1/3 Highlights

As of January 27, we’ve been in South America for three months!  That’s about 1/3 of the total time we’ll be down here (assuming money lasts) so it’s quite a milestone.  Sometimes I feel like we’ve been on the road forever and other times it feels like it was just yesterday we landed in Medellin.

To celebrate our 1/3-iversary, let’s list some fun stats!

Days in South America:  95

Dollars Spent (not including flight): $3005

Countries Visited: 3

Books Read: 8 (Carrie), 7 (Zach)

Number of Laundromat Visits (not including hand-washing): 3

Bacterial Infections: 1 each

Things We’ve Lost
iPhone (Carrie)…The Infamous Bird Poop Incident
Water bottle (Zach)…just left it at a Couchsurfer’s house
Glasses (Carrie)…stupid lake
Sunglasses (Zach)…stupid ocean
2 rings (Carrie)…two separate places
1 shirt (Carrie)…I think this girl on our first WWOOF farm thought it was hers because she always wore orange!
Dr. Bronners soap (Zach)…”It’ll turn up!” he says
Umbrella…who knows???

And now, since it is Awards Season, we hereby present to you….

The 1/3-iversary Superlatives…a.k.a. the Best Of “So Far”

Favorite Food: ceviche (Zach), llapingachos (Carrie)

Favorite Beverage: Colombian coffee

Most Missed Food: Graeter’s ice cream and peanut butter (Carrie), Mexican food and cheddar cheese (Zach)

Most Missed Event: holidays at home

Most Missed Activities:  watching Oscar films (Carrie), cooking/baking, snowboarding

Most Annoying Phenomenon: loud music and movies on buses

Favorite Activity: The Inca Trail

Nicest People: Colombians

Favorite City: Cuzco

Most Times We Said “What a Crazy Place!”: Huacachina

Best Beach: Canoa

Best Shopping: Otavalo

Best Person We’ve Met: Oso the dog

Scariest/Coolest Experience: the eruption of Tungurahua Volcano

Most Authentic Cultural Experience/Cutest Kids and Puppies: WWOOFing at Finca Campo Bello

Biggest Party/Least Authentic Cultural Experience: Loki Hostel

Biggest Personal Changes: dreadlocks and eating meat (Carrie), actually speaking a second language (Zach)

Favorite Country Overall: Ecuador

Goals for the Next 2/3rds of the Journey

1. Save money and get ahead on our budget in Bolivia!

2. Find a WWOOF experience where we actually get to farm!

3. Do more filming!

4. Improve our Spanish!

I know, I know, we really need to stop losing things and wash our clothes more!  Do you like this silly little superlative round-up?  Should we do one again after 2/3rds?

Culture Shock! Rastafarianism

As you may or may not have realized by now, I changed up my hair quite a bit recently!  I got dreadlocks (otherwise known as “rastas” in Spanish)!  The process was pretty long and excruciating: about 14 hours over two days while in Montañita, Ecuador.  I’ve always loved dreadlocks and have been wanting them for awhile.  I figured South America is the perfect place because I already don’t blend in at all, why not just go all out?

This photo from the Inca Trail shows my dreadlocks pretty well.

They’re pretty crazy, I know.  I didn’t make the decision lightly because I know I probably will have to cut all my hair off whenever I want to get rid of them.  But I like them so hopefully I’ll be keeping them for awhile!  The part of getting dreadlocks that I didn’t really expect was the instant bond that developed with other Rastafarians.  There is some sort of unwritten code between dread-heads that you have to at least acknowledge each other with a nod or fist bump when you pass on the street.  The local Rasta/hippy crowds are usually so thrilled with my hair that they will stop me to talk and even invite me to hang out.  Having dreadlocks is definitely a good way to meet some interesting people!  Other people are curious and so my hair becomes a conversation-starter.  “Is Bob Marley your favorite singer?” one of our guides on the Inca Trail asked me.  Haha.  Of course, there is also a downside as there are many negative stereotypes related to having dreadlocks.  But all in all, I think it’s interesting that I am now included in this unique subculture, just because of my crazy hairstyle!