where i've been...

My travel map

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some pictures for your viewing pleasure

Well, I finally hooked up my camera and am uploading some pictures for you all to see. I started shooting in RAW today, and for some reason those pictures won´t come up on the computer. Hmmmm.... In any case, here are a few fun snippets so far. Hope you enjoy them! Today we hiked up Glacier Martial and were actually in a mini snow storm-flurry for a while! It was really neat. Tomorrow we plan on going to Tierra Del Fuego National Park for some more hiking. Oh...and I put my hand in the ANTARCTIC Ocean today. How fun!

This is how the gnome gets around!









Remember CHiPs???




Where the hell is my chauffer???







Us on the death machine...before the dirtbiking experience. Look how happy and naive we were.




Can you find the gnome?









Wild horses, playing in the surf.





The Moai








Tribute to a fallen Moai.








Lookin' for love in all the wrong places...








On our hike up to Glacier Martial in Ushuaia.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Traveling can be fun...even when it´s not exactly together....

Well, today certainly constituted an adventure. It started off last night, playing UNO with an Israeli guy at the hostel. Come to find out, UNO really is a universal game. But there, they call it taki. We finished off some good chocolate, a bottle of champagne and a few bottles of beer, making sure to call ¨taki¨ before placing the next to last card down. Hostels are really great places to meet other travelers, who will be back in their own countries and willing to show us around by the time we get there!

So this morning, I got up early, called the laundry service, and they promptly brought over my laundry. YIPEE!!! Then we headed to the airport(together), with the nicest taxi driver yet, who chatted all about the new Director Tecnico for the Argentinian soccer team, and the controversy around the whole situation. Rahima slept in the cab. Not a morning person at all! We stood in line for over 25 minutes to check in (together) and then went through security (together) to wait at the gate(together). We had an 11am flight (together)and were supposed to board about 10:30(together). So we played a few games of UNO(together), then they announced our flight was delayed, we played a few more games of UNO (together)and Rahima got frustrated with me, claiming I always win, and I therefore must have somehow fixed the game. Yes. I, Annette, have figured out how to fix the game of UNO. :)

So a little later on, they started boarding a flight at our gate, but it wasn´t our flight. I had caught the announcement in Spanish, but apparently Rahima hadn´t. So she stood up to get in line(not together). She asked if I was coming, and I said not yet. I then proceeded to watch her stand in a line for another flight. The guy next to me was really nice and said, ├┐ou know that line isn´t for our flight, right? I told him I knew that, but I was playing a trick on my friend. He told me I was a bad friend, as he laughed and shared a story of a similar trick he had played on a friend of his once. Rahima so smugly waved at me from behind the glass as she proceeded to ¨board¨ the wrong flight. When she got to the front of the line, the lady very polietly explained that it was not her flight and she should seek out an attendant for more assistance. She walked back over to me, laughing but completely mortified. We laughed for a bit, and then she decided to get some distance from me (mostly because I couldn´t stop laughing) saying ¨I'll see you on the plane¨. (HERE´S WHERE YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION. NOT TOGETHER)

So the flight was still delayed and they said they would make another announcement around 12:10. So, knowing me, who will talk to anyone who will listen and talk back, I stayed where I was, talking to my new argentinian friend. He is from Ushuaia and was telling me all about the great things there are to do once we get there. About an hour an a half later, and no announcements about our flight, I decided to go look for my little Rahima. I circled the airport, and couldn´t find her anywhere. Where could she be?

So I looked on the board to see if there was an update on our flight...but I couldn´t find our flight on the board either. Could my friend AND my flight have disappeared? Of course not.

I returned to tell Lucas (good name, huh Anne?) that I couldn´t find my friend or our flight and he said the flight isn´t on the board because it is delayed. I said that made no sense, because the other delayed flights said ¨DELAYED¨. So we went to ask.

When we asked about the status of our flight the lady looked at us like we were the two dumbest people in BA and said, ¨That flight left. Over an hour ago. We called both your names.¨ WHAT!?!?!?! So then it hits me. I am in Buenos Aires...at the airport, and my travel buddy is 30,000 feet in the air...on her way to the southernmost city in the world. WITHOUT ME! I could not have laughed harder. Really? Is this actually happening?!?! Do I talk THAT much?!?!?! (for anyone who knows me...refrain from answering that last part)

So we had to proceed downstairs, collect our luggage (which is when I realized both my and Rahima´s bags were checked in in her name, but ha ha ha..I had her passport) and then get on the wait list for the next flight, which was in another 2 and a half hours. We ended up getting on that flight (in first class no less) and pretty much leaving BA when Rahima was arriving in Ushuaia. How funny is that???? I am still laughing about the whole thing. I emailed her from the airport to tell her what was happening and she ended up waiting in the Ushuaia airport for me to arrive. She wanted some distance...I gave her over 3,000km without even trying. :) We are still both in hysterics about it all. I swear we need one of those little kid backpack leashes not to lose each other. This makes getting separated in the subway in Chile seem like nothing.

