI convention in Frankfurt, it seems like most of the techies had Macs, the anti-PC anti-Microsoft solution.

Anti-Father solution

I just had a real life experience, I want to find out about Mobile Offices, or how to access the Internet from anywhere, any way I do it, it keeps leading me back to
Mobile Office on

There is a different between having a professional keep the focus and limit the areas, it keeps me from accidentally getting off focus. Wiki is good for unfocused searches, however on focused idea, then is better.

What is exceptional about, is they will often recommend newsletters.

RSS Feeds are pretty much worthless when traveling, however a newsletter can be of valuable. I can read a newsletter without an Internet connection, while RSS seems to need an Internet connection.

The last thing I have is an Internet connection all the time, sounds good, but if you say you are a traveler and you always have an Internet connection, I am not sure I would call you a traveler, maybe a tourist or a 5 Star Hilton person.

Last time I was on the Amazon, it did not have WIFI, Internet, or probably even a cell phone connection.

I go CONGO River, how? is focused, then they are focused on who you are, are you as Student, are you a Tourist, are you a Traveler, are you someone, then they tell you About it!

So they talk and focus on the subject and tell you about the subject. There are subjects that are related to a something, and a person that is NOT a pro would never see the relationships.

A pro needs called in to say, yep, we covered all the possible related subjects. Wiki does a great job, I just cannot figure out how to find the PRO. With I can go to a bio page and write the pro, and we can do a pay thing.

I use PRO stuff, I use a Guidebook, I use Travel Agents, I will pay for advice.

Wiki makes me nervous, you make them angry, and you could have a world of hurt if the Wiki wanna be Pros decided to attack. There are many true Pros is WIKI, however for the most part just average persons with some special knowledge they scraped from another site and paraphrased to get away from copyright infringements. Therefore, they took from the Pro and put on Wiki. give you the PRO version of Wiki, with a twist. This is a professional site and comes up easy in, and is very easy to remember how to spell so I can type into a browser when I do not have a bookmark.

Weekend Travel

Weekend Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 8, 2007

I have trouble knowing the day of the week, I once in Mexico had to ask a girl, what month it was? Blogging tends to remind me as I put the day and date on the top, otherwise I would be clueless on the day of the week. I for sure do not pay attention to what day of the week it is, however I am starting to care.

The white people in West Africa go to the bars on the weekends, they go the countryside or maybe pretend to work during the week. The weekends are enforced by their actions, all the hotels, restaurants and such will be full on the weekends in the bigger bar or buvette cities. Most or many of the Peace Corps in Togo will return to the party.

This is true also for most continents, including Asia and South America, and for sure Europe.

Therefore, to have a life of peace, I leave places around Tuesday and arrive before Thursday and I can easily avoid the Sunday leaving schedule or Monday leaving schedule. 99 percent of white people in West Africa are driving a vehicle, there are few people in public transportation. The truth is there are very few normal tourist. On the weekends the hotels become full, as everyone goes to the Hotels for their days off from work.

I was laughing to myself as a Brit would work on his computer daily in the common area of the Galien Hotel, then on Sunday, he did not work. He had been traveling for three years, or maybe not…according to perspectives. The socialization was applied in our outside of the home country on work, plus he went to the local nightly.

I am on endless vacation, weekends thinking does not apply.

Weekend Travel

More Enjoyable Africa Travel

More Enjoyable Africa Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 10, 2007

A comment was posted by Eric on this post:

- andy, i read all the way through the last time you were in africa. and from here it sounds like your in better spirits and having a more enjoyable travel this time around. or is it my imagination?

im a sort that likes the practical stuff like costing and logistics of getting around etc. but did notice a difference about your posts this time, like the angels in africa for instance.

did notice a difference about your posts this time, like the angels in africa for instance.


This is a provoking comment, not to make me angry, but one that makes me think, another reader explained of few days ago how she sees my writing style.

-… but I like the way you negotiate with yourself I think I might even be learning something - but I'm not sure what yet. … Kate

I do not think it is the imagination of Eric, I am enjoying Africa better this time, however, the practical stuff, the logical stuff, and the preparation is different. The bottom line is this in life.

