In just over a week, I will be heading off on a month-long trip to South America – 34 days to be exact! It seems like only yesterday when I first booked the flight back in September, and now the days are numbered until I set foot on a new continent. Rather than bombard you with countless paragraphs, I thought I would give the nitty gritty through a Q&A panel:
So where are you going exactly?
Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. I fly into Lima and fly back from Buenos Aires.
Alone or with friends?
I’ll be joining up with a small tour group in Lima where we will begin our South American odyssey.
What will be the highlights of the trip?
Visiting Machu Picchu, crossing the Salt Flats of Uyuni in Bolivia by 4×4, exploring the lake districts of Chile and Argentina, and getting lost in the metropolises of Santiago and Buenos Aires.
How will you get around?
A mix of using coach buses, trains, car rentals and internal flights.
Did you have to get any shots?
Yes, five of them. Three in one day, I might add, ouch!
What are you looking forward to the most?
Obviously Machu Picchu! But I’m really looking forwarding to seeing Chile and Argentina as well, since they are both such fascinating countries rich in history.
What will be the most challenging?
I would say when we journey through the Salt Flats, where I have been told can get really cold. We’ll also be camping there for three nights, and I’ve never camped before! That, and adjusting to the altitude when we get to Cusco; it’s 12,000 feet above sea level, which is four thousand feet higher than Machu Picchu! I’m hoping I don’t get Altitude Sickness.
What about the language barrier?
That’s the beauty part, there won’t be any! I speak almost fluent Spanish as I hold a degree in it, and I lived in Spain for over a year.
Will you get any writing done while you’re there?
Unfortunately not, unless one counts writing in a journal. I’ll be constantly on the move, and any free time will be spent relaxing, doing laundry and keeping friends and family back home posted.
What souvenirs do you hope to bring back?
Lots of photos and memories of course! I do collect fridge magnets, so I’m hoping to bring one back from each country I visit.
Why South America?
It was a toss up between this, Japan, or Australia and New Zealand. I made my choice and I stick with it! I’ve always wanted to go, and I figure it’s now or never. I wanted to visit other Spanish-speaking countries. I’m fortunate enough where I will have a month off work as it is a slow time at the school where I teach English. When will I ever have this opportunity before retirement?