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Posts Tagged ‘Itinerary’

It’s been a while since we’ve last updated, and there are several reasons for that. Mainly it’s that we’ve just been busy being, well, being not very busy, if that makes any sense at all.

We did so much and moved at such a fast pace for the first 2+ months of our trip that we are just enjoying being in one place, having our own apartment (with our own kitchen!!), that we are just getting back to a kind of normalcy (as much as that is possible being that we’re in a city of 12 million people in December, where the temperature is in the 90’s).

But I digress. We have been in BA for about a week and half. Christmas was a great time, albeit a bit weird, again this whole weather thing is really throwing us off. How can it be Christmas and New Year’s, and we have to have the air conditioner on in our apartment? It just doesn’t seem right.

We did end up having a wonderful little Christmas though, complete with a staggering amount of fireworks when it hit midnight on Christmas Eve, a la the Fourth of July. It was an interesting way to see Christmas celebrated. But we also got a chance to Skype and talk to a lot of our family, which was awesome and made being away for the holidays a bit easier.

We had a great steak dinner at “home” on Christmas Eve, then wandered around the city on Christmas Day, knowing that it would most likely be the least crowded the city would be. It was nice to get to see the city without all the pedestrians, cars, buses, and cabs that normally zip around Buenos Aires on a given day.

We have also been taking Spanish classes for the past week, which have been great and really challenging. We have been going for four hours a day and coming home with our heads spinning from all the new information. It’s a slow process, but the fact that we are hearing only Spanish (our instructors speak Spanish, even when trying to explain things that we are confused about) for those four hours a day is helping us immensely with getting used to the language. It’s been a great experience, and the people at the small school we are going to are great.

first-day-of-school

First Day of School

Tonight, we were lucky enough to be invited to our friend Maru’s parents’ house for New Year’s Eve. Maru is a friend of our good friend Angie, and she is a porteno, or native of Buenos Aires. We’ve hung out with her several times so far, and she has been so gracious and welcoming. When Maru was telling her parents about us and how long we were staying here, her mom insisted on inviting us to their New Year’s Even festivities. It’s a little different here in that most people hang out with their families until late, around 1 or 2am, then the younger people head out with their friends until the wee hours of the morning.

Not sure if we’re in the younger demographic anymore and will be doing that, but we are so very grateful for the invitation to the get-together, and it will be a great experience for us to see how a different culture celebrates the holidays. Not to mention that we’ll get a chance to really use our Spanish as Maru is the only person in her family who speaks English. It should be a great night!!

One more thing to catch everyone up on is our itinerary. Until now, we were working on a very rough itinerary that didn’t have much planned. When we got to BA, we knew we were going to have to start making some decisions because we were heading to Patagonia next, and it’s high season, so things book up in advance. So we have been spending a lot of time researching exactly where we want to go in Patagonia. We are starting to solidify some plans, but nothing is set in stone, yet. We’ll update as soon as we get some things booked.

But we do have some exciting news about our plans for after Patagonia. We had been kicking around several different ideas for after Buenos Aires. First, it was spend a month in Patagonia, then head up to Ecuador and Colombia before heading to SE Asia. Then we cut Ecuador and Colombia because it was just too out of the way. Then we were talking about coming home for a week or so before SE Asia because it would have been cheaper to fly home first than to fly straight from here (for some reason flights from S. America to SE Asia are ridiculously expensive). Then we started kicking around New Zealand. Then Colombia came back into the picture because we have heard absolutely nothing but GREAT things about that country. Seriously, everyone who we have met who has traveled extensively around S. America and been to Colombia has stated Colombia as their favorite place. And people are starting to catch on and realize that it’s not the dangerous drug haven it once was, and it’s going to become a tourist destination sooner rather than later. So by going now, we would be catching Colombia at a special time, and we feel we can’t pass that up.

So after an entire afternoon of checking different carriers and all of our options, we were lucky enough to stumble on a series of flights that will take us to several new destinations that we are really excited about. And we booked our flights yesterday, so the next phase of our trip is starting to come together.

Now we will leave Buenos Aires on January 19th. We will have 42 days in Patagonia, both the Argentine and Chilean side, until we have to be in Santiago, Chile on March 4. From Santiago we will fly to Bogota, Colombia (by way of Miami… how convenient), where we will have a little less than a month in Colombia. I can’t tell you how excited we are of going to Colombia.

Next, we fly from Bogota to LA on April 3rd and 4th, with a one night layover in Miami. Then on April 4th, we fly to Auckland, New Zealand, where we will have a little over a month. New Zealand came into play when we cut Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, thus freeing up some money because of the expense of the Galapagos. We figured that there probably won’t be a time soon when we can spend a month traveling around New Zealand in a spaceship (and what is a spaceship? you may ask, well, check out the website, http://www.spaceships.tv/; it’s our mode of transportation and our “home” for a month in New Zealand).

