Well, it has been quite some time since my last journal entry. I have been busy with lots of things that have kept me from my little blog. So, I've been going through my travel guide and journals the past few weeks and have decided organize a little list of trip fast facts and superlatives...
Here are some of the trip fast facts:
- # of Days on the Road - 203
- # of Folks from Omaha that Ran Into - 2
- # of Folks I Met That Knew Someone I Knew - 3
- # of Journals I Filled Up - 2.5
- # of Blog Posts - 75
- # of Post Cards Sent - 179
- # of Pictures Taken - 6000
- # of Pictures Ill Print - prolly half of them
- # of Buses Taken – 30-35
- Miles Traveled Via Bus - lots
- Miles Traveled Via Plane – 20,248 Miles
- Miles Traveled Via Boat – 3192 Nautical Miles
- Miles Traveled Via Train – 412 Miles
- Total # of Hours in Transportation – 408.5 hours That's 17 days!!!
- Longest Bus Ride - 58 Hours from Santiago, Chile to Rio de Janiero
- # of Different Hostels I Stayed at - 38
- Best Hostel - America del Sur in El Calafate, Argentina - it was like a ski lodge
- Worst Hostel - Hostel Nunez in Santiago, Chile...It was similar to the St James hotel from the movie Big
- Worst Hostel Experience – Cordoba Backbacker's Hostel. Sharing a 10'x10' hostel room with three others. It was about 90 degrees and there was no ceiling fan in the hostel. You would sweat like Michael Jackson at a playground. And to make things worse, there was a hippie learning to play guitar at 330 am. I now dislike the Beatles even more!
- Cheapest Hostel - 2 bucks at the Templo Del Sol on Lake Titicaca…and then The Raj tried to talk him down to 1.75 per night..c'mon!
- Most Expensive Hostel - Hostel Copa Charlet in Rio - 12 bucks
- Least Helpful Hostel - Hostel Copa Charlet in Rio - 12 bucks a night
- Hostel with Best Kitchen - Freestyle Hostel, Ushuaia, Argentina
- Hostel with Worst Kitchen - Copa Charloet, Rio, Brazil (they had like 50 plates, no silverware and like two cups that they never really ever washed out)
- Hostel with Best Beds - Freestyle Hostel, Ushuaia, Argentina - very long and good for tall people
- Hostel with Worst Beds - Copa Charloet, Rio, Brazil (they were upholstered with a plastic material that should be used to upholster car seats)
- Weirdest Hostel Owner - La Paz, Bolivia - You would hafta pound on the door for 15 or 20 minutes, wake up everybody else in the hostel before he awoke and let you in. Meanwhile, you are looking up and down the empty street at 4am and hoping that you are not the target for a mugging.
- Embarrassing Moment at a Hostel - Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, realizing that it was me that was causing the unpleasant odor. My shoes were a little smelly that week.
- # of dance clubs visited - like 8.
- # of soccer games attended - 5
- # of Peace Corps Volunteers met - 8
- # of Jugglers met - 20
- # of Unicycles rode - 3
- A Very Frustrating Moment - Hearing my buddy Dan from Seattle call home for Thanksgiving when we were in La Paz, Bolivia. Hearing the joy and excitement in his voice really got me excited to call home. After he was done, I used his phone booth to call home and reached everyones voice mail! Nobody was picking up the phone. Drats! Away for Thanksgiving and the six numbers of people I want to talk with are not there. Man, that was a bummer.
- Funny Moment - Meeting a kid on the Inca Trail who we nicknamed Linus because he carried his sleeping bag just like the Peanuts character. This guy was in love with Rocky Balboa and let everybody know about it. His Rocky Balboa tattoo looked more like Johnny Depp than Sly Stallone. Allison from California put it best when she described the tattoo as a process of "wad up a picture of Rocky and put it in your pocket for a coupla days, then goto the tattoo shop with that image" That is how bad the tat was.
- Most Comfortable Time - Having my own room for two weeks on the way to Antarctica. You didnt hafta worry about a thing.
- Luckiest Moment – Scoring a plane ticket at the last moment in Chile when all the buses were sold out for almost a week. A little kid noticed our dilemma and hooked us up with a pass that moved us to the front of the queue.
- Strangest Moment – Sitting at a bar in Rio and noticing that the guys I'm with and I are the youngest guys in the bar by 15 years…but not the youngest people in the bar. Then it clicks that all these beautiful girls are hanging onto these ugly anglo bar. I got out of there.
- THAT GUY! The Raj from England and Lee from England are tied, both on the Antarctica Cruise. But I would hafta say Lee's attempt to dance drunk with every girl, drink everybody's drink, and then end up with his underwear pulled down walkin around really earned him the rite to be THAT GUY!
- Best Food Ate
- Argentina's Bife de Lomo or Bife de Chorizo
- My host mother's Mexican cooking.
- Worst Food Ate - Cow Stomach & My host mother's liver she prepared
- # of Times Sick - 4
- # of Times Drunk - 0
- # of Times Buzzed - Plenty..
- # of Magnets Purchased - 35 or 40
- # of Books Read – 8
- # of Times Solicited for something – lots
- Cheapest Beer – Argentina – 66 cents for a liter of Heineken
- Nicest Stranger I met - Meeting an 80 year old great-grandmother named Olympia in Cusco, Peru who gave me a great Peruvian history lesson about the former Peruvian President Fujimore
- Nicest Hosts – My host family in Mexico was so nice. Their family unity was very strong and reminded me of mine. Eating dinner with all of them the last night I was there made me miss my family.
- Funniest Two Ladies I met – Jackie from Florida and Janice from Boston
- Nicest Group of Folks I met – Gotta be the locals that I met…then the Aussies I met.
- Annoying Person – That's Nothing Sid from Chicago
Biggest Jerk – Freestyle Hostel owner's son who was all about being a one up.
- Strangest Person I met – A sailboat captain with a scary 'stache who really wanted to tell me all the fun times you could have swinging in Buenos Aires. Yikes…
- Group I Always Wondered About but Could Never Have a Real Conversation – The Israelis
- Items Taken on the Trip
- Pairs of Pants - 2
- Shirts - 3
- Pairs of Socks - 5
- Pairs of Undies - 5
- Rain Jacket -1
- Fleece Jacket - 1
- Big Backpack - 1
- Day Pack - 1
- Most Useful Items
- Pocket Knife
- Battery Charger for Digital Camera
- Ear Plugs
- Eye Cover
- Alcohol Gel
- Least Useful Items
- Large Sleeping Bag
- Super Bubble Bubble Gum
- Emergn-C fluid replenishing stuff
- Things Stolen or Lost
- Ipod Shuffle
Here is a list of a few superlatives that I gleaned out of my guidebook and visited .
Highest Mountain in the Americas - Mount Aconcaugua, Mendoza, Argentina
World's Southernmost City - Ushuaia, Argentina
World's Highest Navigable Lake - Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
World's Most Dangerous Road - La Paz to Coroico, Bolivia
World's Richest Silver Mine - Mount Cerro Rico, Potosi, Bolivia
World's Largest Salt Flat - Salar de Uyuni, Uyuni, Bolivia
World's Highest Capital City - La Paz, Bolivia
World's Deepest Canyon - Colca Canyon - Arequipa, Peru
World's Longest Country - Chile
World's Largest Capital City, Mexico City, Mexico
World's Coldest Continent – Antarctica