After my bicycle ride across the US this Summer it's time for a change. I left my bicycle behind in California and headed to South America with my backpack for the Winter. I love bicycling but I'll appreciate the change – backpacking is a very different way of travelling and a way to meet different types of people. I have travelled South America several times before and I love the continent – especially the spectacular and diverse nature as well as the Spanish mentality/way of life that's focused on people (not money) and living a good life. Safety is not a huge concern of mine – South America has a completely unfair reputation for being dangerous and of course bad things happen but more often because people are naïve or careless.
For several reasons I rarely return to countries I have travelled before. First of all I usually spend so much time in a country that I see most of the things I want to see and long enough to get a good feel of the people/culture. Second, it's often a disappointing experience returning – loving the simple/primitive life it's depressing to witness all the new developments – e.g. what was once a secluded beach with a few locals and sheds has been turned into a backpacker heaven or even worse a resort area. Finally, I'm a curious soul which sparks my desire to experience new places, people and cultures... As a consequence I'll spend the Winter travelling the remaining countries I haven't yet visited in the Americas – Columbia; small islands Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire and finally French Guyana, Suriname and Guyana.