Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ecuador and Peru: next year's itinerary revisited


A journey to Peru and Ecuador

In this version I fly to Quito from Brazil, returning from Lima.

Map from Stamfords Library Series, 1912.

My markings: red lines are bus journets, blue ones flights.

Fly to Quito: 1 week in Quito (1)
Fly to Cuenca: 1 week in Cuenco (2)
Bus to Loja: 1 week in Loja (3)
Cross Ecuadorian border by bus and stay at St Ignacio: 3 days in St Ignacio (4)
Bus to Chachapoyas: Stay in Chachapoyas Backpackers : 1 week (5)
Visit Gopta waterfall.

Bus to Cajamarca: 1 week in Cajamarca (6)
Fly from Cajamarca to Lima: 3 days in Lima (7)
Fly from Lima to Brazil

All that takes almost exactly six weeks altogether.

I've a number of reservations about making a trip of six weeks and usually I don't travel for over a month. There are specific reasons for this, but most of them are answerable.

As follows:

1. There is an issue about paying bills here. They can all be paid online but I have a certain anxiety about this- rather irrational, as I pay them online while I am here.

2. I have an anxiety about leaving the apartment empty. This is not completely irrational as the level of crime is quite high in Brazil. However, to counter this, I have little of obvious commercial value to steal, including my computer.

3. I have encountered other long-time travelers, and many of them seem to develop a certain "stoned" mental condition caused from having too much time in which to do too little, sightseeing having its limitations. However I have found working on the paintings sufficiently absorbing not to feel this sort of malaise.

4. There is an issue of my students here. Again, this is an irrational anxiety as the period up to and just after carnival is very poor for work, and many students take these months off anyway.

5. There is a question about carrying stuff, specifically paintings. That is, I will have to lug a lot of paintings around, probably about 40 altogether if I work well and the weather is kind. This is problematic when the pictures are wet. But when they dry they can be packed close together, say three in each carrier. This isn't ideal, but usually they are dry enough after 2 weeks to do this without sticking together or getting scratched or blurred. When pictures get damaged it is usually because of poor packing combined with rough handling. You can only control the latter: in airports and bus stations their destiny  is in the hands of the fates.

Against these negative points is a strong general argument, which goes - what else will you do? That is, it will certainly be extremely hot here, there will be little work to do and the island will so be full of tourists that getting around will be tricky. I've passed the summer here before,- it's so hot outside that I sat irritable in my apartment watching TV and figiting mindlessly on the computer. That hs even less to recommend about it.


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