This is a post a started writing in my head whilst I was still in China, refined when I was in Huaraz and am now, finally, putting pen to paper.
Three months. It's a long time, isn't it?
Three pay cheques. A quarter of a year. 12 Friday nights out.
A long time, no?
Well, no. Actually.
When planning this trip I went from "South America is somewhere I'll get around to visiting one day, but it really isn't high on the list at all" to "wow, I really want to go to South America - there is so much to see/do/experience". See this for the history.
I thought 3 months would be a good amount of time and I had grand ideas of all the things I could do and that was long before the passport fiasco.
When I, well, we - me and Gil, mostly Gil, OK Gil - came to putting some form of ideas on to paper (based on what I wanted, so I have had some say in all this :)) it became very clear that 3 long months is a very short period of time and no time at all when in South America (and, I suspect, South East Asia, but that is for another day). There is just so much.
Thanks to the passport issue I've had to change my travel plans several times and there still isn't anything fixed as I'm totally under the control of when my new passport arrives, which should be in 6 week from now.
(side note: for those interested, the application is definitely with the Passport Office, they've taken payment for the new one. I can only hope that this is a good sign.)
So of those 3 long months, those 12 Friday nights, the vast majority of them will now be spent in Peru, giving my about 3 weeks to see something, anything, of the rest of South America, where the Salt Flats in Bolivia are what is want to see most. And that assumes my passport is returned in 6 weeks.
I am already toying with routes for another trip in South America, possibly something starting in Ushuaia and working my way up through Southern Chile and Argentina, doing Patagonia and the W trek (something I simply can do on this trip anymore), moving up towards Mendoza (another place gone) and then north in to Bolivia for the bits I don't get to do now or maybe head over to Buenos Aires via Córdoba.
All just ideas at the moment, but I've being here 4 weeks and I've already got another 3+ month trip for South America kicking around in my head.
3 months is not a long time.