Help organising visit to US

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Help organising visit to US

Postby Chris B » Oct 19, 2006 4:20 am

I'd like to find out more about what is required in order to successfully organise a visit to the US for some caving; at the moment something along the lines of flying from London to New Mexico (I doubt this can be done direct) and then travelling to visit Carslbad and probably some of the wild tours. I would be on my own and have no previous experience of travelling.

I guess I'd need a tourist visa
Can I bring caving kit in my luggage?
What would I need?
Would five days be enough?

This would probably be in April/May next year; what's the weather like? Where is good to stay? etc..
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Postby paul » Oct 19, 2006 6:40 am

If you are UK-based (as I am), as you are flying from London, I guess you are, you don't currently require a Visa to visit the US - I was in Oregon in March and that was the case at the time.

You can bring caving kit, bearing in mind your luggage weight allowance, but have it in the stuff going in the hold and not in your carry-on bag (if you have any).

If I were going I would try and go for at least two weeks. You need a day to get over the jet lag and the US is such a big place you may spend a lot of time travelling.

Have a good trip!
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Re: Help organising visit to US

Postby Uncle Muddy » Oct 19, 2006 9:55 am

[quote="Chris B"]I'd like to...organise a visit to the US for some caving...
Chris, it's worth the effort to try and contact some cavers in the area where you're hoping to cave before your trip. It's always a big thrill to host visiting cavers here in the colonies. Sure, there are some nice caves over here, but the local cavers you're going to meet will comprise your fondest memories. Peter Dell came over from the UK a few years ago after contacting my friend Matt Marciano. Man, we stumbled all over each other trying to line up an itinerary in anticipation of his visit. He had such a great time that he returned with a couple of his caving buddies the next year. Nick and Andy pushed a climbing lead to some great little bit of virgin cave. Our British compatriots reciprocated by lining up a trip to Slovenia via London for Matt. Obtain a current NSS membership roster and make an inquiry. Don't be surprised if there's a red carpet leading from the runway when your plane touches down. If your travels wend through Missouri....contact me! :waving:
Caving: It's like fun....only....different.
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Postby erebus » Oct 19, 2006 11:19 am

The closest major airport to Carlsbad is El Paso, Texas. I really doubt that there are direct flights to it from UK.

Do try and hook up with some local cavers.
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Postby Chris B » Oct 19, 2006 12:41 pm

Blimey! You lot are friendly!

Are you sure you're cavers?.... :wink:
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Postby NZcaver » Oct 19, 2006 2:35 pm

You should have plenty of room for caving gear in your luggage. All flights to and from the US including connections (and most flights within the US) allow you 2 bags @ 50lbs (23KG) each. Plus your carry-on. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the world, where they mostly only allow 50lbs/24KG TOTAL between the 2 bags. This can make it really tough for us cavers! (Or anyone else that's not a hotel-staying tourist.)

Good luck with your trip. :grin:
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Postby cob » Oct 19, 2006 6:53 pm

erebus wrote:The closest major airport to Carlsbad is El Paso, Texas. I really doubt that there are direct flights to it from UK.

Do try and hook up with some local cavers.


Although I have flown into Carlsbad via Albuquerqe (sp?).... for whatever that is worth.

tom
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Postby Teresa » Oct 19, 2006 7:49 pm

There are flights from London to San Antonio TX and Albuquerque NM. Coool!

Actually, you will find most US cavers to be friendly and generous folk. Now, they might not take you to super secret Wonder Caverns your first day here, but we do try to show our guests a good time (though we we are prone to ask a zillion questions about your country, :argue: whatever it is). Consider it one-to-one citizen diplomacy, to try to make up for the less than stellar

:doh: official attitude of the US government towards the world in general
-- as a people, we're not what you've seen on TV. :waving:

I think you'll like New Mexico, but being as this is a really big country, I concur with the others that two weeks is better than 5 days. One option might be to hook up with San Antonio cavers, then drive to Carlsbad, detouring to Caverns of Sonora (one of the best showcaves in the country) along the way.

Or figure out a circle of big caves to visit, (Sonora, Carlsbad, (is Kartchner open that time of year?) Cave of the Winds, pick one or two in Missouri, then go to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, then Blanchard Springs in Arkansas, back through Austin, TX to San Antonio). Stay with cavers, and the expense is less than you think.

We've hosted a number of cavers through Missouri-- some Ukranians, including Dr. Klimchouk; Neil Kell from New South Wales--it's always been a grand time.
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Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Oct 19, 2006 10:33 pm

Chris B wrote:Blimey! You lot are friendly!

Are you sure you're cavers?.... :wink:


They are aren't they? I've been fixed up with a trip in Northern California for next weekend :banana: Thanks Guys. :grin:

I hope some of you come out to Australia so I can return the favour :kewl:
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Postby cob » Oct 20, 2006 6:20 am

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:
Chris B wrote:Blimey! You lot are friendly!

Are you sure you're cavers?.... :wink:


They are aren't they? I've been fixed up with a trip in Northern California for next weekend :banana: Thanks Guys. :grin:

I hope some of you come out to Australia so I can return the favour :kewl:


They are pretty freindly in the south of Spain as well, where my girlfriend and I are going in December.

tom
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Postby Lava » Oct 23, 2006 5:39 pm

If you're going to cave in Carlsbad National Park, be sure to contact the park months in advance to secure permits for the caves you'd like to do. It wouldn't hurt to ask them if there was a Lechuguilla trip that needed an extra member at the last minute, either. Since you're flying in from overseas, you might get extra consideration. Especially if you sketch.
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Postby wolfart » Nov 8, 2006 6:27 pm

I wnt over in 2003 for the nss convention at Porterville Cal,on my own and met with a friend later. Yes american cavers are very friendly and will look after you. As for caving kit you can take that as sporting equipment.get in contact with a Grotto in the area that you plan to visit, im sure they will give you a great welcome.
Dont forget extra insurance as ours in the uk will not cover you nor will the holiday insurance.I got mine from student travel that specialise in sporting insurance.
If you ever get a chance go to one of the NSS conferances you will have a great time and make alot of new friends.
P.S. Tents are very cheap to buy in the U.S.
Have a great time wish i was going. :woohoo:
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