The passport chronicles (part 3)

Passport is here. In my hands!!!!!!!!!!

The race is on for our randevouz in Arica. 4 flights for me; 2 of which have not been booked. 20hr drive for Andy who is still in the Chile – Argentina boarder.

Needless to say I’ve only got 3 hours to pack and head to the airport.

Huge thanks to my mum, dad, Andy’s mum and sister, Georgina, Paris, Leah, Zoe, Rich, Em, Deppy, Thanassis, the “feel good thread” gang and Pammy for their daily support and encouragement.  Special mention to my bro who patiently accumulated dozens of Amazon parcels and shipped them to Greece and Angelina who flew over from Stockholm for my birthday. And everyone else who I am sure I am forgetting now (this feels like an Oscars speech).

Part deux is on!

The passport chronicles (part 2) 

I got into Athens a week ago now on a very early morning flight from rainy London. Athens is enjoying its halcyon days, the sky is an electric blue and the sun is warm, inviting everyone to be outside.

Unfortunately I have not been able to enjoy much of it. Of the seven days I’ve been here I’ve been cooped up in various public offices every morning.

Continue reading “The passport chronicles (part 2) “

A desert (puna) vignette – life out here

A vignette from the past few days:

Coffee by a thorn tree

The hot oven-dry wind plasters my shirt to my shoulders as I sit in the sparse freckled shade of a lone thorn tree watching the mercury-silver shimmer of the road twenty meters away.  On the other side of the gravel is a cinderblock hut, roof of plastic sheeting held by logs and rocks, a small wooden door, more propped than hung, in the doorway. Behind the hut is the white-bleached sky the sand wash of a desiccated riverbed, and corral of twisted sticks. Continue reading “A desert (puna) vignette – life out here”

Mendoza and around (part 3)

Given my inability to keep track of what day it is, I miscalculated and set off for Mendoza a day early. Happily that gave us the luxury of (even more) time. As we were hungry, and as it was: nearly our last day for a while, nearly valentines and nearly three months on the road, I suggested spontaneous lunch at a vineyard. Happily the next one we passed was the award winning Septima Continue reading “Mendoza and around (part 3)”

Mendoza and around (part 2)

A handful of notes to bring us up to speed (now I have wifi)

The sign, after careful translation read:

In the event of seeing a puma:

  • Gather your children together
  • Shout and wave your arms
  • Do not run
  • Tell a ranger as soon as possible

It is with these wise words forefront of mind that I set off for a run to the observatory and back, at dusk. Continue reading “Mendoza and around (part 2)”

Worries, anxieties and fears

Dear friends,

as some of you know the last month and a bit has not been easy. Since our car was broken into in Trelew I have become increasingly agoraphobic and anxious. I insist that we always park Gellan in estacionamentos when in cities, take my few remaining valuables up on the tent with us at night despite the perfectly adequate safebox in the car… As the day of my flight to Athens loomed over us I became more and more worried over the possibility of flying all the way to Athens but failing to get an emergency passport which would see me ‘stuck’ in Greece. I know there’s a lot worse places for one to be stuck, but that’s not where I want to be for the next three months. There’s still surfing to be enjoyed, a wedding to attend and spending some time with  tribes in the Amazon.

I know I am being paranoid. I know that worrying, stressing and lying sleepless in the middle of the night will not magically produce a passport. As someone far wiser than me said “In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double”.

Nevertheless, three months to the day since we first got to South America I am boarding a plane back to Athens. And so until I get a new passport I am password protecting this site so that noone other than you can see what we are up to.  It will ease some of my paranoia so please bear with me.

The password? Could not be anything else other than ‘goingloco’ 🙂


Daphne xoxo


p.s. apologies for any spelling mistakes. I am writting to you from my BA hotel on an ancient computer where everything is in Spanish (including spell checking so that I get a red line under every word). And obviously this is a Windows computer which I have not used since 2009 #firstworldproblems


The most precious thing

First of all a disclaimer. This is being written in Mendoza, after a four course lunch with paired wines where I have had to consume most of the wines (one of the small perks of having your drivers license stolen and technically not being able to drive).

Now, to the chase. A lot of friends and family ask me how we are doing, what we are up to etc. But one of our dearest colleagues asked me the killer question. “What is the most precious thing you’ve learnt so far?”. Boom. 

So, Claudia Woah-Shea this is for you (as Andy always refers to you as). 

The most precious thing i have learned is that planning is not the be all and end all. For those of you who know me, you know that I like boxes, and organisation, and lists and bullet points. For those of you who know Andy you are probably thinking “how has she not killed him yet?”  

Ain’t gonna lie to you. It’s been close. Like the time he suggested a 35k detour down a horrible gravel road to get to Villa Traful. But then that ended up being one of the nicest locations on our trip. Or the time he suggested a winery lunch. Which brought us at the most award winning winery in Mendoza. 

The most precious thing I’ve learned is that I need a broad directional plan. I don’t to have a detailed military expedition outlining every stop for the next 10days. Because the fun stuff, the stuff that take centre stage in my short list of favourite things we’ve done so far were not on any detailed plan. 

To paraphrase one of the most famous Greek poems, it’s about the journey not the destination. And to be more precise 

“As you set out to Ithaka, 

Hope the voyage is a long none, 

Full of adventure full of discovery.” 

…and further down… 

” And if you find her poor, Ithaka will not have fooled you. 

Wise as you have become, so full of experience, 

You will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean” 

Full poem here 

Mendoza and around (part 1)

View of Aconcagua from the bottom of the trail to base camp

We arrived in Mendoza on Sunday afternoon. The sky was grey, filled with heavy clouds and the Andes were nowhere to be seen.

Getting into cities is always a stress, more so now. Where do we park? Is there a hostel with secure parking where we can possibly stay in Gellan but use their facilities? A thorough review of iOverlander and a look through the guide book – the answer is no. We do manage to find a parking lot in Plaza Independencia which has a small (and filthy) bathroom and which will let us stay for the night for the “bargain” price of 300ARG. We are being robbed but there’s no alternative.

Continue reading “Mendoza and around (part 1)”