Ever since my trip to Patagonia & Antarctica in 2007-2008 I have wanted to go back to South America. From other travellers in Argentina and Chile I heard great stories about Galapagos, Machu Picchu and Salar de Uyuni. I was planning to go to these places at the end of 2008, but decided to travel in South-East Asia with a Swiss friend instead. At the end of 2009 there was no chance of taking a leave from the project in Prague for 5 weeks. So in 2010 I can finally make my dream come true. 2,5 months of paid leave and 3 months of unpaid leave should provide ample time to visit these places, and more. I am basically going back to slow travelling (like slow food or slow IT – Ron Tolido wrote some interesting columns on the topic), the method of travelling I got used to during my time in Australia, New Zealand and Patagonia. With a 5-month trip there’s not the (self-inflicted) rush there was in South-East Asia, where on some days I would be travelling by bus for 7 hours in the morning, do some sightseeing in the afternoon, and travel another 7 hours by bus the next day.
Obviously I will be exploring all the highlights of the places that I am visiting, but also the less known sites, of which I generally treasure the fondest memories. And it will allow me to simply stay longer in a place that I like, for example Ushuaia and Bariloche in Argentina. Arequipa in Peru is likely to qualify for this as well. To keep things flexible, I decided to have only a short list of must do’s for this trip: the already mentioned Galapagos, Machu Picchu and Salar de Uyuni, as well as the redeemer of Christ in Rio de Janeiro and Chitzen Itza. This way I can see all the new world wonders in the Americas in one trip and boost my score from 1 to 4 out of 7. And 5 countries (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico) in 5 months seems a lot more managable than 5 countries in 5 weeks.