So we just got to our hostel...which is awesome. Really, we have had such great luck with hostels. This is our most expensive yet...at $13 a night each. But we are at the SOUTHERNMOST city in the WORLD and it is COLD. It is absolutely beautiful though, and we can't wait to explore tomorrow. Maybe even together.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the mundane...

So today we got to Buenos Aires and decided it was time to do some laundry. So, knowing we have a flight tomorrow morning, I made SURE that the clothes would be back today before turning them in. So we had three bags of clothes between us, mostly two bags for Rahima with my fleece in one, and then another bag for me. We put on our most ¨clean¨ clothes and turned the rest in...about 12:00 today. We slept awhile this afternoon, then walked down to see the Casa Rosa (the Argentine White House), stopped at a cafe, had some coffee and empanadas, found UNO in a toy store (YIPEE!!!) and then picked up a box of hair dye (for me of course) at a pharmacy on the way back. Seems like even out of the country I cannot stop being obsessed with how red my hair has gotten. Maybe a box of dye from Argentina will restore it´s natural brown color. So we got back, I dyed my hair (pictures to follow) and just asked about our clothes. It is now 9:30pm and I would like to not look like I am in my pajamas when we go to dinner. But as luck would have it...Rahima´s two bags are back and clean (which includes my fleece at least) but my clothes are nowhere to be found. The guy at the hostel says we can call the lavanderia tomorrow. They supposedly open at nine. We need to leave by 9:30 to get to the airport on time. Could it be that I will spend my time in the southernmost city in the world with (literally) just the clothes on my back? Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

We made it to BA!

The last few days have been absolutely great. We took a bus from Santiago to Mendoza, a great wine region in Argentina. Of course, we got on the bus tired as could be and were both asleep before it even left the terminal. Amazing how the locals can go out until 5 or 6am and then go be functional adults the next day. I guess they take advantage of the siesta in a way we haven't fully embraced yet. We'll have to work on that!

So, a little while later, I woke up and had to wake Rahima up (something she hates when I do...) to look out the window. We were crossing through the Andes and all around us were the peaks, all covered in snow. It was so beautiful...and cold. When we go out to go through customs we had to get off of the warm little bus and stand around while they checked and stamped all of our papers. You can't bring any fruit in, but I had forgotten and had some bananas with me. We had to take all of our belongings off of the bus so they could be reviewed. There was a nice guy on the bus (argentino) who I confided in. I asked him if I should declare them, throw them out, what? He did the proper thing for me. He took my bag and hid it back on the bus. No more problems there. And we enjoyed our chilean bananas a few hours later.

Mendoza is a city I would love to live in. Except for the fact that the hostel we chose seemed to have mosquitoes that attacked us at night. I got bitten on my neck by a rogue vampire mosquito and on my arm. Apparently I spent the first night scratching in my sleep, which caused Rahima to think there were bedbugs which kept her up all night. Luckily the mosquitoes were normal, not Machu Picchu mosquitoes. Those bites are STILL healing, three weeks later. urgh.

Yesterday we did a bikes and wine tour of some of the vineyards here. Yes. I got on a bike again. What is this trip doing to me??? It was MUCH better riding a bike after not having been bucked around on a scooter the day before. Much more of a pleasant experience for me. The vineyards were really great, but we soon realized that for both of us to do a tasting, we might as well just buy a bottle of wine, it is cheaper that way. So at our third winery we bought a bottle of Malbec, but since it wasn't one of the elite bottles we couldn't actually drink it on the premise. So the guy opened the bottle for us and we biked a short distance away, sat in the shade under a tree, surrounded by vineyards and drank our bottle of wine. After about 6 wineries, the tour ends at a chocolate factory. Who wouldn't love Argentina? We are still eating the alfajores we bought in bulk.

