Week 1: A flight to Lima (when we should have taken the bus. Faster and MUCH cheaper). A night out with old colleagues drinking 10 piscos too many. Pamela’s wedding and a bit more surfing in Miraflores.
Week 2: Another week surfing in Arica. Every day we say we will drive out to Atacama in the evening. Every night we stay in Arica. On Good Friday we leave for San Pedro de Atacama. Nighttime photoshoots, heavy trucking, last days and nights in Gellan.
Week 3: Calama, Valparaiso and 5 days in Santiago to sell Gellan to a German couple. Countless trips to notarias, a BBQ with our Bariloche friends and food poisoning for Daphne.
Week 4: 5 magical days in Easter Island. The long trip home. Rapa Nui – Santiago – Lima – London.
Week 1: A week spent surfing in Arica. We venture into town once, as we surf 3-4 hours a day. With two months to go we start compiling a list of things that we won’t have time to do.
Week 2: Drive up to the highlands and into Bolivia, a much less westernised and poorer country than Argentina or Chile. A tour of Tiwanaka ruins, Cholita wrestling, paranoia about theft, insanity sessions at 4,000mt.
Week 3: A weekend spent at Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titikaka. Heavy trucking up to Cusco despite Andy’s Deli Belly. A couple of days riding for Andy, Matchu Pitchu for Daphne and a night spent at 4500mt for the benefits of a shoot at dawn.
Week 4: Floods make it tricky to sell Gellan so major change of plans; we optimise for surfing, head down to Arica and hope to sell Gellan in Santiago. Long surfing sessions with Yoyo, BBQs, party nights and a new tatoo.
Week 1: A couple of days spent in San Martin de los Andes, another detour to explore Mapuche settlements off Routa 3 and long drives through barren volcanic land as we head north to Mendoza.
Week 2: A night in Mendoza, a hike up to Aconcagua base camp and three slow, relaxed blissful days spent in El Leoncito. Assado and a four course lunch at Septima vineyards followed by a heated discussion with 20something Argentinian feminists and socialists. An emotional goodye at Mendoza bus station as D heads to Athens and A continues the trip north.
Week 3: A few nights of isolation in the desert north of Mendoza, village festival and more reggeaton, a impromptu 4×4 exploration, condors, cacti and pre-Inca ruins at Quillemes. A day in Carafate, getting rather really very drunk. Salta
Week 4: The wild colours of the landscape north of Carafate, a leaking tent in a fishing village at lake General ‘someone or other’ A few days in Salta buying insurance for Gellan and photographing a Gaucho parade. Meanwhile D is in frustration world with Greek bureaucracy for passport replacement. After two weeks apart we are finally reunited in Arica.
Week 1: New Years at Peninsula Valdez looking at the photoluminescence and the galaxy. Trip back to Trelew to fix broken phone results into a smashed boot, another break in, 6 police escorts and a lot of stuff stolen including Daphne’s passport and Andy’s iPad.
Week 2: Week spent in hot and humid Buenos Aires walking around trying to find camera chargers, fix the car, cut second (and third) keys for Gellan, find a solution to stolen passport. A tango show and dinner at the best steak joint in town to celebrate surviving.
Week 3: Driving though the Pampas. Long, repetitive drives. Early starts. A last minute detour to Villa Traful and two days spent next to a glacial lake.
Week 4: Bariloche. Full of tourists, 16year olds on their first holiday away from home. A day riding bikes for Andy, new friends made, promises to meet each other again in Chile, a three day hike through the Andes and Andy’s 39th birthday celebrations.
Week 1: we leave Chiloe behind us and cross over to mainland Chile. Rodeo in Chaiten and peaceful nights in Parque Pumalin.
Week 2: on gravel roads driving further south. Parque Quelat, a difficult hike up Cerro Castillo and the Marble caves. We acquaint ourselves with the infamous patagonian winds
Week 3: Cross over to Argentina. A long windy drive down to El Chalten where we hunker down at the hostel and wait for the weather window. 4am ascent to FitzRoy for a 3′ window where we see the top. Drive to El Calafate explore Perito Moreno glacier
Week 4: Continue to drive south to Ushuaia where we decide to spend the entire week. 4 nights of wild camping and 3 nights in a luxury hotel in the centre of Ushuaia. Another van reset, some shopping, movies and a lot of sleeping.
Week 5: Drive north to Peninsula Valdez. A lot of heavy trucking, a smashed phone.
Week 1: farewell dinners with friends, furious packing and a wedding in Ireland where Daphne nearly lost her voice due to a nasty cold
Week 2: more packing. More boxes, more running up and down stairs, more ‘are we REALLY storing this away?’. Move all our stuff to storage, rent flat out, one final farewell dinner with friends. One ‘goodbye London’ lunch at the Ledbury for the two of us
FLIGHT TO LIMA AND THEN SANTIAGO
Week 3: 4 days in Santiago. Explore city amidst general strike and a lot of protests. Buy a car. Service car. Ponder name of car. Go to check on car at parking space only to find windshield broken. Nothing major stolen (hand sanitiser, almonds, phone charger) but quite a lot of hassle and a (bonus?) 5th night in Santiago added.
Week 4: A week in the Grande Isla de Chiloe. Kayaking at dawn, camping in remote sites and a two day trek through Chiloe’s national park. Problems with Gellan persist but first van overhaul day has taken place.