Saturday, August 10, 2013

Countdown has begun

Hi all!

It's been two months since the last post, so I thought it was time to post an update. Realizing that there are only 12 weeks, or more specifically, 83 days left before we leave, makes me nervous. VERY nervous. I am a huge control freak, so my compulsion to try to organize everything to the slightest detail is driving me insane! Luckily Claudio is helping me out, and is trying to remind me that you don't have to plan everything in advance. So I am trying to let go a little bit. But it's difficult... :) 

So what did we do in these last two months? Well, we set our official departure date: it will be the 1st of November 2013! We booked a flight from London to Lima on 03/11. So we decided to go to London two days before our flight leaves, and enjoy London a bit. It has been 15 years since I've been there, so I would love to go back. Soooo, we booked the Eurostar at 15h, leaving from Brussels South. Not so dramatic as an airport departure, but hey, it was cheaper to go with the train :D 

When we arrive in Lima, the 4th of November, we plan to stay in the city for 3 days. Then, the 7th, we will take the plane to go to Cuzco. We originally wanted to  take a bus, but since the bus is 20 hours, and the plane 1h30, and our time in South America is limited, we decided to take the plane. Our only concern is the high altitude. When you go by bus, you go up gradually, so you feel less nauseous. By plane, there is more risk for altitude illness. So hopefully it will be OK. We will probably stay in Cuzco for 1 week and visit Machu Picchu. From there, we are taking the bus to Puno, Lake Titicaca. From there, we will travel towards La Paz (Bolivia), taking a couple of days, and visit Copacabana and Isla del Sol at Lake Titicaca. 

So around the 17th / 18th we will be in La Paz. From there, we will take the bus to go to Uyuni. There we would like to take a tour of 2 days. When the tour is finished, we will travel towards Santa Cruz by bus, stopping in different Bolivian cities/towns. We will have around 1 week to do so, as we have a plane from Santa Cruz to Buenos Aires 2 December. 

Once landed in Buenos Aires, I booked a place for 5 days with Airbnb. Hopefully in those days we can also relax a little bit after the intensive month of travelling. From Buenos Aires, we will also go to Iguazu waterfalls. To go there, we will take the bus (20 hours !!!) and to go back we will fly (probably the 11th of December). The 12th of December we leave for Lima again, also with the plane. I know, A LOT of flying. Then, the 15th we leave for Miami. We are also planning to book our three nights in Miami with Airbnb.
It's such a nice concept: people offer a room in their home, sometimes with private bathroom included. You pay a much lower price than you would in a hotel. You can read comments from previous visitors, so you can see if it's reliable. When we are in Hawaii, we also booked our accommodation through Airbnb, because hotels are super expensive there! In that way, we can stay within our daily budget!

Besides the travel planning, we are also occupied with other important things. We are trying to choose/buy a backpack. We made a pile of all the things we want to take and Claudio arrived till 9 kilo's and me 8. So we are planning not to take a bag that is too big. We need to live with the bare minimum! 
In addition to that, we would like to buy a decent camera, that also doesn't occupy too much space in our backpack. So today is shopping day! Hopefully we can decide on something today, so we cross it of our list.
We are also looking for a good health / travel insurance. We are doubting between the travel insurance provided by our travel agency (Travel Nation) and the one of World Nomads. The decision will be taken next week.
And last but not least, we are making sure that our health is OK, going to the doctor, getting our shots, prescription drugs, etc. 

There is also good news regarding our apartment: we found new renters! This means we do not have to pay a fine for breaking our rental agreement. We are moving out the last week of October, and are moving in with my dad again. We are also leaving all our stuff there, so that is very convenient. Thanks dad :-)

So, everything is developing fast. Less then 3 months to go... It's becoming so real. I'm even planning our goodbye parties already! Crazy....

We'll talk soon!

Hugs XXX Marj & Cla