The last 3 months exploring South America from Patagonia to Peru has been an adventure we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.
We have 3 more months before Bonnie reports back to her classroom and Lewis gets a new job, yet we’ve decided to spend that time around home in California so we can see friends and family, spend time with our much missed fluffy animal Hugo and eat as much Chipotle as possible.
South America is a huge continent, and we’ve seen and done a little bit of everything we came here to do. 3 months of living out of a backpack roaming from place to place is an interesting way to live, but it can also be trying at times. After this journey cruising around the continent, we both really look forward to getting back home and enjoying the comforts we take for granted there.
Having our car to drive around when and where we want sounds really nice after a lot of packed bus rides with reckless young male drivers at the wheel making you cringe and hope you survive to your destination. Of all the dangers of South America (though we didn’t really run into many), driving in the buses and vans is probably the most serious danger. The seat belts don’t work, buses are often jammed with people to the point where people are practically sitting in the driver’s lap. The common front page articles in the newspapers showing overturned buses on the side of the road with the caption, “Basta ya!” (Enough already!) goes to show how common accidents are.
Money-wise we’ve spent more than we expected, but no regrets since we did all the things we wanted. We figured better to splurge on the experiences that define South America like a 9 day tour of the Amazon and the Inca Trail and shorten the trip rather than extend it but pinch pennies. In the middle of the trip we tried to stretch our money, but the only way to save money is to not do much, so better to spend and enjoy, we can relax when we get home.
On the whole, South America is still under-developed and overall most people are still very poor. Lewis has spent a lot of time thinking about the economics and politics that keeps South Americans from enjoying the comforts we take for granted in North America. Bonnie has put a lot of thought into what sort of education the kids here receive and comparing the opportunities for kids here versus the lucky ones she teaches at home. It has been instructive to see the different ways of life in South America.
We look forward to coming back to South America and exploring the countries we didn’t make it to sometime in the future, and Central America too. Our next trip will probably be in Africa or Asia though, since there is so much to see in the world. We got a really good taste of life in South America, learned a lot and met some really cool people. Bonnie speaks Spanish fluently now, and Lewis knows a few more phrases.
We spent our 2nd to last day at the market buying presents for our family. Check out pictures of us trying on some blankets with a mock baby inside to see how the locals do it.
Bonnie looks good in bright colors.
Our 3rd to last day we went to the nearby town on Tipon to view the Inca ruins there and eat a “cuy” for lunch, yep we ate a guinea pig! As you can see below it doesn’t have too much meat on it, but it was tasty.
We also climbed up into a tower the shape of an Incan Emperor to get some nice views of Cusco.
There were some street processions that we snapped a few photos of.
Here are some final pictures roaming the streets of the San Blas district of Cusco.
We bought a little dress similar to this for Lewis’s 2 year old niece to wear, we can’t wait to see her in it.