Traveling Updates

A short post today to update you on the bigger picture of my travels.

I’m taking the more-established western route down South America. While in Colombia I was tempted to hop over and see a bit of Venezuela, but travelers I met coming back from there told me it’s not that cheap and the people are not particularly friendly, especially towards Americans. Still, it would have been nice to see for myself. Continuing that eastern route south would have led to the Guyanas, Suriname, and Brazil, none of which are cheap, and all of which require yet another language. I saw a bit of Brazil when I was on tour there in 2005 and absolutely loved it, but I’m saving the rest of the country for another trip. It’s daunting how massively huge it is.

So this western route allows me to go through Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, all of which are rich in culture and comparatively quite inexpensive. I’m trying to stretch my time in these northern countries so that by the time I get down to Chile and Argentina the winter will hopefully be over, and spring will have sprung. Southern South America is best not seen in winter, as you can imagine. But I will have to make a choice then – Chile is the most expensive country in South America, and depending on how much money I have left at that point, I may only be able to see a bit of it and/or a bit of Argentina before needing to high-tail it to Buenos Aires in order to find a job. You may recall that B.A. is my current end goal.

By the way, I’m working on a Google Map that will show exactly the route I’ve taken so far through all the countries, but it’s taking a while.
Someone asked me why I didn’t just buy a car and do the trip that way. While it would be fantastic to have that freedom and mobility, it would also serve to remove me from the culture I came to see. Plus, I would be too paranoid about theft and corrupt police. Much better with just a backpack and my feet. A motorcycle, on the other hand, would be an interesting way to go. I actually considered doing this entire trip by bicycle, but decided to save that for another time.

You may also recall that I was going to try to meet my friends Jessica and James in Peru, right.. about… now. As much as I’m bummed not to see them, I decided it was too rushed – there is so much more I want to see in Ecuador. Being seasoned long-term travelers themselves, they understand. Speaking of, it’s freezing up here in the mountains – I’m heading to the beach! Originally I was going to skip the coast of Ecuador (since I’m more of a forests than beach kinda guy), but decided that was stupid.

Although everyone says not to skip the Galapagos Islands, I’ve decided to skip them. The $1,500 I would spend for one week there would last me five or six weeks on the mainland. And as much as I love nature, I actually prefer cultural things. I’m sure the islands are amazing, but it’s just a lot of money.

Did you receive a postcard from me recently? About six weeks ago I sent out around 20 of them, but nobody’s mentioned receiving one. What a bummer if all that time and money was wasted. I no longer have anyone’s address since the iPhone was stolen, so send me your address if you would like a postcard from down here.

Written by in: Ruminations |

1 Comment »

  • Vikki says:

    I got your postcard!! So it must have been pre-phone rip off. We are planning to spend Thanksgiving in Buenos Aires. Will you be there then or is it too early? Katie will be coming from her college break and we’re planning a week there at Pad’s sister’s apartment. Would be fabulous to see you if it works with your itinerary. I wonder if we’ll be able to find a turkey in BA???
    BTW – Katie is spending the summer working as a steward on an 85′ yacht in the Turkish Mediterranean. She’s not happy about cleaning toilets and making beds, but making tons of money and “building character”. Check her out at http://www.splendidoyacht.com.
    As always, great to hear of your travels.
    PS – glad you enjoyed the Africa photos.

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