So the saddest thing was leaving Mendoza, where we enjoyed great parks, good food, good wine and good people, but we bought a flight to Ushuaia, the southermost city in the world, and it leaves tomorrow (Wednesday) morning from BA. So we had to take a bus last night to get us to BA on time. So we are just hanging out in the city today, and we will be far, far south for Halloween. Then spend the next few weeks working our way back up here. I'll try to get more pictures up soon. Can you believe I didn't take ONE picture in Mendoza??? I think I loved it so much I spent the whole time just soaking it in. Funny how that happens...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Salsa and dancing

Well, you can't be in a county where everyone dances without going out dancing, so the last two nights we have gotten over the fact that sometimes we seem ages older than everyone in their mid twenties at the hostels, and went out dancing. On Thursday night we went to a great salsa place, with a live band that was the main attraction. They were supposed to go on at 11, so when we got there at 11:30 and there was no sign of them, we just realize that they were on Chilean time. By 12:30 we were admittedly a little confused, but we had a few pisco sours under our belts and were being very well indulged by all of the locals who want to teach the gringos how to dance. The band did come on, at 12:45 and played solidly until 1am. Then back to prerecorded music until about 2:30 when the band reappeared for another 30 minute set. It was pretty funny and a really great time too.
The next night we decided to go out to a more of a hip-hop club and when we showed up at 12:30, rumor had it that things wouldn't get going for a bit longer. We were with a good sized group from the hostel, so in we went and it was pretty dead. It is so funny to go to a club, after midnight, and have it be empty. Then at about 3:30 you can hardly move because it is so packed! We stayed out until about 5, then headed home...wandering for a bit to find a cab first. Funny how many taxi drivers just straight up tell you it's too far for them, so just keep walking and get the next taxi! We almost stopped for a completo (a chilean delicacy...if you can say that!) a hot dog smothered, and I mean smothered with mayonaise, ketchup (or diced tomatoes) and guacamole. Pretty gross, but delicious at the same time (minus the tomatoes for me!) We rolled in about 5:45, still hysterically giggling over the night and listening to the scottish, british, and ozzies do their best american accents. We really do sound like idiots to them all.
Rahima and I got up about 8 to pack our bags and head to the bus station where we caught a six hour bus over the border to a great town called Mendoza. Tomorrow we plan on doing a bikes and wine tour of some of the wineries. I apparently have not yet gotten my fill of biking. We at a great meal tonight with filet mignon, appetizers and wine for about 25 dollars. Yummy. We will probably be in AR for the next three weeks or so. Can't wait to see what comes next! besos y abrazos...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Santiago

Yesterday we took a walking tour around Santiago. It is pretty amazing to be walking through the city, in jeans and a tank top, enjoying the sunny weather, and then looking up and realizing that you can see snowcapped Andes mountains surrounding the city. Okay...so you have to look through a little smog to see them...but it still is pretty cool. Santiago seems like a really neat city. The whole world closes down after about 3 and reopens about 7 or 8pm. I want to live in a place that has siestas. :)

We have met a lot of cool travelers, especially in the hostels. It is incredible how many people do this. We met a guy the other day who has been travelling for 5 years. Yes. 5 YEARS. He is Australian, and just works a few months, gets enough money, and keeps on going. Cool. There really are so many opportunities in life, if you are willing to break from the conventional ideals set before us on a daily basis. I think that the next 10 months are going to fly by for me...traveling is kind of a contagious thing. The more you do it...the more you want to keep doing it. Life it pretty good today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The motorcycle diaries

