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Published: July 16th 2019
Greetings, on the eve of another summer journey! The holidays have arrived, and I have packed my bags once again, ready for a five-and-a-half-week trip to Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, which begins tomorrow – yay!
My current system of “Latin America, Africa, Asia” continues, as I return this year to Latin America once again. This will be my fifth time in total in Latin America. In actual fact, it’s a journey that began in the pipeline nearly 20 years ago, in the year 2000 at the tender age of 22, when I felt the world was just waiting to be explored. I had just finished university and took my first teaching job as an English language teacher in Paraguay. During my summer holidays there, I took an epic two-month journey by bus, many overnighters, around Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Bolivia (my budget was on average £15 per day, including food and accommodation!). During my time in Peru, I was only able to see the south of the country: Arequipa, Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Whilst there, I thought I would return one day and do the parts of the country I wasn’t able
to do that time, and this is where the planning for my trip this year began. I feel Peru will have changed a lot in the last 20 years, but I am also hoping to perhaps re-live some travel memories from my earlier days – Inca Kola, panpipes, llamas, and a currency called “suns”, or “soles” spring to mind - I guess I will know and find out on the road!
Tomorrow I fly British Airways from Gatwick direct to Lima, Peru. I spend a few days there, before heading south to the desert area around Paracas, and hopefully taking in the Nazca Lines from a flight above them. After this, I fly to the Amazon jungle, based in Iquitos, but taking a three day, two night trip into the jungle from there – this will be my first time in the Amazon! From there, I return to Lima, before flying once more up to Guayaquil in Ecuador, where I then take another flight 600 miles west over the Pacific Ocean, to spend eight days exploring the mythical islands of the Galapagos. After this, I fly back to Guayaquil, before beginning a journey up and along the Andes taking
in Cuenca, Riobamba and ending up in Quito. From Quito I return to Lima, and then fly British Airways back home again to Gatwick.
It seems already like an epic journey, and I’m really excited about this one. There seem to be such a variety of different landscapes I’ll be exploring, all in one go: city, desert, coast, jungle, island and mountain. It will also give me an extra country to tick off my list: Ecuador. And if you don’t count the three Guinea-type countries in the north east of the continent (who counts them anyway…?!), it will mean that I’ll have been to every country in South America – wow! Most of my journey will be by plane – ah, the luxuries of travelling in one’s forties! Although there will be a few bus and boat journeys along the way also. As with Japan and South Korea last year, I have again booked all my accommodation in advance, heading for the mid-range options, with air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms, breakfast buffets and hotel lobbies a-plenty! And I have also booked quite a number of tours already in advance – it seems that the ones I am planning to do become booked up quite quickly, particularly as I’ll be going during the high season. Thus, my Nazca Lines flight, Amazon jungle foray, two separate day trips in the Galapagos, and a day trip from Quito to the nearby Cotopaxi volcano are all booked up too. Whilst I am sure I will enjoy this trip whilst on the road, I feel I have equally enjoyed the planning stage these last few months. It has been very exciting putting it all together myself.
So, I upload the usual pre-trip travel photos for now, and plan to write up a travel blog entry every few days as I travel. I have recently purchased a new, lighter, mini laptop which will accompany me on my journey, and I look forward to starting up my travel blog updates once more!
So, until the next time, most likely from Lima in a few days’ time, adios for now, and South America – see you again soon!
All the best
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