The most beautiful, secluded and unique horse riding holiday destinations are usually a bit of a hassle to get to. Even though these long flights, taxi rides or bus journeys might seem daunting at first, they usually allow you to see more of the country and culture. In this post, I’ll be telling you all about how to survive those long hours while traveling to your destination, and how to arrive somewhat refreshed and energized.
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Two journeys of mine really stand out in length and difficulty, and it might be helpful to hear how I did them either if you are ever looking to make these journeys yourselves or if you’re preparing for another long journey.
While traveling to Ruarwe in Malawi, I was on an airplane, in a tuk tuk, bus, taxi, ferry and the whole trip ended with a 1 hour hike to get to my final destination. This is definitely the most remote place I have ever been, but so very worth it.
Traveling from Johannesburg to Vilanculos in Mozambique was slightly shorter and a little bit less hectic. There are 2 options to get there and I’ve done both so will tell you all about it.
A quick itinerary (option 2)
A quick itinerary (option 3)
If you fly a lot, make sure to sign up with a program that allows you to save up miles. I personally use Flying Blue as I often fly KLM from Amsterdam. Make sure to have a look at which program suits you best and start saving up miles for free flights, cool gadgets or cash! There are also lots of other benefits to these programs such as priority boarding, first selection of seats and meals or discounts on flights. It might be useful to purchase a credit card that fits your program, if you don’t have one yet. It doesn’t cost you anything besides the usual administration costs of the card and it allows you to save up miles while spending money on groceries and other things you’d have bought otherwise as well. It’s also useful to have a credit card while traveling as they are likely to work almost everywhere, while Maestro cards almost never work in more rural parts of Africa and parts of China.
I used to make this mistake quite often, and it took me a while to figure out that it doesn’t work to sleep as much as possible as you’ll be more tired and your rhythm will be off. If you’re on a long flight or bus drive, try not to sleep during the day, but only after the sun goes down. It might be hard to stay awake if you’re on a bus for 12 consecutive hours but it’s definitely worth it, as you’ll be less tired and more refreshed when you arrive the next day. If you stay awake the whole day, you’ll be able to get a much better rest during the night and you don’t mess with your internal sleeping rhythm.
If it’s during the day and you’re trying not to sleep, but you’re having a slightly hard time staying awake, try not to watch a movie or read a book. This usually makes you even more sleepy. If you really feel exhausted it’s completely fine to take a 20 minute nap, but make sure to set an alarm after 20 minutes just in case you accidentally sleep through the day. To pass the time on a bus or flight I usually play games with others, so I always bring a deck of cards as it’s lots of fun and will keep you awake. It also allows you to get to know others, whether they are tourists or locals. It’s also lots of fun to learn to play different games from different countries or some local games. When you’re in a taxi, have a chat with your driver! I met one of my best friends in South Africa this way, as he was driving me to my destination for about 4.5 hours. We talked the entire way and have been friends ever since, and this was over 4 years ago. It’s also a great way to ask questions about culture and lifestyle as the taxi drivers are usually locals.
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