Easter Island was AMAZING. I absolutely loved it (or maybe I just loved staying in the same hostel for three nights straight!!!) The island itself is captivating. We arrived on Saturday and found a great hostel with our own room, a kitchen for us to use and great hosts for only about $15 night (each). I know...a little pricy, but it was well worth it. We wandered around on foot, checked out the local mini marts and saw some of the famous moai. The island was warm and had some of the bluest ocean I have ever seen crashing against a coast. On Sunday we rented a scooter and covered most of the island. It was a little yello yamaha...which I kept calling a Vespa, and Rahima kept correcting me. The first few places wouldn't rent to us without a motorcycle license, and in retrospect, I see why. But of course, we persisted and with a 2 minute lesson on driving a scooter, the guy took our $30 and let us go...up to our own devices I guess. Luckily (or unluckily) I was the driver for the first part of our journey. We meandered along, on paved roads, stoping to gaze at the moai, fallen or standing, in their serene beauty. Rahima took over for a while, and we continued on our merry way. Then, we took a little more of an adventurous road (much like dirt biking on a vespa) which was quite the adventure. Rahima decided that I was going to drive on dirt, if we were going to live. I don't know how (or why) she trusted me so much, but I am grateful she did. We were the two most inept people ever put on a scooter, that is for sure! (Alex, you can laugh now, knowing that your 10 year old can ride better than I can....but I guess we knew that before! Devin, I want lessons when I get back!) At one point (convinced we were going to die, but there was no way back) we stopped and seriously, a rainbow came out of the sky to our left. We took this as a good sign, and then a few minutes later a herd of wild horses ran by us on our right, cantering along beside us. We took this as another good sign and were able to make it back to town...alive.
The next morning, sore butt and all from the rough terrain and managing a scooter along it, we decided to rent bikes and bike the length of the island. Whose brilliant idea was that? Of course, poor planning and not doing the full conversion of kms to miles led us on an 8 hour jaunt, 51km in total, or 34 miles. For someone who does not bike (aka ME) it almost killed me. For someone who does bike )aka Rahima) it was "fun". After I was almost attacked by a hawk (for apparently riding by his nest too slowly (I am NOT joking here) I wanted to lay down and die. Right there. On Easter Island. Really...how do you bikers do it??? (COLIN??? JESSE??? KEVIN???) You are all crazy. I literally got back to the hostel at 8pm, took a shower, craweled into bed and fell asleep. I was THAT tired. It was still light outside. But seriously...can I really complain? :)
So today we arrived in Santiago, just got to a great hostel, and went out for beer and empanadas at about 11pm. This place is great. Feels so safe, friendly people, good times. Did I mention how much I love Latin America?
Well, I miss you all and will try to post more pictures soon. Besos.

p.s. Notice that I have now officially been to 8% of the countries in the world! Yipee!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

two weeks...up already?

Can you believe it?? I cant. Two weeks has flown by and I only have a minute here to let you all know that we are fine and well. We are in Huacachina, about two hours outside of Nazca, at a little oasis literally in the middle of the desert. I walked up a huge sanddune today and burnt my feet off! We flew over the Nazca lines yesterday, which was incredible. Right now I have to run...to catch a bus back to Lima, then a flight to Santiago, stay in the airport for a few hours and catch a connecting flight to Easter Island. So far, what we have read is that internet cafes can cost up to 7 dollars an hour...and if that is the case, I choose to eat, and will catch up with you all in a few days. We fly back to Chile on the 21st, so you should all hear from me around then. Besos a todos!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

some pics...


the market we visited today...where I bought my fruit and unrefrigerated yogurt drink (which I love and have been drinking and only today realized that it is supposed to be consistently refrigerated between 2 and 8 degrees celcius at all times...oops)


the beautiful view. yes i am this lucky...










me...on the top of wayna picchu...




sunrise over the andes...







the gnome found a girlfriend...

Monday, October 13, 2008

squeaky cheese

Yes, that´s what I said. Squeaky cheese. That is what I had on my sandwich the other morning. Seriously. It tasted fine, but it literally squeaked every time I chewed on it. It was like having wet shoes on tile floor inside my mouth. Weird.

So last night we stayed in a little town called Ollantaytambo (or Ollantay). It is the halfway point between Cuzco and Aguas Calientes (where Machu Picchu is). There are some great Incan ruins there as well and the town is much more of a tourist train stop than a tourist stop, so it was fun to be in a little less of a tourist trap for a night. We drank some great Chilean wine with dinner, and met an interesting fellow from LA (of course) who proceeded to try and convince us to write a book about our travels and he would (so selflessly) be our agent. Two bottles of wine in, we could almost see oursleves on Oprah.
This morning we woke up early (for us...about 8am), ate some breakfast and hiked up to some of the ruins, overlooking the town. It´s pretty amazing to think that these structures have been around for so long. The town itself is still built on the existing Incan design, with aqueducts bringing water from the river to almost every other street in the town. It makes some of our architecture seem very ephermeral in design.
Now we are back in Cuzco. I love this city. I actually just love Latin America. Seriously, for all of you who wondered if I´d ever really come home from this trip, I can guarantee you that this will be the hardest continent for me to leave. Once I leave here, you can all stop worrying. It´s all downhill after that. Even with having to carry around your own toilet paper, and NEVER throwing it in the toilet after you have used it, taking your chances on getting a hot shower, waiting an absurd amount of time for any service in any restaurant, almost getting killed daily by the crazy drivers who obey no standard set of rules of the road, and wondering if any of the stray dogs will accidentally mistake you for a piece of delicious food...I really, REALLY love it here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Machu picchu


Here we are (all three of us) at Machu Picchu. Don´t we look happy? Gnomy Gnomerson sure does...he didn´t just finish a grueling hike!

