A numerical, prosaical and pictorial summary of 100 days in South America

We’ve done it. We’ve travelled through seven South American countries, crossing six land borders, in precisely 99 nights and 100 days. Here’s a statistical summary of our time there.

Click here to view selected images of trip highlights from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia…

Transport

Number of buses: 31, including 12 night buses
Number of hours on buses:
A gobsmacking 271
Number of buses missed:
A big, fat, proud zero
Number of buses left without us, mid-journey:
1 (but we chased it and caught it)
Country with the best buses:
Argentina, where total cama rules
Place with the craziest bus drivers:
Rio de Janeiro city buses – the drivers there know nothing about g-forces
Best bus journey:
Crossing the Andes, from Mendoza to Valparaiso – definitely one to do during the day (and at the front of the top deck)
Longest bus journey:
Valparaiso to Calama, Chile and Rio de Janeiro to Campo Grande, Brazil – both 22 hours
Other forms of transport used: Pick-up trucks, private jeeps, share jeeps, city buses, rowing boat, yacht, motor boat, numerous taxis, tram, ascensor, mountain bike, rickety bike, hang glider, hire car, barge, train, horse, a green 1937 Ford Fordoor and, of course, our own trusty two feet.

Experiences and places

Most memorable moments:

  • Watching (and hearing) a giant otter eat a caiman in the Pantanal
  • Dancing almost naked in the spray of Iguazu Falls
  • Browsing antiques in Buenos Aires
  • An alpaca sprinting pell mell across the tundra to greet us in Parque Nacional Lauca, Chile
  • The clouds rising beneath the Sun Gate to reveal Machu Picchu in all its glory after trekking the Inca Trail
  • Seeing a humming bird for the first time, at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
  • Climbing out of Colca Canyon in two hours and seven minutes
  • Seeing dolphins in Paracas Bay, Peru
  • Christmas with Henry and Katie, Craig’s uncle and aunt, in Manta, Ecuador
  • Being taught to salsa by a drunken man in Cali, Colombia
  • The looks on my parents’ faces the first time they experienced the wonders of Skype

Favourite places:

Best experiences:

Things we’re glad we’ve done but never want to do again:

Food and drink

Best South American drinks:

  • Espressos for breakfast in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
  • Caipirinha (across Brazil)
  • Familia Zuccardi wines, particularly the Zuccardi “Q” Chardonnay and Malamado dessert wine, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Pisco Sour (with egg white in Peru, without in San Pedro de Atacama)
  • Maracuyá (passion fruit) juice (everywhere I can find it)
  • Maracuyá Sour (Hotel Paracas, Peru)
  • Maracuyá mojitos (Santa Marta, Colombia)

Best South American food:

  • Breakfast of fresh fruit juice and intense coffee on our first day in South America, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Steak and red wine, El Desnivel, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Ice cream, Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Homecooked spaghetti bolognaise, Hostel Lao, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Trout ravioli, Inkaterra machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Aguas Caliente, Peru
  • Ceviche on the beach in Mancora, Peru
  • BBQ of fresh fish, Manta, Ecuador

Accommodation

Number of beds slept in (not including night buses): 48
Best hotels and hostels:

And now for some random stats…

Number of times Craig has been chased by dogs: 1 (a record low)
Number of items lost/stolen:
2 (mobile phone, umbrella)
Number of insect bites:
Too many to count – main culprits: mosquitoes, sand flies, coffee flies and spiders
Number of times vomited:
Me – 3, Craig – 1
Number of arguments:
a handful but we never went to sleep on an angry stomach
Countries we most want to revisit:
Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador
Places we would have visited, with more time/money:
Patagonia, deep Amazon, Brazil’s northern beaches, northern coast of Ecuador, Argentina’s Lake District, Guyana

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Comments
2 Responses to “A numerical, prosaical and pictorial summary of 100 days in South America”
  1. ohhnice post but really? yo fantastic website yea nice work

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