To be happy, a person must do more things that make them happy in a day than thing that make them sad. (Simple, learned on day when I had no hope.)

What is practical and common sense, is to learn how to avoid things that make me sad, and to optimize the make-me-happy things or events. I do debate myself, I try to find or fight with myself, and ask myself do I like this? or it is just something I somehow have rationalized I think I should like.

Something like the Angels from Africa are impossible not to love and appreciate, a couple of small girls kissing and hugging my arms almost makes me cry, I have no children and these two small angels make me feel good. Plus, I appreciate when children and animals love me, I see this as of sign of who I am, or really am, I think children and animals instinctively know safe from unsafe, good from evil.

The prime directive of travel is to enjoy yourself, the problem is this, I have this brain that interferes with my enjoyment, it has a filter that sometimes say or thinks this is a good idea and I must stop and say to myself,
- Andy, are you having fun? -
I can only answer quick and say, yes or no, no thinking.

I just left what is considered and probably is one of the better Hotels in Lome, the Galion, it is nice, has lots of tourist or backpackers and has a big social life. However, for me, not the other 95 percent of the travelers I slowly got annoyed. I do not want to pay with big money to enjoy life, I do not consider it UTILITY. Craig from just wrote me and explained or pointed out this economic theory.

There are many environmental factors that I use to gage my happiness, but there are four that impact me on a daily basis above all else (in order of priority):


The varying amounts of cost and quality within these four items result in my perception of value, and that in turn impacts my happiness (as I am a value-for-my-dollar driven person). This is what we would call utility, in economic terms

OR Utility from Wiki:

Craig is

I was with Craig for awhile in the Caribbean where life was not good, mainly because of the Utility principle.

I feel abused when or I feel like I am a victim when I must pay big CFA for bad service or bad value. I feel best when I get a good room, for a good price, and know I am getting most for my money and feel no sense of why am I paying this money for such a terrible room. I can get an extremely great room in Thailand or Philippines for a great price, the value of room, the quality of life is great for the dollar. In the Caribbean I got an extremely bad room for a very high price, I am used to living in good rooms. Price has very little to do with the quality of room, I cannot pay extra and get a good room. It is more to do with the management of the hotel, plus choosing a good room inside the hotel.

I am sort of adhering to some self imposed policies here in Africa this time, I came to Africa last time, figure out after musing and dwelling outside of Africa, what annoyed me about Africa and what I like, then I came back prepared with this little self imposed rule and a few extra pieces of gear ready for Africa.

- Do not live in the NGO-ONG Hotels, which also has the Peace Corps. -
- Do not associate with Peace Corps persons. -
- Do not associate with NGO people. -
- Find hotels that are full of African people. -
- Do not eat in Western Restaurants.-
- Do not get ran over by the SUV’s vehicles driven by the NGO people.-
- Find hotel that do not have bars or restaurants that white people visit inside of them. -
- Find good internet cafes and GPRS if possible so I do not have to talk with the managers of internet cafes as they are extremely dense, and non helpful. I work in Internet Cafes and the Internet Cafes in Africa have some of the worst logistical, math, and connections on the planet, they squander the use of these computer by not maintaining and using properly. -
- Cook food or buy food in the streets. -
- Buy the two front seats in the Peugeot Station wagon bush taxi. -
- Avoid rich African people.-
- Travel in the Christian areas. -
- Learn French so I can talk to the normal African person and achieve my need for conversation with normal persons, not any White person.-

- Carry an electric hot plate so I can cook, I purchased in India as very hard to find here.-
- Have all the cooking gear needed. -
- Travel with the Roughguide as a guidebook and not the Lonely Planet. -
- Prepared for GPRS cell phone connection to internet on computer and cell phone. -

I suppose in the end, the quote, about I do not suffer fools well applies in any country and any place. The Western Style Buvette Hotels are full of fools, and I need to not suffer them to be happy. It is not easy to put my finger on what annoys me sometimes,

In addition, I am doing research on malnutrition, and I need to figure out why I believe or suspect the NGO-ONG - Non-Governmental-Organizations are almost zero effective. I also get angry that they basic treat Africa like it is stupid and need to be taken care of, this is not respectful to give people food, money, shelter, it is saying you cannot take care of yourself and cannot learn.

