I have been scouting around for plane ticket from Fort Wayne to Frankfurt, or maybe Prague. My normal way is to get on Travelocity.com and search the fares for lowest available and my dates are open option. Than I call up a travel agent and book a ticket.
I also have a friend in Colorado that knows all the cheapest flights. He worked for an air courier organization and I would consider him a cheap flight expert. Nonetheless after I get on Travelocity.com, I know the price I am looking for.
SUMMER IN IRAQ
I was reading 2 guidebooks I have on Iraq. It may be the end of summer or the dead of summer when I arrive in Iraq. This could be a problem. But I hope not. Most of the news reports I have read, or guidebooks written about very hot countries have been over zealous in their opinions of how hot a place is...
EMAILS OF SOLDIERS
I would appreciate if you sent me Email address's of soldiers stations in Iraq. Please tell me where they are from?
Send to: soldier AT hobotraveler.com
You need to remove the spaces and make the @ sign. This stops spammers from spidering and harvesting the email.
A person in the Thorntree forum did say,
"Very little first hand information seems to be available. Get a good suntan, grow a beard , dress like a local, talk with money to a truck driver and go and take your chances. "
I think this could be good advice. The Lonely Planet Thorntree can a pain in the butt. Lots of people hang around in the forum and make smart remarks that do not help anyone, and I believe they really just talk as an authority, but in reality they may just read a lot. I complained about the one person to the moderator, and he or she disappeared. Nice.
Trying to track down if the Iraq-Turkey border is open.
I have done some further calls in the USA. There is a person: Mr Carpenter that works for the State Department that is informative and the only person so far that talks with any specific knowledge. His telephone number is 202-647-7642. His position or title is called the Iraq Desk Office. This guy is the only one that answers the telephone, and can sort of answer question, or will answer questions.
He said the border between Iraq and Turkey is open. There was some media reports that were not correct. But if you go to the border with the proper papers you can cross. The proper papers are outline in the consular sheets:
QUOTE FROM CONSULAR SHEETS
"U.S. passports are not valid for travel to, in or through Iraq, unless they are validated by the Department of State, with the limited exceptions for 1) American professional reporters and journalists on assignment in Iraq, 2) certain persons providing humanitarian and other critical services in support of the Iraqi people, or U.S. Government personnel and contractors on official assignment in Iraq, and 3) U.S. citizens residing in Iraq since February 1, 1991. For further information, please contact the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services, U.S. Department of State, 2401 E St., NW, 9th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20522-0907, Attn: Office of Passport Policy and Advisory Services, telephone 202-663-2662, fax 202-663-2654"
Three was a post in the Lonely Planet Thorntree yesterday that causes some concern.
What is situation at Turkey / Iraq Border? (I posted and here is a reply)
Only the land border with Jordan is regularly open for crossings. An overland trip from Amman to Baghdad can take over 12 hours, provided there are no problems at the borders. The summer heat can render such trips unbearable. The land border with Syria is only open to returning Iraqis, humanitarian organizations, and diplomatic delegations. The Turkish and Iranian borders are officially closed."
LINK TO THIS COMMENT:
What is situation at Turkey / Iraq Border?
I was commenting about the difference between general and specific information. This is very general. It could be correct or incorrect. I will follow up on this information. I have seen very few borders that were closed in tribal or developing countries. There is normally a lot of trade going on between borders and people must cross.
I remember a television report of anger for truck drivers that hauled oil between Iraq and Turkey. When the war started it was causing a lot of problems, or more or less costing them lots of money.
This post has no references to why or who, or when. etc.
I got my newsletter 95 percent done. It is a send when I get around to it newsletter, or normally a weekly newsletter. It would be good to read this because I will soon have lots of travel photos that will only be referenced in the newsletter.
Here is a link. JohnnyJet.com puts me into his newsletter as a columnist. Sounds important, but I think he was lacking for a better title. I am going to try for the next 7 months to send this to Johnny on monday and send the actual newsletter on tuesday. But here is the link now. If you like it, than better to subscribe. It is managed by topica.com and easy to subscibe and unsubscribe.
I am debating in my head. I am a blond, blue eyed person and this is a black hair, brown eye world I will enter. I will draw a lot of attention. Normally this is good, because people are curious, and nice. In the Muslim area of Thailand though the men are real macho and they look at an long hair as feminine. I may just get a real short haircut. It ia pretty long now. I suppose that is the best idea. If I get a haircut a couple of weeks before I leave, than I will last for 6 months at least.
I know for sure I will have enough extra pounds on my body.... hehehe. I will not starve. I have gained about 30 pounds since returning to the USA, and need to get back to countries where I walk all the time to lose this extra baggage. Too many cars in the USA, and no necessary reasons to walk.