After an incredible two years and three months in Taiwan it was time to go. I could have easily stayed there forever BUT at 24 years old there were still lots of countries I wanted to tick off my list! With a couple of months worth of my Taiwanese savings ready to be spent I planned the trip of a lifetime to *drumroll* SOUTH AMERICA!
Leaving Taiwan was difficult so to cheer myself up I spent my birthday and Christmas in Indonesia (Bali, Nusa Lembongan and the Gilis) and Thailand (Koh Mak). I then returned to the UK for the first time in two years and nine months (crazy)!!! The plan was to get rid of my summer clothes and pack up thermals and anything that would keep me warm high up in the Andes. It also meant I had two weeks to revisit the food (and ribena) I couldn’t get for years in Taiwan (my mum’s incredible cooking, cheese, roast dinner, cheese, fish and chips, Lancashire hot pot, my mum’s incredible cooking, gravy, cheese, pies, homemade cakes, decent Italian food, cheese, a properly sized pizza, cheese, more of my mum’s incredible cooking… you get the gist).
I was about to spend 8 months and 24 days travelling around the incredible continent of South America (February – November 2011). I saw a lot, walked A LOT and loved it even more.
I left my home town of Bury after a busy two weeks on Friday 4th February 2011. I caught the train from Manchester to London, Euston and ate one final delicious roast beef dinner and bacon butty the following morning at my aunty’s house. At 10am on Satuday 5th February I waved goodbye and flew to Caracas, Venezuela.
Here’s where I visited, in the order that it happened…
This map shows my exact route from Venezuela down to Argentina. If you click on a place I have visited you will also get to see a WildYellowBelly photo.
Caracas, Maracay, Puerto Colombia, Coro, Maracaibo.
(February / March 2011)
Santa Marta, Tayrona, Taganga, Cartagena, Medellin, Manizales, Salento, Popayan, Ipiales.
(March / April / May 2011)
Quito, Mindo, Sua, Papallacta, Tena, Banos, Quilotoa, Latacunga, Salinas, Riobamba, Cuenca, Vilcabamba.
(May / June / July 2011)
Piura, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Huaraz, Lima, Huacachina, Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno.
(August / September 2011)
Copacabana, La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Samaipata, Sucre, Potosi, Uyuni, Tupiza.
(September / October 2011)
Huamahuaca, Salta, Cafayate, Tafi del Valle, Mendoza, Bariloche, Villa Angostura, El Bolson, Puerto Madryn, Buenos Aires, Puerto de Iguazu.
Here’s a random selection of some of the blogs I wrote whilst travelling South America:
If you’re planning on visiting any of the places I’ve covered and you want more information or tips on hostels, bungalows, bus fares, scooter rentals, tour companies just let me know and I’ll help you as much as I can. If you click on the TripAdvisor link you will find all the places I’ve stayed at throughout my South American trip. Also check out Tom’s Travel Blog for all things South American, exact prices and ‘how to’ details for many places.
I’m not saying I’m an expert by any means, but throughout my travels I’ve relied on travel blogs and websites for a lot of information so I’m more than happy to pass my experiences and information on to the next traveller.