On the other hand, Africa seems to have learned too well how to ask for money or gifts or the word Cadeau.

Avoid the negative.
Move towards the positive

Easy to say, difficult to do, I must first identify what is positive, good Karma, give me a good feel, then go towards it, I must also figure out what makes me feel bad and avoid.

I think about relationships with girls, some are emotional vampires. I leave, going home I feel weaker. If I am in a situation and I consistently leave and feel weaker, than I do not return to the well. A friend, relationship, worker, any person should make you feel stronger and more alive after being with them.

Now, on a practical level, I explain some very negative and ugly ideas, hoping a person can learn from reading and not have to experience, but somebody has to be the guinea pig. I do says to someone, if what I write makes you angry, do not read, this is common sense, and you are being dysfunctional to be depressed if you are reading something that makes you angry.

IF a person is writing travel advice and everything sounds wonderful, then they are lying.

There is pain to learn, there is frustration in dealing with people. Africa has a bully mentality, they try to bully you into agreeing or going along. I do not like the European attitude of pay a lot and say you like it, sometimes I think this is a silly childish attitude. Go buy a first class ticket on an airplane, pay 5 times the economy rate, somehow tell yourself that money made you special. What a bad use of money unless you are just outrageously wildly rich. But some people need to constantly tell themselves they are important because deep down they know they are junk.

If they did the good Utility all day, they would know they made good decision all day and would feel good.

If you are a good boy all day, you do not have to apologize or kiss anyone to be happy, then the monkey of guilt is off your back. It is the compromises we make, and sadly people will say they had to make these compromises. The road to salvation is long and narrow, like a razors edge.. From the movie, the Razors edge with Bill Murray.

I fall off the Razors Edge, I blog more negatively. I need to gravitate or move towards the light and avoid the dark. Africa is like a child in many ways, I do not like to hear the Dark Continent, it is not Dark here, the normal person is like any other place, it has some real Dark and evil leaders, Thugs, Bullies, Tyrants.

It is refreshing to see the untapped places I can visit in Africa where there are no NGOs, because there are no Buvette Bars.

Clarity stops me from doing frustrating things, I feel serene when I am clear about the price I need to pay to do something. When I am clear, that was a great value.

When I went to the Gas company in the USA, I knew I was going to have to wait in line one or two hours. I took a book and read, I planned how to deal with the tiresome and annoying wait. I could sit around and complain about the line, or I can say, how do I deal with this.

Do people learn from negative experiences, I would say about 1 in 50 does, the other continually complain and continually go do the same and expect a different result.

I left Africa and my brain stayed working, I thought, considered the benefits and problems of Africa, then decided how to optimize the enjoyment of Africa. Note, one thing I am doing is traveling slower and slower, the quicker a person travels into frustration, the more a person sums up the day on a negative balance.

I also am taking my Vitamins, truly affects my energy, I feel.

I would like to cut a path of Hotel through Africa that are cheap and good value enough to enjoy life. Note, the quality of Hotels is normally much better than South America or often Southeast Asia, the cost though is more. I am in a Hotel for 10 dollars, has a kitchen I can use, no bar, and the staff helps me to learn French. I have an air conditioner I can turn on, the hotel is a much better utility value and is not in any of the guidebooks.

Ooops, I did not obey, I did not stay in the box.

Travel Armamentarium

Travel Armamentarium
Kpalime, Logo West Africa
Thursday, March 22, 2007

My friend Chris wrote me today about a Solar Cooker he purchased, and his dealing with a Chinese Company.

He wanted to know if I wanted to add this to my
--- Armamentarium --- in the future.

Now, that word is 50 dollar word, if I every seen one, being I am never without my dictionary, I went and looked it up, both in the Encarta Encyclopedia Computer dictionary and also the Encyclopedia side.

