Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Trip by Numbers

Following an idea of Letizia's - here's a numeric summary of my trip, accompanied, for the non-numeric of you, by some vaguely relevant photos.

Planes Trains and Automobiles ... and bloody busses

Total hours spent in a bus: 86
Number of nights 'slept' on a bus: 3
Longest bus trip - 22 bum numbing hours. You could fly from Sydney to London in that time.

Elapsed hours flying home: 52 - as part of a total of 120 + hours spent flying or in transit.
Number of flight legs: 12 (Sydney - Auckland - Buenos Aires - Bariloche - El Calafate. Ushaia - Buenos Aires. Puerto Iguazu - Buenos Aires - Lima - Cusco - Lima - Buenos Aires - Auckland - Sydney).

There were also 30 hours spent in mini-bus tours - around Salta alone. Throw in another 20 in Mendoza and 20 or so in Patagonia. And finally, there were 4 boat trips - 3 in Patagonia (including the Beagle Channel and the Magellan Strait) and a cruise on the brown waters outside Tigre.

Magellan Strait

Kilometres hiked: 80 odd (42 Inca Trail, 40 or so in Patagonia)
Maximum altitude reached of 4200 metres - in the Andes near San Antonia de los Cobres, on the Chilean - Argentinean border (RN40), and at the delightfully named Dead Woman's Pass on the Inca Trail. I know which one I'll remember getting to the most !

4170M up the Andes

Dead Woman's Pass - 4215M

Christ the Peacemaker at 4200M on RN40


Days - or nights - camping: 6 - during which it rained: 6 (maintaining what seems like a life-long record, but there might, just might, be a dry night there I've forgotten)

88 (ochenta y otto) is the name given to this butterfly, although this particular one looks more like an eighty !

Number of public chunders: 2 - caused by dodgy Pisco Sours: 2.
Number of lessons learnt regarding raw egg: 0.
Number of guinea pigs eaten: 1. Number of guinea pigs I want to eat in the rest of my life: 0.

Number of bees who missed a golden chance to sting me: 100s.

Bee Ware !

Pairs of dorky hiking pants bought in Buenos Aires 2 - pairs of which left in a hotel who then denied all knowledge: 1. Number of times I looked like a fisherman on tour: 4

Fisher D

And while we're on fashion, number of days unwisely impersonating Axl Rose: 2.

Value of belongings nicked: $0, despite all warnings - or because of all precautions. This not counting the money spent on outrageous ATM fees: ~$150 (roughly AUD7.50 a pop - with a $100 withdrawal limit)

I took 2020 digital photos - and 12 rolls of slide film - another 430 odd photos. 1 camera battery died - conveniently on the eve of the Inca Trail. Number  of power points on the Inca Trail, to recharge remaining camera battery: 0.

1 tour led by a lady carrying a flag (my first ever) - with an outrageous Peruvian/Russian/Chinese accent. Visiting, appropriately enough, Saqqsaywamman (say it out loud).
Who am I, the red teletubbie, to laugh ?

Nights on the road: 42 (or 43 if you count December 23rd twice).
Best not to ask how many kilograms of steak eaten, but the first night (and second 23rd of December) there were 1000 grams consumed in a single sitting.
8 kilograms left behind in South America - of which only 2 have come back after a month (notwithstanding the above, but see also food poisoning and kilometres hiked !)

Number of comments on this post: surprise me !


Robyn said...

Question: why did you celebrate reading Dead Woman's Pass by humping the signpost? (Actually, that's a good a thing to do as any.)

Hey, brilliant photos. What an adventure. I'm scared of South America, so I applaud you for having such thorough travels. And thank you for sharing them with the interwebs!

Duncan said...

After Passing on the Dead Woman - it was the next best option !

Glad you liked the piccies - if you're scared of South America, Argentina is a great place to start - much less South American than the rest of the continent - as they keep reminding you :)

Sharing helps me prolong the enjoyment.

Sean Carmody said...

Did the guinea pig taste terrible, or is it more the concept?

Duncan said...

I was fine with the concept - although when it arrived it looked more like a rat than a guinea pig. The serving style - leaving the face, teeth ears etc, certainly is provocative to our sensibilities.

Above all though it's a real hassle to eat. Tradition requires it to be eaten by hand (my knife and fork were quickly whisked away), it's incredibly bony, and tastes more like dried out pigeon than chicken.

For some reason, it's considered a delicacy over there and priced at 3 times a normal main course. The locals love it and our guide happily picked over my discarded bones for the few bits of meat I'd missed!