Seeing the world, one country at the time

We chose to start our trip in South America because it would be a smooth introduction to globetrotting. Anna knows the language, lived in Peru many years, has traveled to most countries in the area and has quite a few friends there. The first leg of our trip was wonderful, but also taught us some tough lessons. The highlights were seeing lots of old friends and meeting new ones, the four-day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Salta Argentina, Galapagos Islands, Carnival in Rio and Salvador, Brazil, and a cruise down the fjords in Chilean Patagonia.

The lessons were that, given the slightest opportunity, people less fortunate than Lars and I will attempt to relieve us of our belongings. Lars lost his professional Canon and I lost my diaries after half the trip (thus no updates to this site for months). The losses probably made us a bit more cynical and also more careful. On the bright side, since they were not violent robberies we got off lucky. The lessons could have been a lot tougher or our luck could have run out, but the good in the trip overshadowed the bad. As Regina Nadelson so eloquently put it: “Most travel is best of all in the anticipation or the remembering; the reality has more to do with losing your luggage.”

We also discovered that traveling is hard work. Reading this might put you off a bit, especially if you are reading this 8:30 on a Monday morning at work, but it is what it is. Consider that people often lament that they need a vacation to recover from their vacation. Well, Lars and I have kept a schedule that most would have for a 3-week vacation, but we have done so for five months. After a while, that becomes exhausting. (Especially at our age). Sometimes you just want to have a normal schedule, stay in one hostel for more than two days, and sleep. Thankfully, we’ve had many friends in Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Brazil who have let us do just that, at the times when we needed it most.

Christmas, New Year’s and Anna’s birthday were celebrated with good friends in Lima, Peru, as we all relived the days together in the 1970’s when I was growing up there, and welcomed a new generation of Peruvian babies to the world.

We were in South America from October until March. Peru into November, then Bolivia for a week, followed by Chile through the middle of December, then Argentina two weeks. Back to Peru for Christmas, New Year's and Anna's birthday, then onto Ecuador in mid-January. February was spent in Brazil with a couple days in Paraguay and Argentina. We returned to Ecuador in March and bussed it back to Peru for our departure to Florida.