Armamentarium DEFINED:
:medical equipment: the complete range of equipment, medications, and techniques that a medical practitioner has at his or her disposal

[Late 19th century. < Latin, "arsenal, armory" < armare (see arm2)]

Arm2 is: DEFINED:
transitive verb provide somebody with information or tools: to provide somebody with the information or equipment needed to do something
armed myself with statistics before the meeting

Armory: DEFINED:
resources available for dealing with opponent: a range of equipment and skills available to somebody, used especially in dealing with opponents
Perspectives, life is about the perspectives you use, your point of reference, the benchmark, the starting point, and in the end empathy. Chris empathizes great, and can see the future of Andy very well. Most people have great hindsight and terrible future sight, they cannot prognosticate the future.

However, the word Gear is used normally to talk about what is carried by a traveler when then endeavor to take off traveling for a year or so, or less. However, I think the great travelers, the ones who are really planning to travel for years, get in touch with their fears. They know, they need to find how to protect themselves from problems. The opponent or opponents are unknown, and how does one arm themselves against the unknown.

They need an --- Armamentarium --- for their future.

I feel pride, when a person actually traveling for years, or actually planning on traveling for years, becomes a regular reader, writer, and friend, this means I am somehow earning the respect of a honest critic, and qualified. This person is endowed with the fears needed, the real fears, not the maybe I go on a trip fears.

Most of life is a fantasy, and best place for most people to live in, a fantasy, it is safer and easier to maintain, real life, and real people can be extremely dangerous.

99 percent of my tips, do not apply, unless you want to go PRO, however they do 100 percent apply if want to go Budget. The tips apply 100 percent if you stop the fantasy.

The normal solution for tourist is to PAY their way through a problem, then minimize it, acting like there was no problem, not admitting they really was clueless, and just donated the money, and tried to forget.

I do this, I must forget, there is not reason to sit around and dwell on how to get a Ghana Visa… I just paid 400 Dollars more to fly to Lome, Togo, then to Accra, Ghana because of the difficulty in getting a Ghana Visa. It was not just the difficulty, it was the time needed, I was not going to spend two weeks in Delhi, and you could not pay me 400 dollars to do so, yes 5 years ago, I would have accepted the 400 dollars and been very happy.

Empathy, frustration, it was not 99 percent perspiration Edison applied, it was paying the 99 percent FRUSTRATION price,

- Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. -

Attributed to Thomas Alva Edison (1847 - 1931)
U.S. inventor. (2)

The genius is in believing the frustration will pay off.

My friend Gary said something or quoted somebody, hmm, maybe I can find it, I cannot.

Ok, the idea or the quote was this,
- A person cannot be beaten, that will not quit. -
- You cannot beat a person that never quits. -

I think people wish to accomplish something and not have any frustrations; this is why they look for tips, the want an easy way around the frustrations. The normal way is to pay for tour, buy the guide, and dollar you way through, and then say, that was easy. In reality, safety cannot be purchased, however illusions and fantasies can be bought anywhere and everywhere.

The idea here is this, a person must add many things to their war chest, most are ideas and concepts, then go and face their opponents, the unknown. Keep you eyes and feeling open, do not avoid your feelings, they are what protect you. Fear is real.

Travel Armamentarium

Andy the Happy Traveler

Andy the Happy Traveler
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 2, 2007

This is how it works.

I travel to a places, I get curious, I read about it on Encarta, maybe I read a little in the Roughguide Guidebook, or Lonely Planet when I have that one, I am using Roughguide for West Africa, seems to be better than Lonely Planet.

What is making me happy is this, I have the ability to go and look at something new, afterwards I go back to my room curious. I read about what I seen in my Encarta Encyclopedia; it gives me great insight, knowledge, background and great maps. If I am finished, and my curiosity has been quenched, I stop. IF not, I read as much as I can, then I go to the internet to finish my reading. The GPRS in my room allow this, not internet in the internet café, to remember, go to the Internet café is too time consuming to remember. I now can return to my room, and in my room I can research and learn.

This added benefit of GPRS has made my travels more rewarding and I am now spending more time learning, and less time just having questions.

