Monday, 20 April 2009

My plans for South America much for spending the weekend packing :o). So far I have erected (snortle) a grand total of ONE of those cardboard boxes.....and there's nothing in it! At least I have them though, so when I've left everything till the last second in a couple of weeks time they'll be ready and waiting!

Those of you who know me well know I have wanted to go travelling for AGES!! It's only relatively recently that I've really been able to afford to save properly for it though. There are 3 main areas I want to visit, South America, Africa, and South-East Asia. I still haven't really decided whether I should do 3 mini trips (4-6 months each) or whether I should save a couple of years longer and bugger off to do the lot. Having spent a bit of time looking at what I want to do in South America, I think doing everything in one would be too much, I'd be so knackered that I wouldn't appreciate it.

I have spent most of the day (apart from the bit spent rolling around complaining of a hangover) becoming increasingly frustrated with my ineptitude for Google Earth/Maps, but I've finally come up with something, and here it is!

View South America Route in a larger map

This is REALLY simplified, in more ways than one, bear in mind I won't be going for at least a year. I'm also a great believer in not over-planning, especially on a big adventure like only leads to stress, stress and more stress. As I always say to my mates...wait and see! Zoom in a little to see the route better, I wouldn't zoon in too far though, my skill with this thing is limited, and it would soon cease to make any sense whatsoever!

I haven't got some of those big red lines figured yet, do I fly it? Expensive...but a long way to bus or train. I'd bus or train if I found something I wanted to see which would break the journey up a bit. I'll have to do some more research there.

Helpfully, Google Maps doesn't appear to want to display the labels for my here's a brief summary for you, no dates, I still don't really know my timescales:

1 ) Arrive in Cuzco, Peru. From here I can go on one of the many inca trails leading to Machu Picchu, and visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

2) From Cuzco, move onto Lake Titicaca, straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia

3) Move onto Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world, in Bolivia

4) A long journey to the Parque Nacionál Lauca to watch the flamingos and walk around the snowy mountains in Chile

5) Unless I can find a fast train then probably a flight now to Iguazú Falls in Argentina, almost on the border with Brazil.

6) From here to Concepción in Paraguay, from here, hang a hammock on a riverboat and ride slooooowly up the Rio Paraguay to Puerta Esperanza, change here to catch a boat further up to Porto Murinho in Brazil (making sure I have a suitable visa first!!).

7) Bus it to Corumbá Brazil and from here explore the Pantanal and the Rio Amazonias.

8) Make my way now (another flight I expect) to Canaima in Venezuela to see the highest waterfalls in the world, Angel Falls.

9) Then onto Caracas, where I hope to time my arrival to coincide with the Dancing Devils festival that takes place for Corpus Christi, and the day before.

10) Fly home

Ooooh, it's exciting! If anyone happens across this post who has experience travelling South America and thinks I've missed out something REALLY important, do let me know, I'd welcome suggestions :D

Also, for anything I could do to maybe cut out flights between Brazil and Venezuela, and Chile to Argentina. There must be some great things to do I just haven't come across yet!! I'll get there eventually!

Couple of bits about the weekend seeing as I'm here....I'm actually dying to get my dinner in the oven now, so I won't bore you too long we hope :o)

Saturday was lovely, I had lunch with mum and then waited for Nicki to meet me in Croydon, she wanted me to watch the Arsenal vs Chelsea match in Walkabout with her. The poor lamb was VERY hungover from a heavy night the night before and so she drank coke whilst I was on the beer. We found ourselves seated next to 3 large Chelsea supporters (Nicki's an Arsenal fan), one was in fact exceptionally large...although I suspect I'd have been able to move faster had the situation necessitated it!

Not being a footie fan I must say that the highlight of the game for me was when a meleé near Arsenals goalposts in the second half led to three fully grown men rolling around on the pitch wailing like toddlers, peeking out from between their fingers to see if the ref was looking, ready to burst into a chorus of pointing and 'He started it!!' should they be chastised for their errant behaviour.

A close second was Mr Terry 'falling on the ball', crawling over it in a crab-like fashion so that a player in the opposite team couldn't get at it.

Are these men....or children that we're paying hundreds of thousands-upon millions of dollarz to kick a ball around? I can only wonder.

Yesterday was a lovely day at the zoo, warm weather, lots of visitors, but not TOO many, just how we like it. Above all, enough volunteers to cover everything comfortably! Jo, Claire and I went to the pub for a wee tipple afterwards and were joined by one of the keepers a bit later. An intended maximum of 2 drinks went up to 5!! I didn't feel too bad last night, but that only made it worse when I woke up feeling like death had taken a crap in my mouth overnight (thanks death). I'll never learn!

Today has mostly been about preparing for the first bit of this blog!! I'm back to the beginning :o)

Don't worry, I won't start again x

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