Friday, June 22, 2012


The Arctic is under threat,
 it's time to save it!

(June 22)

Our trip.  The routes are color coded: Blue for bus, orange for flight, red for car and yellow for boat. Click here to see it in a larger map.

This was our trip, started in Buenos Aires and ended two months after in Lima. It was a great experience and now, comfortably relaxed, at home, with my family, I am thinking back at it, trying to answer a few questions that I ask myself.

What did I like the most? If I have to choose a single section, I would choose Rurre, swimming in the river at sunset. That mixture of adrenaline and excitement was extraordinary. A little more in general, I think I would recommend to spend more time in Peru and Bolivia, rather than Chile and especially Argentina. I say this not because I think those places are not worth being visited. Rather, for somebody coming from Europe, I am not sure it is really necessary to travel to the other part of the world to see those beautiful mountains or cities like Buenos Aires and Santiago. 

What did I like the least? Probably the cities, the bigger the worse. I like living in a city, for the amount of opportunities that are within easy reach for its inhabitants. And this was true also for the cities we have seen. It made me feel comfortable to have services always (or almost) in sight. But this big jungles of concrete and metals, randomly growing, with unbreathable air were nothing that I could really appreciate.

What did I learn? Well, I enjoyed more than what I learned, certainly. But I learned something, I think. Other than the obvious, like I experienced (a bit) different traditions and customs, I can say I learned some Spanish (being Italian, this was not a huge effort), I learned to stay dirty and stinky for a longer time and I made some experience in combining work and fun without letting one influence too much the other.

Any regrets? Yes. We wanted to take the boat from Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas. We arrived there one day late because of me losing my glasses in Torres del Paine. I wish I can go back one day, with Jasmin, just to do this. But probably it will not happen any time soon.

Was this the right way of traveling? I think we did our best to do something serious. We wanted to feel the countries we were visiting. The major limitation though, was time. For the amount of road we traveled, we probably used too little time. I am thinking of Jasmin now, that in two months will see only two different cities, doing some volunteering work. This is certainly a truer way of visiting a country, at the cost of limiting the amount of things you can see. 
We did the whole trip in last-minute-planning mode. This has the disadvantage that your plan is likely sub-optimal and will probably cost you more. But it has the great advantage that you are extremely flexible. If something unexpected comes up, you can easily adapt.

What's next? Work, couch and Zurich, for a while. But sooner or later it will be Asia, without flying!

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