We are Amy and Chris and as you may have gathered from reading our blog we are currently making our way around the world on this long anticipated trip!
This trip has been in the planning for years now; it's our passion, our obsession, and the source of endless worry for our poor parents. It's influenced our lives from the books we read to the genre of films we watch, it's inspired language courses and beard growth (Amy and Chris respectively), and has replaced conventional pillow talk with the "Where will we go?" game.
Our blog is primarily for family and friends, but we are always flattered to learn that others have read (and on occasion even enjoyed) our writing and photographs. With that said...
Afoot and light hearted, I take to the open road. Healthy, free, the world before me.
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose...you road I enter upon and
look around! I believe you are not all that is here; I believe that much unseen is
also here..." Walt Whitman (Song of the Open Road)
February 28th 2013
“Well...not quite a railway station. Lima Airport to be exact, waiting for our flight back home after 859 of the most amazing days I should ever hope to encounter in my life. With a sense of relief, excitement, melancholy and all manner of other emotions, it's on the shores of the Pacific Ocean that our time on the road has come to an end, or for now at the very least...” I wrote those words more than six months ago whilst waiting for our flight back to England. Despite making plans to travel further north through Ecuador and Columbia and into Central America, the weight of the relentless journey Amy and I had undertaken finally bested us back in Sucre in Bolivia, where we took the decision to return home. During the 859 days we spent ... read more
August 6th 2012
And so this is the end of the road. The path that we set out on, have been enthralled with and challenged by, shed tears of happiness and anguish upon, have thrived and stumbled upon, the road that we have travelled for almost nine hundred days enters its final chapter. There have not been many things that we have done along this colossal journey that could be construed as taking the easy option, instead choosing to challenge ourselves along the more difficult path whose rewards are often all the more rich for the effort. It was fitting then that we should end our adventure in that exact vein, taking the long way round to Machu Picchu via the mountain pass of Salkantay, a five day trek to reach one of the most astounding places in this ... read more
August 3rd 2012
Cusco is as pretty a town as any that South America has to offer. Situated in the Sacred Valley it’s the gateway to the world famous wonder Machu Picchu, and is surrounded by green, rolling hills. From the main Square of Plaza de Armas you stand upon ancient cobbled stones amidst colonial era churches for which the boulders were pilfered long ago, from even further back Inca placed stones. In Cusco, you have a real sense of place... and what a place! What a place! But there is more to be found in Cusco than Inca adventures. Home to the “World’s Highest, Irish run, Irish Pub” Paddy’s, which forges within some delicious Irish pub-grub; cottage pies, mash potatoes, gravy... (oh how our Northern tums have yearned!) Want Vegan food? Then take the advice of “The Road ... read more
July 8th 2012
Thankfully, mercifully, whatever one may say about a three hour journey that took us from La Paz to the shores of Copacabana on Lake Titicaca, we arrived safe and unharmed for what would be a two night stay. Rather than stay in the town of Copacabana itself, a pleasant place with all the creature comforts you could hope for at this stage of our trip, we decided upon the advice of others to stay on the Isla del Sol itself, situated within the lake accessed via 90 minute boat ride. Given the natural beauty of the island and its place in the history of the Incas, it was not such a difficult decision. The lake itself is found at 3,841m above sea level and despite other smaller lakes found around the world being at higher altitudes, ... read more
June 24th 2012
A mildly eventful bus journey had taken us from Uyuni to Tupiza, one where our driver simply abandoned the bus in the middle of some back-country mining village, only to re-board our vehicle an hour later perhaps with a little more ‘confidence’ before almost driving us off the side of a cliff. Of course I say ‘mildly’ more so because of all the truly horrific stories you hear about Bolivian roads, a country which proudly boasts ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Road,’ otherwise known as ‘El Camino de la Muerte,’ a road where even the most moderate (or morbid) of estimates puts the death toll at over 1,000! I suppose, thankfully, that our own experience could only be slotted into the placid category on the spectrum. And so, after a mild ride, we had little enthusiasm for ... read more
June 21st 2012
Bolivia is South America’s most indigenous country. It is also it’s poorest. For us, these factors make it arguably the most interesting to travel. First stop, Uyuni. We were greeted by women in traditional dress; shin-length skirts puffed out above many layers of netting and underneath them woollen socks pulled high to cover the knee, fixed in place with string. Feet cramped into tiny, cumbersome shoes; they look a little like hooves. A cardigan and shawl wrapped tightly around the upper half; the high altitude across Bolivia makes for frigid temperatures. Then the iconic hat, perched on top, balanced precariously, fixed curiously. It’s called a “bombin” and was introduced by the British railway workers back in the 1920s. And beneath every bombin hangs two long, black braids, many streaked with grey from old age and hard ... read more
June 12th 2012
Standing on the precipice of what looks and feels like an alien world is undoubtedly one of the most surreal experiences of our journey thus far, perhaps ‘the’ most. Yet here we are, at the Bolivian ‘border,’ a comically unintimidating adobe hut in the centre of an immense open range of nothingness. A single distinguishable landmark can be seen for miles around in any direction; the dominating figure of Licancabur whose beautifully symmetrical peak soars 5,940m above sea level. Despite the fact Licancabur has not erupted for over 1,000 years, it ominously looms over much of the Salar de Atacama, beautiful and sinister. After our star gazing exploits out in the desert of San Pedro de Atacama, our ‘Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ style week continued into this strange, vast, desolate part of the world. There ... read more
June 7th 2012
To spend 24 hours on a bus and not lose it completely is a painstakingly acquired skill, nurtured over time. Lots of time. We have acquired it. Slowly. Gradually, with every ride longer than the next. Passing time is a skill. Switching off. Waiting for as long as you can before picking up that book just to put it down after a couple of pages as the road is just too bumpy. And now you feel nauseous. Then what? Day dreaming. A cat nap. I find that copious snacking alleviates boredom greatly, but that’s a slippery slope... For the final 10 of the 24 hour long stretch there was little to see out of the window other than black desert and barren cliffs. The stars were huge, and I wondered whether it was because we were ... read more
June 4th 2012
And so our path winds on, figuratively of course but in this instance quite literally also. Those who have taken the road from Mendoza to Valparaiso (or Santiago) will recall quite vividly the meandering highway that greets those upon entering Chile. It seems the people responsible for this particular stretch of tarmac fully embraced the idea that there is little point to descending or ascending a mountain in a calm gradient – but rather the quickest way down would be to construct a road boasting twenty-something tightly packed hairpin corners stretching all the way to the very foot of those snowy peaks we had just crossed. A bizarre but interesting introduction to Chile! We heard from other travellers we had met along the way that Valparaiso was a destination not to be missed in Chile, a ... read more
May 29th 2012
Crossing the entire width of Argentina, from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, we begin by driving head on into a spectacular sunset. As the daylight faded, then the colour, the sky blackened but the darkness that remained was short lived as we continued for the duration of the journey alongside a raging electrical storm. Arriving in Mendoza, at the foot of the Andes mountain range, it was still dark at 8:00am leaving us disorientated when woken by the call for the final stop. It wasn’t in our plan to be in Mendoza so soon, truth be told. From the comfort of our home, many moons ago, we talked of heading southward, into Patagonia. We imagined trekking the Torres del Paine and further exploring... But plans and schedules have changed along the way and we have found ourselves ... read more