Well, a lot has happened since the last time I was at an internet cafe where the connection was semi-fast! We did go out to Isla Taquile on Lake Titicaca and spent the night out there. It was really interesting to see the ¨culture¨ change when the tourists left! One little girl was walking by us with the traditional way of carrying all of her things in a large cloth, tied and draped over one shoulder. She passed us, put it down, pulled out her pink hello-kitty backpack, folded up the cloth, packed it inside her backpack and carried on her merry way. So much for thinking we tourists are really visiting places that are not affected by tourism! We did get to wander around the island, and found a school and got to talk to some elementary school teachers, which was really great. Amazing how many things are the same...no matter where you are.
We then caught a bus back to Cuzco, and left the next morning for Aguas Calientes, outside of Machu Picchu. We decided, in our youthful enthusiasm (as my dad would say) to walk up to Machu Picchu, instead of taking the tourist bus. So at 4:30am the alarm went off, we struggled to roll out of bed, covered ourselves in bug repellant, and began our hour and a half ascent to the top. ALL STAIRS!!!! When we got to the top, we realized that sacrificing the virgin really had been a good idea after all, because we seriously couldn´t not have asked for better weather. Clear, clear, clear, with sun shining through the andes and lighting up the morning. (Most of you were still sleeping at this point, seeing that it was about 5am your time) We crossed through Machu Picchu, and continued to get our passes to climb the overlooking peak of Wayana Picchu. Another hour or so, all stairs again. I really don´t understand why the Inca built such tall stairs...they were little people after all. As Rahima said, at least after today, I might have a butt. If anything will do it, that will. :)
The view from the top was just breathtaking. My dad and I were supposed to climb Wayana Picchu together in 1996, but due to altitude sickness I spent the better part of my time dry heaving off the end of a bed in a nice hotel room. This time I made it up (thanks to modern drugs and more time to acclimate). I did it Dad!!!
I also got to think a lot about Matthew and Nana, since Nana´s nickname for Matthew is Machu Picchu. Pretty amazing how this place is so like him. Inspiring, unique, strong and silent (okay...maybe Matthew isn´t always that silent!), and it just leaves you with a profound sense that there is something so much bigger than all of us. Pretty good day all in all, and I´m sure after walking up and down, we will sleep well tonight.
We changed one of our flights already, to stay an extra day in Peru and then to have a total of 3 full days in Easter Island, instead of 5. (we leave E.I. a day earlier than originally planned). So we are here until the 18th, and will log at least 23 more bus hours before we get out of here. The running total currently is 38 hours on buses, 1.5 hours in ¨colectivos¨ (kind of like van-taxis), 1.5 hours on the train, and countless taxi rides. Yikes!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

tambien acepto besos y abrazos...




Well, we certainly are not at Machu Pichu. When we went to buy our train tickets we were told that Tuesday is holiday in Peru (technically Wednesday is the holiday but they close everything down on Tuesday) so there were no train tickets for Tuesday, and since all of Tuesday´s passengars would now be traveling on Wednesday, there were no tickets available until Thursday. So, since we had already packed up and were ready to be mobile, we took a bus to Puno, the city outside of Lake Titicaca (the highest navegable lake in the world at 3800m) and have been here since last night. Somehow compared to 22 hours on a bus, 8 is very minimal.
Today we went to the islas flotantes (floating islands) and it was sunny and beautiful. The islands are made from a totora plant which is used to literally make these islands upon which people live with churches, boats, houses, restaurants, etc. The gnome got to go too, which was fun for him. :) There was a local guy playing his guitar on the boat before we left and when it was time to go, he asked for small donations for his music. There were two german gals (with no spanish) who werent about to give up any change, so the guy saidto them (in spanish they also didn´t understand) tambien acepto besos y abrazos (I also accept hugs and kisses). I almost fell over laughing. I wonder how many times people will say funny things to us in other languages that we won´t understand at all...
So we made it back to Puno, and about 30 minutes after it started to thunder, lightning and rain...buckets. Still, sending one of my jackets back home was not my smartest idea...but the upside is that my pack is a little lighter for the next few weeks. We found a great hostel for $6 a night right in the heart of town. Tomorrow we are planning to go out to another island on the lake, and stay overnight at a homestay with a local family, who only speak Quechua. Should be an interesting break from being able to understand everything around me.
I tried to upload a few pics from today, but they look really grainy to me and I´m not sure why...but bear with me...I´ll get better at this technology thing. Serioulsy...I can´t get much worse! ;) Oh...and thanks to those of you who leave comments about my posts...every one of them has made me laugh :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

the good news...

