Three days till my trip!

Trip Start Mar 02, 2005
Trip End May 07, 2005

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, February 27, 2005

I've created this travelog to keep friends and family updated on my travels in South America. Internet cafes seem to exist even in the most remote places, so I figure I should be able to update this site pretty regularly during my trip.

Why did I choose South America? I love visiting places where I speak the language. It just gives you so much more of an opportunity to interact with locals and absorb the culture. And yes, I must confess, watching The Motorcycle Diaries was very inspiring. Some of the scenes in that movie of the Andes Mountains and the Peruvian desert are just breath-taking. Plus, I've always had a fantasy of visiting the Amazon. I don't have a fully fledged itinerary right now, but I prefer to be flexible about my route. I have a ticket into Quito on March 2 and a ticket out of Lima on May 7. I plan to spend a few days in Quito, then I'll head south through the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" in central Ecuador and do some hiking. By March 9, I'm planning to arrive in Cuenca, the third largest city in Ecuador (it's described by my Ecuadorian friend as "the most beautiful colonial city in Ecuador"). I've been in email contact with a doctor who does public health work in Cuenca, so I'm planning to spend a week or two living in Cuenca and volunteering at a rural "Family health program". I'm not sure what that will entail, but it should be fun. After Cuenca, I'm hoping to head south into Peru. I have a friend from college doing Peace Core in Peru, so I'd like to meet up with him. Then I'll probably go to the south of Peru towards Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. After that I'm hoping to venture into Boliva for a week or two before returning to Peru for a jungle excursion. This plan is very tentative and will probably change.

So there are three days left until I leave. I still have a lot of little things to take care of - like canceling my gym membership and cell phone and stuff. But I'm mostly all set with the major things: I have all the clothes I need, I got a new pair of hiking boots at EMS, I bought a portable MP3 player to keep me entertained on long bus rides, I have a gore-tex rain coat (It's going to be the rainy season while I'm in the Andes), I have my lonely planet guides to Ecuador and Peru...

Last night was my going away party - we met up at The Enormous Room in Central Square and ended the night at the Hong Kong. It was a pirate-themed pub crawl. My friend Dan brought pirate hats, eye patches, a plastic sword, and a hook. There are some great digital photos of the evening that were taken by my friends Eduardo and Nelson. I'll try to post them as soon as I get the pictures.
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