Friday, August 8, 2008

The end of the end

Today our trip is over. After catching a short flight back from Salta, I find myself back in the city I’ve learned to love over the past two months. The end of our cracked-out, mad-hatter dash across Bolivia and Peru means that the end of my 6.5 months as an ex-pat is fast approaching. In three days I’ll be in Boston, surrounded by immediate and extended family members. Nat and I covered a lot of ground over the past two weeks, in more ways than one. The best way I can think of to sum up our trip (without getting too corny or bogged down in desultory details) is to write a list. So, here it is. The grand tally, as it were:

Number of:

Flights taken: 3
Bus rides: 11
Long cab rides (excluding to and from airports and bus stations): 3
Train rides: 3
Border crossings: 4
Times we ate alpaca: 2
Times we were hit on by ‘a real life Inca!’: 1
Llamas seen: not enough
Warmer pieces of clothing purchased: 7 (mittens count as 1)
Volcanoes climbed: 1
Bad sunburns: 2
Mummies seen: 4
Love-tokens purchased: 1 (by Natalie, but in her defense she just wanted a picture with the love-token seller…)
New friends/ people we can stay with when we keep traveling: many
Times we got kicked out of a cab: 1
Andean music videos we were subjected to: too many (and yet, never enough)
Times we got fed-up with other traveling Americans: a lot
Times Nat and I got fed-up with each other: never (at least to my knowledge)
Sunrises witnessed: 4-5
Pictures taken: over 400 (collectively)
Times we got food poisoning: none
Times I spoke Arabic: 1
Pisco sours drunk: 4
Traditional tribal dances watched: 2
Times we tried not to think about the trip ending: many

And there you have it. That was our trip, in a nutshell. The two things I can say for certain are that it was wonderful, and that I will be back (hopefully soon), to this wonderful continent. To the llamas, the Incas, the quinoa, and the mountains: hasta luego.