So after a nine week stint in Bolivia which, looking back, seems all too brief, I’m back on the road and I’m by myself again. Nearly.
Since crossing the border from San Pedro De Atacama into Bolivia I have more or less constantly been surrounded by amazing people and friends – from the depths of our mine tour in Potosi to an amazing two weeks working the bar at Adventure Brew Hostel. After my prearranged Inca Trail tour to Machu Picchu, all of that is set to change. And for a few reasons, I am pretty excited to be hitting the road alone again.
Suddenly all the familiar feelings of solo backpacking come flooding back. Among them, resourcefulness, purpose, anticipation and the extra alertness required to travel alone. Naturally, some luxuries are relinquished: for example, no more travel buddies to share minute observations with during walks through towns, incredible shared experiences or the inevitably long delays encountered on a weekly basis. Added to this is the all too burdening task of having to keep a constant watchful eye on my pack – no more roomy toilet breaks! However, although they will be missed, the benefits of a companion are outweighed entirely right now by my excitement to carry out my plans to hitchhike north along the Peruvian Pacific coastline.
In addition, the reality of being away from new people only applies to those times out wandering on the open road, somewhere that I plan to spend a fair bit of time over the next couple of weeks – post Inca Trail – as I dust off my hitchhiking thumb and try my luck snagging rides over 1000km of road north along the Pan-America Sur coastal highway to Peru’s capital, Lima. (Map) Similarly to my experiences in Southern Chile and Argentina, I expect to meet a great deal of wonderful (and hopefully car owning) Peruvians and backpackers along the way. Minus my tent since the Torres Del Paine, I’ll be hoping for balmier nights with just my hammock and mosquito net as emergency sleeping aids.Stay tuned to the page for updates on the people and places I plan to share through new posts as my travels north take shape.
[Photo credit (La Paz): Ben Cumming, Flickr]