Six Months on the Road: The Details

I’ve done a lot of living these last 6 months. Here are the details…

The Highlights

*Overcame my fear of cockroaches while in the Amazon.
*Kayaked Las Isletas in Granada.
*Explored the massive Mercado Municipal in Massaya.
*Moonlight skinny-dipping in Ometepe.
*Watched women weave tapestries in the Sacred valley.
*Spent the day as a patient in a Colombian hospital.
*Mountain biked through scenic Colombian countryside.
*Took in views of Quito from the top of it’s Basilica
*Visited a 15th century monastery in the Mountains.
*Built and enjoyed a bonfire on a deserted island in San Blas.
*Volunteered in a barrio near Santa Marta.

*Swam in El Ojo de Agua -“The Eye of the Water.”
*Spent the day floating around a crystal clear crater lake.
*Climbed a lighthouse for 360 degree views of the Carribean sea.
*Swam with nurse sharks and eagle rays.
*Rode horseback to ancient Incan ruins.
*Rode an inter-tube down a rapid mountain river.
*Swam through a shipwreck.
*Fed Iguana’s in Guayaquil’s Iguana Park
*Admired Jade in San Jose’s Jade Museum
*Admired Gold in Cartagena’s Museo del Oro
*Ate birthday cake on the beach.
*Prepared a meal from scratch with native women in the jungle.
*Worked in a party hostel on Colombia’s Carribean coast.
*Planted yucca in the Amazon
*Watched flamingos in the Guajira.
*Enjoyed a massage on the beach.
*Felt a seismic tremoron Ometepe .
*Watched the Olympics with people from around the globe.
*Bathed in a mud volcano.
*Watched the condors soar in Colca Canon.
*Walked to Machu Picchu.
*Went on a backpacker date on Big Corn
*Hugged a sloth.
*Got a tarantula facial.
*Slept on a hammock overlooking the Northernmost tip of South America.
*Toured a Colombian Coffee Plantation.
*Jumped off a bridge in Banos.
*Repelled waterfalls.
*Ate ants in the Amazon; Ate RonDon and Pan de Coco in the Corn Islands; Alpaca in Arequipa; Arepas in Colombia; Lobster in the Guajira; Ceviche on the beach.
*Hiked to hidden waterfalls–on several occasions.
*Laid below giant wax palms.
*Whitewater rafting down class 4 rapids
*Drank Pisco Sours by the sea in Lima.
*Sandboarded down the world’s largest dune.
*Danced to live reggae in a street party.
*Drank Aguardiente with Colombians; Drank wine with Peruvians; Drank Mojitos with Ecuadorians.
*Sailed from Colombia to Panama.
*Visited a Colombian whorehouse.
*Watched the Panama Canal in action.
*Went clubbing at Colombia’s hottest spot.
*Biked from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo, beach-hopping along the way.
*Hiked to volcanic hot springs.
*Walked an ancient path between tiny historic villages.
*Got an unofficial tour of Colombian political buildings from a local crazy man.
*Got Montezuma’s revenge and altitude sickness all at once in Cuzco.
*Danced the day away in a “day club” in Arequipa
*Went bird watching on a river in Ecuador
*Witnessed an Inka ceremony near Nazca.
*Learned to surf in San Juan del Sur.
*Went fishing in the sea.
*Watched the sunset from the top of Cartagena’s fortified wall.
*Played with monkeys.
*Biked the horrific roads of Isla de Ometepe.
*Spent countless hours swimming in the ocean.
*Rode on a 12-passenger plane over Nicaragua.
*Camped on the beach in Tyrona National Park.
*Rode on a speed boat through a storm at sea.
*Made friends from around the globe.
Watching the condors soar in Colca Canon

Watching the condors soar in Colca Canon

Carribean rondon cookout

Carribean rondon cookout

Touring Colombia's capital city

Touring Colombia’s capital city

Exploring Panama City with friends from Holland, Hungary and Korea

Exploring Panama City with friends from Holland, Hungary and Korea

Bike/beach hopping Costa Rica’s carribean coast

Scariest Moments:
*A very wild ride on the back of a Motto-taxi from a Santa Marta Barrio.
*A terrifying speed boat ride through a storm from Big Corn to Little Corn.
*Bridge jumping in Banos.
*Hospital visit in Colombia.
*Night bus through the Peruvian Andes.
Toughest Moments:
*Missing the birth of my niece.
*Getting Bronchitis in Colombia.
I learned:
*To surf
*To sail
*To be alone
*To play countless card games
*To make chocolate from scratch
*To shoot a blow gun
*To shoot a harpoon gun
*To man a bar/restock a cooler
*To live on little
*To enjoy a sunset
*To dance Salsa
*To relax and enjoy the moment
*To pan for gold
*To love rice and beans
*To use a Spanish keyboard
*To sleep in a hammock
*To navigate, bargain, small talk, survive on my own–in Spanish!
Time breakdown:
Peru: 3-4 weeks
Ecuador: 3 weeks
Colombia: 12 weeks
Panama: about 4 days
Costa Rica: 8 days
USA: 3 weeks
Nicaragua: 21 days –and counting
I consumed way too much:
Ice cream; fruit, fruit juice, and smoothies; beer; granola; rice and beans. And still love them all…
6 border crossings, 6 countries, 7 flights, 4 night buses of 12 hours or more
Sitting next to the pilots on the way back from Little Corn

Sitting next to the pilots on the way back from Little Corn

Rode on:
Luxury Bus, chicken bus, plane, puddle jumper, speed boat, panga, river taxi, ferry, train, moto-taxi, motorcycle taxi, tuk-tuk, horse, truck, bike, kayak, taxi, metro rail, cable car, colectivo, sandboard, intertube, raft, sailboat, 4X4, cycle rickshaw.
Averaged a new bed every 3-4 night, with 5 weeks being the longest spent in one spot.
One of many waterfalls I've hiked to

One of many waterfalls I’ve hiked to

What’s up for the next 6?
*Periodic stops for spanish classes.
*Volunteer stop.
*If anywhere in El Salvador–maybe the Ruta de Las Flores, as it should be in bloom this time of year.
*I have ambition to embark on the 6 day trek from Nebaj – Todos Santos in Guatemala.
*Quite enthused about reaching Guatemala, in general–Lake Atitan, Mayan Ruins, Rio Dulce, Semuc Champey…I’ve met plenty of travelers heading south with lots of nice things to say about this country.
*Cenotes, ruins, food and beaches of Mexico.
*Quick snorkel stop in Belize
*Leaving my options much more open these next 6 months.

See Also:
Six Months on the Road: A Serious Reflection
The Reality of Coming Home: There is No Cure for Wanderlust
Why Travel?

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