What an adventure I’ve been on. Travelling for more than 6 weeks now and the things I’ve seen and people I’ve met have blown my mind. Some old places, many new places and some unbelievable experiences.
My journey started in Peru in Lima as I met my trekking group for Black Dog Institute. This was the original reason for my trip, climbing Machu Picchu for Depression and anxiety research and awareness. One night there and then off to Cusco to begin our adventure with our guides. Visits to a school for girls, Pisac and the sacred valley followed by Sacsay Huaman.
The trek went for 4 days through the Lares Valley with the 5th day culminating at the incredible Machu Picchu. Many tears as another Wonder of the New World is ticked off and bucket list item completed. After our epic adventure we had a few days extra to enjoy Cusco and my darling friend Jess joined me for the next leg of the trip.
Jess and I went to Puno in Peru on Lake Titikaka and visited the floating islands of Uros. On this little tour we bumped into 6 men from Chile doing a motorbike roadtrip across South America. I love these random encounters, they make travel the fun it is.
Off to Bolivia where we went to Copacabana and straight to the stunning island of Isla Del Sol. We spent two nights here relaxing and seeing this small but beautiful island which seems part of an ocean- it’s a lake! Off then to La Paz and on to Uyuni and the Salt Flats but due to bus difficulties, we were held up in La Paz a day. This day was spent chilling with the Loki Hostal crew and taking it easy. Off then for 2 days, and 2 overnight bus trips, to Uyuni Salt Flats desert – incredible! No perspective in thesee deserts and colourful mountains that pop up out of nowhere. Then back to La Paz for a day of sightseeing and a crazy night of Karaoke at the Loki Hostal.
Interesting note –I did Karaoke in Peru twice, and Bolivia once. I usually do Karaoke once in every 2 years and here I do it 3 times in 2 weeks – conclusion. South America loves Karaoke.
I left the sweetie Jess and flew to Mexico City to join my bestie Emily. We flew to Cancun and arrived early hours exhausted after both trvelling more than 22 hours. Straight down to Tulum (link to tulum blog) the next day, aka paradise!! We spent 3 nights in cabanas by the beach and took trips out to the Tulum pyramids by the sea, Chichenitza – 7th wonder of the new world and The Gran Cenotes (pools of water and caves under the ground with beautiful coloured water.)
One night in Playa Del Carmen where we were meant to live it up and party- but it wasn’t really our scene and I passed out at 9pm – sunrise at 5.30am that morning took it out of me.
Off to my beloved Mexico City for 4 days and ready for reunions with dear friends from when I lived in Monterrey, Mexico in 2009. I was met at the airport by my dancing partner, Jorge, and shown to some traditional food. We met that night with my darling Hugo who is in a rock band, Radio Andres, and relocated to Mexico D.F. 2 years ago. In true Rock star tstyle we went out to party – this set the tone for mexico city! Days were spent shopping and being tourists on the big tour bus, and nights out drinking in local taverns, the cool area of condessa, and dancing with Jorge in his Salsa club. We were even treated to a concert on Saturday night as Hugo’s band Radio Andres performed locally. This was the hardest place to leave by far!
New Orleans – the city of Jazz and Blues. This is emily’s heaven and we started her itinerary from here in the USA. It was an incredible place New Orleans with it’s old world buildings, brass bands tunes echoing through the streets and bar culture. We loved finding live music wherever we went, even on the boardwalk through the medium of plastic buckets transformed to drums. It was great for me as I would nto usually partake in this style of music but here it’s so accessible, so good and so alive! We also went to a basketball game – you gotta do it! And I love it so we had a blast there.
TEXAS!! The home of big everything! Big food, big cars and big open spaces. It was unfortunately a very bad time of year as it was Thanksgiving and a lot of the college students who occupy Austin, Texas were out of town. We managed to find our own fun and some delicious food. Tex Mex, a grand feast at 24Diner for Thanksgiving and delicious Mexican from Food trucks. We met some fun locals Chris and Alan who opened our eyes to a whole new side of Austin Texas, which I always find best, being with locals.
Leaving my dearest Emily as she headed for the hills, also known as Australia, I carried on to Chicago and then to Roscoe, Illinois, to be with my dearest Cuzzie Bill. Bill “Magic 500” Hunter is a well known magician as he has peformed at the Indy 500 for 43 years and is friends to many stars. He’s also related to me as my Grandma’s cousin, making him my first cousin twice removed. He’s 89 years old but acts like a 24 yr old! We spent 6 days together popping in and out of Wisconsin and Illinois to visit his friends, many of whom I’d met last time and we couldn’t wait to see one another again. It was great to just relax and be with family after such an epic adventure. Many tears flowed as we said goodbye but I hope to be back in 6 short months.
So that’s the journey so far! 2 days more in Chicago and then 50 hours of travelling to get home – and I ose 3 calendar days. Can’t believe another adventure is coming to an end. You can read more about the individual places ans anecdotes from along the way here.