...is that I found one of the pairs of missing headphones. And surprisingly it was the pair I was convinced I had left on the plane. Who knows where the other pair is though...only time will tell. Also, we have THREE more LAN flights...so we have a lot to look forward to in the airline travel department. I can't wait to play interactive battleship with Rahima again...and this time maybe I will actually beat her.
We lived through the 22 hour bus ride with seats that reclined 150 degrees. As I remember from another long latin american bus experience...they seem to turn off all sources of heat in the middle of the night, so it got COLD. I woke up about 6am and the entire windshield (on the second story where we were seated in the front, with a panoramic view obstructed only by the HUGE advertisement for their bus company painted in front of our eyes) was covered in ice. My small bag had actually frozen to the windshield. It was crazy...and did I mention, cold? But we made it through and arrived here in Cuzco. Today we are off on another adventure to get to Aguas Calientes, the little town outside of Machu Pichu. I can't wait. We are in a great hostel with hot water and lots of fun people, so things really have been easy so far. We are slowly compiling a list of things you have to love about Latin America, such as...
1 just because it is in a refrigerator does not mean it is cold
2 every job requires a uniform, even if the job itself requires no work at all
3 Halls coughdrops are considered candy, or the mint after a meal
4 taxi drivers NEVER have change

I'll update it as our journey continues...remember this is only day 5!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

no cool world phone in peru or chile...

Well, it seems that our ever-so-cool world phone doesn´t actually have coverage in peru or chile, so for at least the next month we won´t be getting your emails immediately via the blackberry. we will be going to internet cafes...so feel free to email us still but don´t expect an immediate response yet. We leave Lima today and embark on our first of many 22 hour bus rides. We should get to Cuzco by 2pm tomorrow afternoon. YIKES!!!! But we figure it is a rite of passage that we must endure. Wish us luck and check back soon to see how it went. Oh, and for those of you curious to learn about the first things lost...I get full credit. Seems I have ¨misplaced¨ two, yes two, pairs of ipod headphones...which is totally ironic considering I haven´t even listened to my ipod yet. Rahima is convinced that one pair is hiding somewhere in my pack...I am convinced the other pair was my generous donation to our first flight. Aside from the disappearance of my headphones LAN was probably my favorite airline of all times. Too bad we aren´t flying them again. :(

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane...or not.

Well it is now 4:30pm and we are still in LA. Our flight was supposed to leave at 2 but after going through the gate, taking a short bus ride to the plane, disembarking from the bus and almost boarding the plane we were redirected back to the bus, shuttled back across the airport and arrived safely back at the original gate. The flight has now been rescheduled for a 7:30pm departure. Good news? That gave me enough time to begin to figue out this blackberry and how to use it to both blog and check email. We also got $20 each in food vouchers. Bad news is that we were not allowed to use them for alcohol. Good news is that we are now surrounded by $40 worth of sandwiches, chips, muffins, croissants, and veggies and dip. Who needs to travel the world when you have all this at the LA airport?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One more day...




So how do you pack for 10 months? Kind of like this. Here are the contents of my backpack, and then a picture of how they all miraculously fit into a backpack and one carry-on bag. So what's in there? 5 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 dress, 12 shirts (of varying length sleeves), sunglasses, 2 pairs of shoes, my camera, a fleece, a rain jacket, a bikini, 2 bras, 20 pairs of underwear, 9 pairs of socks, one hat, 1 scarf, a pair of gloves, a million medications, 2 books, an ipod, a travel pillow (for the long airplane rides), a toothbrush, shampoo, etc., extra contact lenses, a journal, uno (thanks Emory), electronic travel yahtzee, sudoku, a flat iron (yes, I am THAT vain), and a garden gnome (thanks Mahalia). :) I have a feeling you will all see a lot more of the gnome in the future months. He needs a name though, so feel free to offer suggestions. :)

So, after a tearful goodbye with some of the best friends I could ever ask for, I got to LA last night, walked outside into the hot LA air at 9:35pm, and realized immediately, I had over packed. So today I will sort through the backpack and send some stuff back home...already. Last checked, the pack was about 38 pounds, and I was about 125. We'll see how those numbers change in the next months! I leave tomorrow at 1:50 from LAX and go directly to Peru. We should be there for about 2 weeks, and hopefully I will find out how easy it is to blog in other countries. Wish me luck!