There is nothing like travel planning to bring out the undesirable wishy-washy worrywart side of myself. Right after I wrote that I wasn’t nervous yet, the pre-trip jitters crept up on me. I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do and see in Peru and Bolivia and how I could fit it into four weeks. From what I’ve read, there will be a lot of local festivities while I am there, including both countries’ Independence Days. It sounds like there is a lot of potential for fun to be had, but it also makes me worried that transportation and lodging could get crowded.
In the past, I have been guilty of trying to do too much on my travels. I start to add on more and more thinking, “When will I ever get the chance to do this again?” Thinking that way can be good in small doses, but too much of those thoughts can easily to wear you out. Another reason for me to not get too hyped up is that attempting to stick to concrete plans while traveling independently in the “developing” world is likely to drive a person mad. The little information I could find on transportation in Bolivia says it requires a lot patience and flexibility.
So yesterday, I took a deep breath and tried to let go of some of my nervous energy. To organize my thoughts, I decided it would be helpful to come up with a “Must-Do List” of the essential places to visit:
- Lima- I fly into Lima and want to spend at least a night to visit a friend, see Parque del Amor, eat great ceviche and wash it down with a Pisco Sour.
- Cusco/Machu Picchu- Self explanatory!
- Lake Titicaca- I will hopefully cross into Bolivia at the lake and then do a little exploration from the Bolivian side.
- La Paz- Seems like a very interesting city and good base for getting to other parts of Bolivia. Who wants a llama fetus souvenir? I’m not making this stuff up!
- The Amazon- I have always wanted to experience the Amazon but never imagined going to the Bolivian part of it.
- Salar de Uyuni- Visiting the salt flat was the impetus for the entire trip!
- Santa Cruz- I’m flying out of this city. Doesn’t look like there is much to do there, but it has an agreeable tropical climate and seems like good place to transition the modern world.
After coming up with the list, I printed out blank calendar pages and made up a loose schedule with a generous amount of time for transportation. It seems like I can do everything I want to do in the four weeks that I have, and I could probably make it to a couple other cities in Bolivia. Right now I’m working on making arrangements for Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu. I want to get the first week set and then I will figure out the rest of my trip when I get there!