Sucre, the Whitewashed City

Sucre, the former capitol of Bolivia, impressed us with it’s colonial charm and ornate architecture.  It’s a university town and the richest city in the country, which definitely shows.  We wandered the best grocery store we’ve found in months and spent many hours just walking around admiring the surroundings.  Honestly, after months of travel in developing countries, it was really nice to be in such a clean and pretty place for a change!

Plaza 25 de Mayo

To be fair though, there were still a lot of beggars, including some kids that set the record for most annoying pestering.  We made the mistake of walking by while eating popsicles, and two small kids ran after us, grabbing our legs and demanding “Give me your ice cream!” in Spanish.  Honestly kid, I might have given you the rest of my popsicle if you had asked nicely, but when you’re screaming and trailing off my pant-leg, there’s no way.  Would have been a good way to get robbed but thankfully we didn’t have anything in our pockets.  Safe to say we avoided that sidewalk from then on.

Melissa no longer involved with project and trip

Sadly, I announced to Carrie and Zach a couple of weeks ago that I am no longer planning to join them for the trip. I’ve been dealing with uncertainty regarding my involvement with La Aventura Project for the past few months and I need to face reality and make a decision. I still wholeheartedly believe in the trip and its reasoning and am completely supportive of Carrie and Zach.

The obvious question: Why?

It’s personal! Of course it is… a lot has changed for me over the past 10 or so months when we started talking about this trip. The closer it gets, the more rushed and unready I become. I’ve had a lot of setbacks this year and I’m not ready to embark on the big adventure; I have things I want to stick around for and things I need to deal with. I’m going to focus on getting things back on track in my life and enjoy what I’m doing. I would like to travel in the future and am inspired by the spirit of La Aventura Project.

Want more? Details:

My brother is getting married in June 2012
I got sick with mono in January that took its toll on me and took me a long time recover
Working through a lot of personal and family issues, making progress
Have an auto accident open and pending for court in May 2012
Working at a position that I’m interested in where I can learn and grow

10 more days of work.

After only 10 more days of work, we will set off on our Pre-South American, North American adventure.  We have worked ourselves crazy over the past months trying to save enough for the next year or longer of not having income.  Our bodies hurt and need rest.  Our minds hurt and need travel.  So tomorrow is time for 2 week notices and I only have 5 more free days in Arizona to get everything wrapped up.  We also have promotional stickers and business cards to print and a million other things.  What a crazy next 2 weeks it will be.  But once on the road there will be more time for blogs and updates, so stay tuned for the adventure!

¿podemos seguir adelante con ella?

My pack

Because my Spanish is still really bad, google translate helps me out.  What I think I am saying is CAN WE JUST GET ON WITH IT?  I am ready to get out of here.  Not that Arizona is not an amazing place, but after a year of planning, it is time to get this show on the road.  I already have my backpack set and almost everything I need to survive for 1 year is in it.  These next few months are going to be very long.

The West Is The Best

Last September, Carrie and I moved to northern Arizona to experience the west.  After spending the first 22 years of my life in Ohio, I was excited to spend the next year doing a plethora of outdoor activities.  In the fall we had adventures on the waters around Lake Havasu, hiked the first few miles of the Colorado Trail from Durango, and spent tons of time out in the wilderness around Flagstaff.  As soon as winter arrived we purchased season passes to Arizona Snowbowl and spent the winter weekends snowboarding.  Carrie was always a skier, so it took her a few weeks and several hard crashes but she eventually conquered the whole mountain on the snowboard with me.  All this kept us busy combined with the normal weekends out and about town.  However, the spring has been the best so far.  The sun shines bright every day and, although it is sometimes quite windy, the weather brings about a state of happiness that only summer can.  Now is the time to explore the endless hikes south of the Mogollon Rim, out of the forest and into the desert.  As you drive south from Flagstaff on the I-17 into Sedona, the road drops off and you can shift the car into neutral for miles and miles and let gravity propel your car from 7,000ft of altitude to 4,000 feet of altitude.  Here it starts to get warm, and now as we go into May, you start to feel the heat notorious of places like Phoenix and southward.  Around Sedona there is a mixture of red rocks, creeks, desert, and fortune tellers.  One can take hikes miles off the road and find creeks, waterfalls, and caves to swim in.  These places are so amazing and out of the way that you are usually alone with the earth.  Not many things make you feel more alive than jumping off the top of waterfalls and hoping there are no hidden rocks that will bash you to bits.  As you fall you start to count “onethousandone, onethousandtwo…” then a picture enters your mind of the sign you saw at the entrance to the trail “There will be no one to rescue you!”  But the splash comes and the rush fades so you finish your wine, put on your clothes, and prepare for the hike out, which always sucks.  Usually I wish I brought a tent, wish I don’t have a job, wish I could get lost in the rivers.  But then I think “if this is so surreal, Colombia is sure to be heaven”.

All in all, we have put over 30,000 miles on Carrie’s Kia since we bought it in October.  Before we fly out of this country, we are going to drive from here up to Black Rock City and from there west to Frisco, then back east on a slow drive through Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa (really fast), and make a stop to see friends in Chicago.  We will arrive back in Ohio early in October, where will be partying it up for some good friends weddings and kickin’ it till the big send off from Chicago on the 27th of October.  We will arrive in Colombia and start it off with the Day of the Dead on the 31st in Medellin.  Who is excited? This guy.

The Checklist

Well, a lot of things are getting done late, some things got done early, and I know there’s more we haven’t even thought of!  But I feel like we are making progress and getting so close!  The trailer is uploading as we speak and I submitted our kickstarter application today!

We have the most important thing: plane tickets!!  Ready or not, we are boarding that plane in 5 short months!