Thursday, April 29, 2010

Travel Issues - this way or that way

Well we are back in Yerevan.
Left Jermuk this morning at 7:40. Inch of wet snow overnight.
Bus windows were all steamed up so we couldn’t see very much. On the way to Jermuk we went through a lot of rain so our view of the country side was rather limited.
Here is a travel problem . The local bus gives you a connection to the locals and the culture. And it is cheap. On a nice day you can take pictures out the window – may not be able to frame them the way you want. When you do see something real neat you can only hope you get the right photo. The long distance bus goes from point A to point B without stops along the way ( generally a “rest” stop every 1.5-2 hrs). And, there may be only one or two buses as day.
The other alternative is to rent a car. Gives you unlimited flexibility but separates you from the locals and is expensive. Maybe the best alternative is to take the local bus to a destination and then hire a taxi for the day to take you to the site/places in the general area.
A rudimentary knowledge of the local language would also be a big help. There are a couple of phrases not in the books I’ve had access to that would be nice to have. Google translate is simple way to do it if you have internet access. But more likely than not, it won’t be available. When I get back I’m going to make a list of the phrases I’ve wished I had. Before my next adventure I’ll Google translate them.

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