This could very possibly be the last entry I write from the place I’ve called home for the past year. Last week was filled with goodbyes to all my students and colleagues as well as a lot of advice coming at me from all directions about needing to take care on what is about to be my first solo adventure. The general reaction from most Chileans about the fact that I’m doing this alone has been surprise and confusion…. like, ‘why’??? I think this paragraph from a fellow South African (and a way more experienced traveller than me) sums things up quite nicely. I sent her an email after finding out that she’d recently been living in La Paz, Bolivia.
“I don’t think that either Bolivia or Peru or dangerous…except for ONE thing…the driving which scares the shaait out of me. They are both easy to travel in…in fact, the whole of SAmerica is super easy to travel in after our glorious country, ha ha. Don’t listen to the Chileans telling you to be careful of this and be careful of that, they are scared of everything. That;s why they stay at home and eat bread three of maybe even four times a day. If we put them in South Africa for a day, they would crap in their pants.”
In all honesty it wasn’t my original plan to head out alone, but after semi-trying to find folks to join me on a month long journey through Bolivia and Peru it dawned upon me that all I really need is me to make this trip great. And after the coin dropped there was no turning back. So in two days it all begins, the trip that like many other things in my life, doesn’t seem real until its actually happening.
I’ve got things more or less planned out in terms of where I want to go and how long I think Id like to stay in each place. But since I’m the only one I need to consult about schedule changes, its very possible that the rough outline in my head may experience a adjustment here or there. Iv provided a very accurate map for those geographically challenged readers out there.
I’m not entirely sure how Im going to go about blogging throughout my trip. I’ll always have a pen and paper with me (and who knows, that original copy may be worth its weight, and more, in gold one day ;). I guess I’ll just station myself at a cheap internet cafe (Im going to be rich for the first time in my life in Bolivia)… but who am I kidding, its not a hostel these days unless it offers free internet access, right? I do hope that those who are interested in my adventures tune into this very channel to see, hear and probably laugh at what happens along the way.
First up on the itinerary; a loooong bus ride to San Pedro de Atacama (the Atacama Desert) in Northern Chile.