We've just noticed that our tickets to Bangkok with Air China allow a maximum of 20 kilograms in checked luggage per person. After calling around, we've definitively confirmed that the overage fee per kilo is $20. With bicycles that weigh in excess of 60kg each when fully loaded, we have to lighten our load.
Making matters worse, our tickets are non-refundable. There is no way out of this without losing some money. Buying another, or upgrading to business class (with increased baggage allowance) might end up being the cheapest solution. Next time, we'll be looking up airline weight limits before we buy the tickets…
In any case, if we don't do something drastic, we could be facing $1,200+ in excess baggage fees.
This is not an option.
After a seventeen-person dinner extravaganza, doubling as Tom's birthday celebration and D'Arcy and Erika's goodbye party, we get to thinking… D'Arcy is going home to Canada, which is not so far from the States. Shipping things home from Vancouver would definitely be much cheaper (and more reliable) than Mongolia!
So, Tyler talks to D'Arcy, asking him if he has room for a few more things. He happily agrees, potentially saving us hundreds of dollars. After a long dinner, we go back to our hotel in a hurry to see about culling our belongings. It's already almost midnight, but we're a flurry of activity. I really hope sleep becomes a part of our lives again sometime soon.
Soon, we're throwing all of our gear around, and in one fell swoop, we've cathartically divided our meager collection of possessions into Keep, Donate, Throw Away and Send Home with D'Arcy piles. On a leap of faith, and the advice from one article, we've put our tent and sleeping bag in the Send Home pile. It looks like camping is a thing of the past for the rest of this journey!
Oh how good it feels to get rid of things we don't need. As we sort, the reality of our new adventure begins to set in once more – we're going to bike around Southeast Asia! From the look of what remains, our bicycles are going to be extremely light (by our standards, anyway). We're so used to living under a rigid and meticulous packing regimen that we don't even know what do with all of our newfound space. There's going to be so much room!
Sorting complete, Tyler volunteers to make the cold walk across town at 1 AM without me. Rob goes with him, as he needs to bring D'Arcy some Mongol Rally photos on a zip drive. When Tyler returns empty-handed two hours later, we've shed at least ten kilograms. Thank you so much D'Arcy!
As for the rest of our kit, we've decided we'll attempt bringing two carry-on items each. We'll take our backpacks and our Ortlieb rack packs, stuffed with all of our heaviest gear. If that works out, we might just skate through without too much financial damage.
Feeling accomplished, we hit the sack at last, exhausted. Tomorrow, the logistics march on. We'll probably spend the entire day searching for cardboard boxes (in which to pack our bicycles for the flight).