Trip Start Aug 01, 2003
16Trip End Jan 27, 2004
I`ve arrived in Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego (land of fire) at the end of the world in Argentina.
Tomorrow I board a plane and fly home with a head and heart full of incredible memories; people, places, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, fiestas, romance, hangovers, languages, mountains, lakes, rivers, glaciers, canyons, deserts, salt plains, casinos, beaches, islands, volcanos, ruins, Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, caves, hummers, bikes, horses, kayaks, rafting, hiking, parachutes, snorkeling, scuba diving, camp fires, shooting stars, hotels, shellfish, steak, chilli, wine, roads and roads and roads.....
The last few weeks have been border hopping between Chile and Argentina, through Patagonia. It`s also been 3 weeks of camping so to have found a 5 star hotel in Ushuaia for my last two nights on the road has been an absolute treat.
It seems inappropriate to make this, my final email, too long and detailed as my mind is very much focussed on summarising my adventure. For myself more than anyone else. My head is all over the place as I prepare to fly home and I honestly can`t tell you how I feel... I have butterflies and am incredibly excited to see family and friends but am really sad to be leaving behind this most amazing time of my life. If I could go back to day one and do it all over again, I would jump at the chance.
Argentina and Chile are beautiful and very like Alaska and Canada. I loved those countries so much that it`s been a real treat to go almost full circle and see the same landscapes. Alpine mountains, fresh clear rivers and stunning sights such as the granite pillars of Torres del Paine, a hanging glacier and the huge wall at the foot of the Moreno glacier. Bariloche, where they make fantastic chocolate. Horse riding on working horses at ranches, watching sheep being sheared.
Enough has been said already and some of you will be bored to tears with stories when I get home.
I will leave a part of myself sitting by the river in Canada, Half Moon Bay in Honduras, on the rocks in Montezuma Costa Rica.....
A blend of shared cultures, shared languages,
Disappearing seamlessly into the next,
Only able to tell the difference once they have passed,
Images flash by, we fly by,
A glimpse into peoples lives, alien lives,
Never the chance to question,
Only to imagine what life is like.
For a short time my life full of extremes,
Arctic, tropical, alpine, sunburn, windburn,
Sea level to 5,000ms and back again,
Mountain villages, towns, cities or the middle of nowhere,
Sleeping under the stars on the edge of the world,
Walking blind in a cave!
Days roll into one,
Mountains roll on and on,
My feet walk on and on,
A passport full of stamps tells only half the story,
Weary travellers, weary beggars,
Both lifted by inquisitive eyes, questioning smiles,
Countries slip by, Spanish hidden in dialects,
Hearts squeezed by altitude, children with dirty faces and outstretched hands.
Oceans beautiful and strong,
Mountains powerful and overwhelming,
Colours created by nature I never could have imagined,
Stretching on for miles and miles,
An overland trip of magnitude, not just in distance,
Christmas? The same the world over!
A snapshot of The Americas indeed,
From have a nice day to como estas?
Mountain tops in the clouds,
My head in the clouds...
See you on the other side!
Peace & Love