The following information is probably only of interest to people planning on coming on the expedition.
A full set of booking terms and conditions is available via email or post. Please call me to request these.
Most importantly, these are not the full joining instructions! The full joining instructions contain a complete kit list, medical requirements and so on and so forth, and I issue these on receipt of your booking confirmation. The info below is brief, to help you decide if Hot Rock is for you or not.
What is included in the costs?
Fully converted expedition vehicle
All transportation and fuel costs
Road taxes & vehicle documentation
Vehicle repairs and ferry costs
Vehicle driver/mechanic and expedition leader
Communal camp and cooking equipment
Access to miscellaneous climbing equipment (e.g. drill)
Breakfast & evening meals *
All camping and accommodation fees
Entrance fees to all of the rock climbing areas that are listed as not optional in the dossier. This basically means all the rock climbing. Non-climbing entrance fees such as those to game parks, ruins and temples are not included as, often, half the expedition members do not want to do them or differ in how many days they wish to spend in the area. To keep costs down for you, and to give people more freedom to choose what they want to spend their money on, these entrance fees are excluded.
Also excluded are climbing / trekking areas listed as optional, for the same reason as above. So for example, if you want to arrange your own trip up Aconcagua, Cotopaxi or Alpamayo, this is at your own cost and you'll do this whilst the group climbs elsewhere. Hot Rock can help with arranging the logistics of course.
* All group breakfast and evening meals are included, but flexibility will be required at certain times (i.e. in major cities) as the group will not be together all the time, because some people will opt to go out more often than others. When shopping for breakfast and dinner ingredients, we try to put the emphasis on trying the local food. Frequently the food will be vegetarian and If required, we can cook a vegetarian option each day. Expedition members will buy and organise their own mid-day meals, but plenty of time will be given to go shopping for these. The reason mid-day meals are not included is that it takes too much time out of a day to stop and cook as a group - and it allows those on different budgets to buy more or less food according to preference.
What is not included in the costs?
Personal equipment (Sleeping bag, tent, climbing gear etc.)
Optional activities (White water rafting, game parks etc.)
Personal spending money
These things are not included in the price for different reasons. To help you plan, budget and get a realistic idea of the overall costs, the information pack contains a guide to present activity costs.
Brits do not need visas for this trip.
For non-Brits: It is your responsibility to make sure you have the relevant visas for the countries that you will visit on the expedition. Having said that, virtually all visas will be obtained at borders when we cross them, or as a group from embassies in cities we pass through. The visa costs fluctuate regularly, and for each country also varies depending on the nationality of the traveller. This is why they are not included in the trip price. If you’d like up to date prices, or have specific queries regarding visas, get in touch with me directly.
Every expedition member must have adequate personal travel insurance that covers the activities you plan to do. It should include a comprehensive medical policy, cancellation and curtailment cover, and should cover dangerous activities (i.e. climbing, and also rafting, sky-diving etc. if you plan on doing any of these). This is not included in the trip price, as different policies will suit different people. I can help suggest insurance providers, including for non-Brits.
YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY DOC WILL BE CHECKED WHEN YOU ARRIVE. NO INSURANCE, NO TRIP.
The changeovers have been chosen to be at cheaper airports, as far as possible. In general, websites such as expedia, opodo, kelkoo and so on have the best deals but it pays to shop around.
All of the expedition members are expected to bring their own equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, climbing gear and clothes. A more detailed list of recommended luggage is in the pre-departure information pack. On previous expeditions everybody brought their own tents, which worked well. If anyone doesn’t have a tent, get in touch and we can try to find a sleeping space in someone else’s for you. However, having your own tent out there is good – it provides that bit of valuable personal space we all need once in a while when on expedition with so many other people.
Personal Spending Money
As the main costs of transport, food and accommodation are covered, you can live for almost nothing if you want to, or you could splash out as much as you like, dining in Hiltons, drinking fine wines and doing every possible additional activity on route. As a guide people tend to spend about £30 - £60 per week, although you can obviously spend considerably less in the cheaper countries.
Raising the Money
There are many ways to get the money together for the expedition. Some people
simply work very hard before the trip, others use savings, sell a car or
max out their credit cards. There are other ways as well though. One ex-Hot
Rocker, Jason, organised a rock gig to raise money. Some people secured sponsorship
from companies including Berghaus and Johnny Walker. Getting sponsored is
very difficult and takes a lot of work, but where there’s a will, there’s
a way, and the more original your angle, the more likely you are to be successful.
If you are a doctor (of medicine preferably) or nurse, or maybe even a vet!, you can get a discount on the overall trip costs as it is an advantage to everybody else on board. Call me for more information.
The Next Step
After you have read the expedition dossier if you need any more information or have any questions feel free to e-mail or phone me for a chat.