Google Earth does NOT work, take too long to load, is not on the machines in internet cafes, then the maps are good when I do not need a map, such as the USA, and a disappointment when I do need a map. I get angry because I spent all this time, money and work to find a Google earth and download and no map of value.

IF a person is in the Internet Café and they are using Google Earth in the internet café in West Africa, every map you look at will probably cost about 50 cents USA.

Now, I can do this, I go to a link, I - SAVE AS - to the computer and I have to read offline.

I am happy because Encarta can tell me about Togo, gives me maps, tells me a lot, but cannot go into detail about a small idea. Wiki has these obsessed to collect information people and they do this, they collect, organize, and tell me, I open, save as, and I can read, when the GPRS is bad, or when the I leave the internet Café.

My guess is I could get high-speed internet access about 10 percent of the time on the planet in my room. I can get high speed a lot, if I would pay 100-150 US per night to stay in the 5 Star Hotels, but that is not travel.

I am happy, I read, and read, or someone sends me a link, I sometimes can go and look and see what he or she are talking about. Normally when a person sends me a link, they have to be a great friend, or I do not look, I have to trust them and they for some reason are in tuned or empathizing with what I am interested to do. Sending random, I am in love with pages is nice, but not so helpful.

Planning, I am now planning all my countries around the extraordinarily fast expansion of GPRS. I think I can go to only countries in Africa that have GPRS and wait until the other offer. There is no way I will travel faster then they expand. In addition, Africa has about 52 countries to wait in…

I find I do not like 24/7 High-Speed internet in my room, it like an addiction. With this supers slow GPRS, I can find information, but it is not addictive, I am more than willing to stop, as it is slow. I do not look at videos, that is what a TV is for.

My curiosity about the planet is being quenched better with a spontaneous extra ability to have my questions answered with GPRS internet access. I do not become an addict to the internet.

Andy the Happy Traveler

Planning for Population Density

Planning for Population Density
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I am going to give Nigeria a pass for now, I am not going to Nigeria on this trip, I did not come to Africa to live in a city. It may be the India of Africa.

Wide open space, wild savannas, and desert, Lions, Tigers, Elephants and Hippos. I dream of something Africa. I would click on this link and think, I want to go to where, and how many people?

These are sort of rough numbers per square kilometer, not by mile. My opinion on problems and violence is that the more dense the population the more travel problems.

USA 32
India 365
Germany 230
Philippines 310
Thailand 125
Peru 22

Ghana 92
Togo 105
Benin 67
Nigeria 145
Cameroon 35

There are some tribal problems that make a tribal situation sometime more dangerous than a city. Think about mountains, islands and deserts and how they influence the density. Peru as many mountains. Philippines has many islands, the cities are probably more dense.

Planning for Population Density

Traveling Across Africa

Traveling Across Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, August 12, 2007

I think I need to say to myself, I am traveling across Africa, I will leave on Wednesday to Ghana, then continue West.

I sold my Motorcycle, I am leaving Togo. I think I have learned more about Togo, West Africa in the last few months than I wanted to know. I am here in Africa to enjoy life, nothing more.

I person should leave a country before they can explain why it is best, worst, and why never to visit.

Traveling Across Africa

Banfora Gaoua Diebougou Bobo Loop

Banfora Gaoua Diebougou Bobo Loop
Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Friday, September 14, 2007

I leave in 3 hours for Banfora, Burkina Faso; I do a loop, the return and take a difficult for Africa traveler, easy for South American traveler trip to Bamaka, Mali.

I hope to make this loop below with the least amount of Transportation headaches.

I am not sure, I am hoping there is a 1-10 day city in this loop, I need a pause in the action. Bobo is 100,000 people too big, and Banfora is supposed to have around 50,000 people, and Gooua under 20,000 and Diebougou under 20,000 according to the Encarta Encyclopedia little dynamic sensor hand waving over the map. I discovered this wonderful feature two week ago, tells population, longitude and latitudes quickly.

Yep, this is me, I just checked, I am an under 100,000 or close to around 50,000 people city person in Africa. I checked two cities I really liked, Natitingou, Benin and Kpalime, Togo and both log in at 20,000 to 99,000 populations. Bobo is too big for comfort, not easily manageable, too big to take a taxi across in one swoop, or too big to walk across easily.

