SUMMARY & reflections

Saturday, January 28, 2012
Auckland, New Zealand
Journey over.

Sixty something entries and over 6,000 photos and videos uploaded.

I knew that I was going to have 4 different experiences on this 6.5 weeks trip to South America and I certainly wasn’t wrong. My expectations were truly surpassed.

Yes, getting oh so close to the Galapagos animals will be my number one memory,

then the fine Inca craftsmanship to the vast stark and really beautiful few days in the south western Bolivian alto plateau.

It was suppose to be rainy season but I got my rain coat out on probably 3 very short occasions. Yes, it was cold up high but not as cold as I had expected as my pile jacket came out only once.

Being for much of the trip above 4,000 metres (12,000 feet) and for oh so long, I still could not cope with the step cobble stone streets of La Paz on the last day. Nor could the others!

A trip of contrasts again with:

- The humid Amazon forest to the high, dry, arid Bolivian desert.

- Seeing and knowing that the sun rises and sets every day of the year at around 6 am / 6 pm around the equator yet further south it was dark at 9 pm in Santiago.

- Experiencing when I could the local and at times exotic, but still cheap to me, foods like cuy or guinea pig, farmed trout, llama and alpaca. Losing 3 kg as well was a bonus!

- People living so close to the modern capital yet still have no water or electricity.

- One just had to not ignore but be aware that Bolivia (and the other countries visited but to a much lesser degree) still has many street beggars ... the gap between the rich and poor.

However, it will be the people that I encountered that will be my fondest memories of this trip.

From ...
- children of Cuneca and their Christmas parades,

Sucre orphans and wondering about their future,

- the local and group tour guides,

- to my fellow "Tucan Travel" and "G Adventures" groups travellers whose company certainly enriched my travel experiences.

 "Muchas Gracias" or THANK YOU one and all.

BTW - Has my Spanish improved? Sadly No.

Join me later this year on my next trip to ???? MMmm, where will I end up?

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