DON’T PANIC (We always have a towel)   2 comments

Being on the road for a long period of time does offer up it’s challenges.

1. Hair cuts.  I was lucky enough to get my mop cut in Finland.  I ensured the fella who cut it understood English before I agreed to let him near my hair.  Those that know me know I covet my hair (especially considering I still have it all at 40)  Kerry and I have stayed in a hotel while in Khabarovsk.  They have a hair salon.  We called in to get prices.  The staff couldn’t understand even a price request.  We made a sharp exit

2. Clothing.  My jeans have just about worn out and my wedding converse are knackered after almost 24/7 wear for 3 months.  At home you would think nothing of having a few pair in the draw ready of your favourite jeans or trainers.  Not on the road.  It’s a fine balancing act all to do with timing.  You can’t buy stuff in advance cos you can’t  carry it all and you don’t want to throw the old stuff away until the last moment when you are on a limited budget.  Walking barefoot or naked like Robinson Crusoe into the store ain’t an option either.  Beijing will be my shopping mecca.  I can just about manage till then and prices are so much cheaper there.

3. Food.  On the train you really need to carry all the food you need for a trip.  That could be 12 or 56 hours (which is our longest journey to date).  There is none of this picking up a sandwich from the resturants carriage on Russian trains!  It is a carefully planned exercise.  Too much food and you can’t carry it. Not enough and you go hungry and your clothes look two sizes to big when you stagger off the train at your destination.

4.  What do you do when your bed for the night doesn’t materialise?  This happened in Khabarovsk.  Due to the train arriving late we missed our couch surfing host….bugger.  It was 20.30.  The Trans Siberian book we were using was from 2007 and we had found most of the resturants refered to in it usually closed, so risking a hotel refered to in it could have been a risky.  So with the book map of the town, some major sign language to bus drivers and conductors (yep they still have them in Russia and I do wish Babel fish really existed) we headed for the biggest most chain ified Russian hotel, which is the least likely to have closed down.  Result. Reasonable priced room, breakfast included and a coffee shop for me!  You see it’s not all as easy as you think this swanning around the world.

Ps I would just like to point out for the record we do book our accommadation a good few days in advance.  I do not want any family or friends to start worrying.  I know you all love me but…don’t worry….ok?

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at

Stefan Palmer


2 responses to “DON’T PANIC (We always have a towel)

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  1. Good post, fella. The logistics of a two-week holiday can be tricky enough, so this was an interesting insight into travelling for the longer haul!

    Darren Williams
    • Hi,

      Do you think I have a career in the media? I wanted to be a journalist when I was at school.


      Stefan Palmer

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