After 35 days, 12 flights, 9 different airports, 4 time zones and currencies, from sub-zero temperatures in the Salar de Uyuni to the humidity of the Amazon - after travelling by various modes and methods of transport including boat, train, plane, bus and 4WD... WE MADE IT! It's great to be home - flushable toilet paper, brushing my teeth with tap water, not having to wear thongs (flip-flops for you Americans) in the shower, driving on the left side of the road and best of all... having a good old cuppa' English Breakfast tea (oh how I've missed you Twinings). It really is the little things in life. This trip really was beyond my wildest dreams, with countless amazing experiences and adventures, which was enhanced by the company of some pretty awesome people. It really has reaffirmed my love for exploring this wonderful world. Full of highs (literally) and lots of laughs, I loved every single second. What started as a quest to conquer/survive the Inca Trail and see Machu Picchu in all its glory soon led to the realisation that it really is the people that make the place. As Christopher McCandless once wrote: "Happiness only real when shared". Life will never be the same.
Highlights include: Salar de Uyuni This really needs to be at the top of everyone's Bucket List. For real. Cannot stress how much I love this place. And to think I only visited a tiny fraction of it. Already dreaming about visiting it during the wet season. Indescribably and amazingly beautiful - full of incredibly diverse and ever-changing landscapes. There is so much more than playing around with crazy photos on the white, flat terrain of the salt crystals (though I strongly encourage you do this). Make sure you choose the right company (Quechua Connections). Mind blown.
Inca Trail - Machu Picchu This was at the top of my Bucket List - and for good reason. Learning about the (somewhat macabre and grisly) history of the Incan Empire along the journey and visiting ancient sites during the 4-day Inca Trail, culminating in a visit to Machu Picchu really was a memorable experience. We went with G Adventures and had really great guides and a group who really cared for one another and kept each other going. Massive kudos to the porters and cooks; it really was a team effort and what they do should be recognised - mammoth effort. Dune buggying in the Huacachina desert So much fun! If you get the chance to stop by the town of Ica, make sure you hop on a dune buggy. Like a rollercoaster on sand, with all the bumps and thrills minus the actual jolts. Sandboarding down the huuuge dunes was insanely smooth and crazy/awesome.