After New Zealand, it will be off to Bangkok, Thailand, where we just found out my Mom and sister will be joining us for TWO weeks, which is really, really exciting for us.

All of this means that we definitely will not be coming home for a mid-year break, which sucks. But honestly, as much as we would have loved to come home for a week or so, it really would have been difficult to leave again and head back out on the road. And besides, next October will be here soon enough, and then we’ll be there for good.

Sorry for the length of this post, but you know me, I can be a bit long-winded at times, and it’s been a while since we’ve updated.

We both send a Happy New Year’s to everyone back home and anyone else who might be reading this. We love and miss you all, and we will no doubt be thinking of all of you at midnight tonight (8pm your time, so give us a toast around that time if you think of it ;)).

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! And here’s to a healthy, wonderful, and exciting 2009!!!

~Adam

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So how’s that for a rather ambiguous title to this post?  Let me explain.  The reason it’s the 1st is because, well, it’s the 1st itinerary we’ve published here.  The reason it’s official is because we do have an official booking of the trip outside of the initial flight, so we’re locked into 4 days of our year long journey.  The reason it’s tentative is because we have only booked a 4 day trek, and we are going to be gone for a year, so this will change many times I’m sure.  But the basics should remain the same.  So here goes.

So we’ve had a lot of trouble trying to figure out where to go and when.  There are a TON of different things to consider when planning a trip of this magnitude.  High and low seasons, rainy and dry seasons, monsoon season, holidays, festivals, etc., etc.

We’ve obviously known since last December (when we booked our one and only flight) that we were starting in Lima, Peru.  But that was it.  We have had sooooo many conversations about where we would go next.  One of the things we both looked forward to about this trip is that we don’t want to have a concrete plan.  But we do need to book a few things in advance, mainly hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  We also need to consider the Christmas holidays as South America is mostly Catholic, December and January is summertime, and most of the continent travels around that time, making everything more crowded and expensive.

So after much discussion, we had to make a decision.  If we were going to hike the Inca Trail in October or November, we had to get it booked as they were running out of spots (the Peruvian government only issues so many permits per day to hike the trail, and you must have a permit and go with a tour company to hike it).  So we decided that this was going to be one of the first things we do.

So we booked the Inca Trail, departing November 5 for a four day hike through the Andes past Incan ruins to the grandaddy of them all; Machu Picchu.  So now we have at least a direction that we will be going, and we can start to at least get an idea on a plan of attack.

So here’s the current tentative (very tentative) plan:

October 15:  Depart St. Louis

October 16:  Arrive in Lima

We will have 3 weeks to get to Cusco, Peru for the start of our trek.  It takes somewhere around 14-20 hours to get to Cusco from Lima by bus (yes, there’s a 6 hour difference in possible times it will take to get there, so I’m probably in for a rude awakening considering I’ve bitched having to wait 15 minutes for the MetroLink before).  My wife is insistent upon spending some time in Lima and enjoying it despite all the negative reviews we’ve read about the city, so stay tuned for our Lima update in October.  One of us will may be gloating about who was right.

We don’t really have any specific plans on what we will see on our way to Cusco.  We may go straight there and then head south before coming back for the Inca Trail trek, we may stay in Cusco and take Spanish classes, who knows?

After Machu Picchu, we will most likely head south toward the Lake Titicaca (chuckle chuckle) area on the border of Bolivia and Peru.

We have a general plan after that, but nothing’s certain.  But here’s the tentative schedule of countries we’ll be in and must-sees:

October/November-Peru (Machu Picchu, maybe Colca Canyon, maybe the Nazca Lines)

November/December-Bolivia (Lake Titicaca, La Paz, the salt flats)

December/January/February-Argentina (Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Patagonia)

February/March-Ecuador (Galapagos-hopefully-this is such a dilemma because it’s something we both really want to see, but we’ll probably spend the same in 10 days as we would in 1 month + in other areas, so we’ll see)

March/April-Colombia – This is a new addition to the list, so we really haven’t done a whole lot of research yet on specifics of what we want to see.  Most people are going to freak out when they see this on the list based on what you see on the news, but we have researched quite a bit about safety in Colombia, and the country really has turned the corner over the last several years.  It’s quite safe if you are smart, and luckily for us, we are both very smart.  And since most people cringe when they think of traveling to Colombia, it’s still off the radar for many travelers, making it cheaper.  But that is all changing as most people realize that Colombia is a safe and beautiful country to travel in.

After that it’s off to SE Asia, and we have absolutely no clue what will happen there.  We will have a ton of research to do for that portion of the trip.  But the general idea is to go to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, maybe some islands in the S. Pacific, then to India, but not necessarily in that order.

We also have some other big news regarding Megan’s job, but I’ll let her tell that in a future post.  Until then, so long, and we’ll keep you updated on any future plans or happenings.

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