We decided to travel through Chile towards Bolivia after our budget busting bus travel experiences in Argentina. From our research, we found out that we could save a lot of money traveling by bus in Chile rather than Argentina. What we didn’t really think through was the cost of everything else. However, overall our travels through Chile were amazing thanks to some great Couchsurfing hosts (for entertainment, friendship and budgetary reasons). (more…)
After traveling through Spanish speaking countries for about two months, we encountered the Chilean Spanish. (Dom dom dom dom. Lol). We were surprised to see how different it was from the rest, which added a layer of difficulty when communicating with the locals.
Uruguayans and Argentinians have a distinctive accent, much like the Cariocas (from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), where a “sh” sound is often heard, or like the “th” sound from the European Spanish, both of which make it a bit more difficult to understand. (more…)
We did it, we finally did it. After 2+ years of blogging and some last minute interruptions we finally took a stand and said, “Yes I’ll have the one way ticket to South America please and thank you. No, our multiple destination flight stops after Rio de Janeiro, there is no return flight“. Oh that feels good, so good.
We are leaving December 4th through Detroit, MI to my wife’s hometown of Lima, Peru. We will spend xmas there as well as celebrate her 10 year high school reunion. On December 27th we fly to Rio de Janeiro for New Years where I plan on meeting up with friends I made while student teaching in 2008.
That is about it as far as solid plans, we figured we would visit Sao Paulo where my wife has family then to Iguazu Falls (Foz do Iguaçu), Brazil. After that Argentina, most likely Buenos Aires and possibly Patagonia. Then we considered Santiago, Chile and possibly the coast like Valparaíso. We discussed WOOFING in Chile or Argentina, especially since these are two of the more expensive countries in South America. After Chile and Argentina possible begin to work our way north towards Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (the salt flats). Once we make our way back to Peru, visit locations such as Arequipa and Cuzco before heading back to Lima.
To be honest we don’t know the time frame we are looking for to travel or if we will have enough money saved up to last us throughout our journey but as a best guess we figure 3 months and $25,000. I can’t tell you where I came up with those figures but it is a starting ground and well the time is flexible at least. Part of my rational is that other travels have shared what their total budget was such as Adam’s Budget from Europe, Chris’ Budget from Europe, I know this is Europe and there are some for South America but I haven’t had the opportunity to really check around yet. As for while we are here in the US we’ve are living modestly and try and put away as much as possible into our savings before we ever see it – which at times can be hard since combined my wife and I make probably about as much as some individuals make. Also living with my in-laws helped as we could split the bills.
We will rely on friends and family in Brazil to make our experience less costly and the WOOFING in Argentina/Chile to help us spread out our finances there. Additionally, I will continue to blog and have a few ideas for trying to make money while traveling.
Once we get back to Lima I will look for a job and work there for a couple months before our next adventure – which I hope is landing a teaching job in Asia. Then ultimately possibly working on my PhD in Ireland. Everything is very fluid at this point except for our first two stops and after years of reading travel blogs I hope I can live simple enough to stretch out this experience from a vacation into a lifetime honeymoon.
I would love to hear your feedback on places to visit, share your tips or links to past posts below. Especially for Paraguay and Uruguay since I know very little about those two countries. Will you be in South America traveling about? Look for a blogging monkey, it may just be me. If he is sitting at the bar or at the beach with a beer in hand it probably is me.
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After watching one of the greatest shows ever, Three Sheets, I became sad to see that the host Zane Lamprey never got around to show casing the Peruvian side of this liquor. Instead we only saw the Chilean side, which seems to be more regulated in its creation of Pisco. The side by side taste test will have to wait till I’m able to locate some pisco from Chile, until then these pompous pisco producers will have to deal with a full Pisco breakdown where both sides get a full review.
Some of you may not be too familiar with pisco, but may be more familiar with its Italian cousin grappa. Grappa is made from wine discards while pisco is made from fresh grapes and in Peru it includes the typical discards. Both drinks were once considered a poor man’s drink but nowadays both can be seen in high class cocktails for man and monkey alike.
I wonder if the charitable goodness within people will not diminish in hard economic times such as we are in, when two horrible earthquakes on opposite ends of South America compete for attention. I know it sounds horrible to put it like that but realistically it’s the truth. It is relatively easy to round up the initial wave of charity and contributions, but keeping that passion and drive alive in people after the media hype has passed is where the true work needs to happen. Right now Haiti is nowhere near where it needs to be in rebuilding the lives and homes of its inhabitants. The recent earthquake in Chile may fail to get similar support because the good Samaritans of the world are emotionally and financially tapped out. That or in the fickle heart of the do-gooder its attention will go to the next media highlight ready to volunteer even before the aftershocks completely stop, leaving Haiti in the shadows defending for itself.