I started this trip 3 weeks ago and blogging has been a challenge for several reasons. 1. For the first part of this trip I barely had any internet access and when I did it was so incredibly spotty or insanely slow that blogging was useless. 2. The bigger problem has been time to actually write. After all I’m traveling to come up with the experiences to write about. Note a typical post takes me several hours to write, edit, sort photos, cut video clips etc. That’s time I could be using to connect with people, see sites, explore, and build more stories to share. It’s a tough balance to find time to actually write while on the road.
To give you an idea of my schedule the past few weeks, here is a brief outline of my itinerary which developed. Remember I travel unscripted in that when I showed up in Peru, I didn’t even have a hotel room yet, and had no idea where the journey would lead.
Day 1. Arrived in Lima found hostel late at night. Had my Taxi Snafu
Day 2. Walked around Lima visited Larco Museum then stumbled upon a tour bus company that sounded interesting.
Day 3. Boarded bus early AM. Visited Paracas, Peru for the day and ended the day in the desert oasis of Haucachina, Peru where I rode dune buggies for sunset and partied the night away with new-made friends
Day 4. Took a 18 hour bus ride stopping to see the Nazca Lines on the way to Arequipa, Peru.
Day 5. Arrived early AM from an overnight bus ride with little sleep. Checked out the town and scheduled a 2 day 1 night trek/hike in the Colca Canyon which departed at 3AM
Day 6. 3AM departure and spend all day hiking downhill until 6PM
Day 7. Spend all day hiking out of the Canyon and returning to Arequipa
Day 8. Crash. Absolutely burned out. Hadn’t slept more than a few hours in 4 days.
Day 9. 6 hr bus to Puno, Peru. Deal with Altitude sickness-which had already started days before
Day 10. Visit Lake Titicaca and the reed islands. Whimsically decide since I’m on the border with Bolivia, that I should make a short jaunt over the border to add it as a country to my list.
Day 11. Depart to Bolivia. Border crossing. Visit Isla del Sol for few hours on the Bolivia side of lake Titicaca. Arrive La, Paz late at night.
Day 12. Walk and check out La Paz. Sign up for the mountain bike ride of my life.
Day 13. Mountain Bike Death Road. (just wait the pics and story will be worth what this is)
Day 14. I’d scheduled a flight and day excursion to the Salt Flats. At the last-minute the excursion is canceled. So, I change plans and visit other parts of La Paz I hadn’t seen
Day 15. Board a 6AM bus for a 22 hour bus ride to Cusco, Peru
Day 16. Arrive Cusco with little sleep, check out the main city center and an Inca ruin overlooking the city.
Day 17. Take a bus to visit the Sacred Valley and 2 different Inca ruins. Catch a train to Aquas Caliente the launching ground to Machu Picchu.
Day 18. Depart early AM to visit Machu Picchu. Spend all day exploring these wonderous ruins to return and catch a train back to Cusco, arriving late at night. Meet up with some friends that I’d made earlier on the trip and spend the entire night out. Not going to bed until 9 AM
Day 19. Sleep all morning. Pack for departure. Go out for last nights dinner in Peru with new friends.
Day 20. Catch an early AM flight and all day journey to Brazil.
If this sounds exhausting. It is. And I know many will say, slow down and take more time to experience a location. And to those who think like that. Good for you, do that on your travels. I do this cause I love it. AND I MEAN LOVE IT. yeah it’s exhausting, but it’s absolutely amazing and it’s the way I want to see the world.
Note, none of this itinerary was planned. It all came together on the fly. That means last-minute decisions. Plans change, things get screwed up, and I end up on a different path. I’m having to figure out transportation options, visa issues, doing laundry, finding places to sleep, eat, and what to see and do in a location, all going on at the same time. Oh and then I have to find several hours a day to blog too? To many it would be nerve-wracking but it’s what drives me on these trips. The unknown, what’s around the corner, the constant newness and figuring things out, along with meeting people and connecting with them if even for a short bit along the way. You wouldn’t believe the amount of new-found friends I’ve made along the way. It’s amazing how one can connect in such a short time while vagabonding around a foreign land.
This isn’t a gripe post or me bitching at all. I’m having a ball. It’s for those begging for stories and pictures etc of my trip. They will come. I’ve made it to Brazil and I’ve holed up in a hotel for 2 days and done nothing but work. Yesterday was all day, catching up on trying to close out my recruiting practice which still isn’t complete. Today I’m working on a few blog post and tomorrow I’ll be back hitting the road in Brazil, building more stories to share.
So, hold on folks. The stories will come when I can fit in the time. When I set the goal of seeing all 324 countries of the world and traveling 4-8 weeks at a time. That’s so I can hit the road hard and when I return to my life in Tampa, my time off will be used to write about the trip and plan the next adventure.