I try to stereotype myself, and then travel to visit my stereotype, I accept, I am a stereotype as is everyone, on Tuesdays or any other day of choice.

Banfora Gaoua Diebougou Bobo Loop

Pros or Cons Versus your Travel Speed

Pros or Cons Versus your Travel Speed
Orodara, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You have lived in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso for a year… ?
You have lived in Cape Coast, Ghana for three months… ?

What are you doing here in Togo?
What are you doing here in Ghana?

Reading some real questions I asked of people I met while some volunteer workers or NGO workers were being tourist, I must accept, I enjoy a small prod or provoke here and there to observe neural speed and efficiency. Yes, it is having a reaction to stimuli.

Travel is not a one time event, travel is movement, I suppose going to a Resort in Cancun, Mexico could be called an event, or going to a Festival is an event, and being a volunteer can be a long-term event, somewhere wrapped up in the time spent in a location starts to tell me whether you are a traveler or a you are living somewhere to what is the truth?

I ask questions to volunteers that are 90 percent travelers and 10 percent volunteers, as I listen, they have never stay at the event, and they voted with their feet and left the Volunteer Event.

There are Pros and Cons of any Travel Destination. Travel is about time and speed controls, when you stay a long time in one place the speed control is on low, and when you stay one day, the speed control is on high. I for sure believe the majority of tourist and travelers have a faulty speed control that is jammed on high speed, which means those flowers have no smell.

When the Pros are up, turn the speed down, when the Cons are up, then turn the speed up, accelerate, full speed ahead.

I think there is some inside, traveler question, and stated like,
- How long to do the country? -
In the world language, not English.
- How long to know the place? -
The world asked the question,
- Do you know Burkina Faso? -

I say
- I arrived yesterday. -
I want to say,
- Connect your brain to your mouth, there is a severe lack of neural efficiency, how can I know a place until I have spent at least one day, you saw me get off the bus. -

Velocity, speed, I have no need for speed, unless it feels bad, when life is good, I go slow and eat every piece of pie, and save some for tomorrow. When life sucks, I raise my mast and sail away, praying to all the good Gods there are no doldrums.

When the cons outweigh the pros I go fast, when the pros outweigh the cons, I go slow, sometimes I stop, a very good sign about a place.

When I have seen NGO and Volunteers who are sailing ships with three masts, and trying to find ways to erect more, I some times tell them,
- I saw the Air Moroc office down the street. -

Do I really need to weigh the pros and cons of a country, I just need remember I am the Captain of this Ship, and can say, Scotty, engage, go to Warp Speed, or I can stay an watch a very bad movie because I paid the money, and know I have been demoted.

To be an Alpha Male, there has to be other letters in the alphabet.

Pros or Cons Versus your Travel Speed

Kyrgyzstan or West Africa

Kyrgyzstan or West Africa
Spring is after Christmas and Europe is a very cold place, about the same as Canada and not the same as the USA. I really do not like Europe, however if the timing is right, I try to get close to Europe. When the timing is right. I may plan or could plan to go Kyrgyzstan, and I will and can call it Europe, or I can go to England and go south to West Africa, some ideas flopped on the table.

March and April, I think that is spring and after Christmas and some idea on the table, some maps, some plans.

Bangkok Thailand - Southeast Asia
Khao San Road
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Andy of ---

There is this mountain range between Europe and Asia that is the line; I guess I would need to study to know where Kyrgyzstan is located. As I understand this, the Stan Brother by the name of Kyrgyzstan allows me to get a Visa on Arrival and is one of the best entry countries to start a trip to see the Stan Brothers.

I sometimes think of Finland and Norway, however think I need to go with a 300-500 US Dollar per day budget to enjoy, probably in Christmas yet to come.

Flying to England or Spain, going south to Portugal and taking a very fast train past Morocco sounds like a winner also, or to German and go south.

March, April, May, not important, but I am thinking.

Kyrgyzstan or West Africa

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