Those of you who are connected to me outside the blog will be aware already, but I did not pass away travelling through the Andes in Peru. Despite the drivers best attempts I lived to tell the tale but unfortunately the story telling stopped there. Writing regularly is hard enough as it is when trying to find the balance between experiencing the world and telling others about it, but for myself the loss of one of the most inspiring people in my life was a little too much to bare. Just after arriving in Cusco and booking my trek to Machu Pichu I received the phone call telling me Nan had passed away quite suddenly. Since then I haven’t written a word and I regret that utterly as it’s the opposite of what she would have wanted. However, I’m back in the position where I can write again freely and will be making amends.
So where have I been and where am I now? I guess the shortened version would begin on the Salkantay trek where I was trying to combine the hardest climb I’ve ever attempted with the need to grieve. Fortunately the people on the trek with me were a huge help and we pulled each other through the difficult times and came out on top, rewarded with one of the most spectacular views in the world.
From there I travelled East to the Amazon Jungle where I was surrounded by wildlife, sunsets on the river, tarantula hunts at night and some superb, authentic Peruvian food.
Next up I travelled south to Lake Puno at the border to Bolivia. I took a day trip out on the lake to witness one of the oldest colonies in the Andes who settled on the lake and made rafts and have lived there ever since. Although tourism has had a dire impact on the authenticity of the tribe, it was interesting how different their way of life is compared to our own.
A long bus trip later I found myself at the Salar D’Uyuni. This epic four day trip via the volcanic landscape of the Andes reaches its climax at the legendary salt plains where all perception of distance is blown apart.
Soon after I arrived in Mendoza where I fell in love with the Malbec. I took a bicycle out to the wineries and thoroughly enjoyed some of the finest wine produced in South America.
Finally I took a bus through the mountains to my point of departure in Santiago. By this point I pretty much sat around and did nothing but look forward to Australia and finally meeting up with Hattie in New Zealand. South America will always be one of my favourite places in the world, particularly Brazil, but I still felt like I barely scraped the surface. Who knows? I’ll probably be back again for a longer stay.
I flew in to New Zealand and met Hattie at the gate. Not much needs to be said about the reunion; it was amazing to finally be back together. We shipped over to Waiheke Island where we enjoyed a few days relaxation before the flight to Australia…
That’s another story in itself.