It’s my last day in South America. I really enjoyed the last three months on this continent and look forward to come back in October for my travel between Lima and Cartagena. Brazil, Argentina and Chile are much more developed than the African countries I visited on my last trip from Cairo to Nairobi. Travelling was certainly much easier and convenient but more expensive too. However, for whatever reason I managed to stay under the travel budget I calculated for this trip. I’m on the road now for six months and still enjoying being out there in the world. There isn’t much I miss about home: #1 is the personal contact with my family & friends, #2 the inability to establish a close relationship to someone since I’m usually not more than 1-3 days in the same place, #3 the craziness of some Germans, #4 reliable access to internet and hot showers, #5 specific foods on a regular basis such as excellent Sushi, #6 frequent visits to the gym and sauna.
I’m already looking forward to my Central Asian experience, especially to visit Iran and Tibet. I haven’t been to this part of the world and I have little idea about how life is in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kirgizstan and Kazakhstan. Even being a big fan of the Kazakh journalist Borat didn’t help much to increase my knowledge about his country. If someone would ask me what I imagine I would probably answer: lots of Vodka, steppe type of landscape and rare access to the internet. Let’s see how it actually will be.
I started the day with a hotel breakfast with some of the traveler who left the truck in Santiago. There was Anki and a new Dragoman trainee who will be working on the truck “Yana” left behind in Santiago while two different groups of travelers are now on “Mamacita” until the next stop in Mendoza. There were also Stuart and Sarah who will leave the trip for a while for a little side trip to the Easter Island. This island belongs to Chile and the shortest way to get there is a six hour flight from Santiago. Therefore, the island is claimed to be the most remote inhabitant island in the world. The island is actually quite small (25km long and 12km wide) and many people fly there just to see the islands main attraction which are 887 statues called Moai. Since it takes quite some time to travel there I haven’t included it in my schedule but I’m sure one day I will go there.
Interesting about the hotel I’m staying in is the differentiated service experience. While in German hotels they come and clean your room in the morning (in business hotels even at 8am) here they don’t show up before 6pm. They also take cleaning that literally that they actually touch your belongings and throw away the stuff they think you might not need anymore. So a piece of lava I took from my climb of the Villarrica Volcano, some paper on my desk and my nearly empty shower gel got removed.
I spent the majority of the day with chilling out in the streets of Santiago, enjoying the sunshine on my skin and following up on this blog.
To conclude my South America trip with numbers, these are the kilometers we have covered and the liters of diesel we used for it:
Manaus to Salvador: 2,928 km / 907 liters
Salvador to Rio de Janeiro: 2,812 km / 1,297 liters
Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires: 4,476 km / 1,198 liters
Buenos Aires to Santiago: 8,664 km / 2,550 liters
Total: 18,880 km / 5,952 liters