Updates, rickshaw run, and travel fits and starts

by Kim on October 23, 2012 · 27 comments

It is hard for me to believe that we left Oregon five months ago. Five months. Where has the time gone? My brain is overwhelmed by all that I have already seen and done and I know that it will take years and years for this experience to sink in.

Before we left home I thought that, when traveling, we’d have long, leisurely days and all the time in the world. I created a gigantic list of books to read, mapped out writing assignments for myself and wrote up ambitious to-do lists.

But life on the road isn’t exactly how I’d planned. We are so busy. There are always things to see, people to talk to, walks to take and of course hours and hours spent mapping out where we’re headed next.

Because we’re always in a new place we constantly have to figure out where to catch the bus, where to do laundry, where to eat and, oh, is this the street our hostel is on? The things we take for granted at home, like heading to the grocery store, suddenly end up taking a lot of time. It can be frustrating, but it’s also part of what makes traveling fun.

Not quite lost in Cusco, Peru

Every day Brian and I say we will do three things: sit-ups, pushups, and study Spanish. We have done them all exactly zero times. Likewise, my running shorts have been relegated to the compression sack where I keep the clothes that I don’t wear much. I’m finding it hard to maintain a regular fitness routine on the road.

We have been in Cusco for two weeks now. Originally, we thought we would only be able to spend a couple of days here but the Travel Gods, it seems, had other plans.

You see, in mid-November we are meeting friends in the Patagonia region of Chile where we will be trekking in Torres del Paine. Brian and I had originally planned to bus there but it was going to be at least a sixty hour journey and I still haven’t totally recovered from the trauma of our forty-eight hour bus ride to Cusco.

But then we found reasonably priced plane tickets that would take us from Arequipa, in southern Peru, to Patagonia and then on to Buenos Aires. We booked them, and now we’ve suddenly found ourselves with an unexpected month in the south of Peru.

So, yesterday, we booked a trip to the amazon jungle. When we get back we will head south for some island hopping around Lake Titicaca and  then on to some trekking in Colca Canyon, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.

It is nice to move around and see so many sites but I am the sort of introvert that needs time to pause and ponder. Currently, I am working on convincing Brian to set up a home base in India after the Rickshaw Run, maybe spend a few months in a little hut on the beach in Goa, just like my friend Hannah is doing now.

Rickshaw Run Update

Speaking of India, remember how I’m driving a Rickshaw from Jaisalmer, Rajasthan to Cochin, Kerla in January to raise money for the clean water charity FRANK Water? Well, my Rickshaw Run teammates and I are excited to announce that we have reached 52 percent of our fundraising goal! We want to extend a giant thank you to all who have donated to FRANK Water. It is because of you that FRANK Water will continue to provide some of the poorest communities in India with access to clean, safe drinking water.

We are also thrilled to welcome both Sykes Cottages and KEEN Footwear onboard as official sponsors of team Namaste Outta My Way. Here’s a little more about our newest sponsors:

Sykes Cottages

Sykes Cottages is the UK’s leading independent cottage rental agency.

They’ve been supplying top quality holiday cottages for over 25 years. In that time they’ve grown from a small family business to a highly respected national agency with thousands of holiday cottages available for rent

Sykes Cottages specializes in self catering holiday cottages in the UK and Ireland. They currently list over 3,500 properties and have very budget friendly accommodation options. 

Website- http://www.sykescottages.co.uk 

Twitter - http://twitter.com/sykescottages

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/sykescottages.co.uk

KEEN

KEEN is an active outdoor company that makes eco-friendly shoes, bags and socks and strongly believes in splitting time between work, play and giving back. KEEN calls this way of living the HybridLife and they design their products in a way that enables you to play any place without a ceiling.

I have been a huge fan of KEEN for a long time and am thrilled that Hannah, Sarah and I are now official KEEN Ambassadors.  

Not only will team Namaste Outta My Way be decked out in KEEN kicks, bags and socks while knocking along on our rickshaw but KEEN is providing us with children’s shoes that we will be giving away all over India. Thank you KEEN! 

Website: http://www.keenfootwear.com/us/en/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/keen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KEEN

Please follow and support all of our sponsors.

You can also follow along on our Rickshaw Run journey by visiting our website, following us on Facebook, and, of course, donating to FRANK Water to help us reach our fundraising goal.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah October 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

The fact that you have no “free time” is a good thing. Exploring the world around you and living in the moment is what you should be doing! The books and writing assignments will always be there, this moment won’t be. Best of luck! :-)

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:30 am

It’s true Sarah and I completely agree. Live now and then write about it at a later date :)

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Carmel October 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Expect the unexpected, as they say. I’m glad you’re not worrying too much about exercise on the road. It’s a different life than the one you ran while at home. Like you said, even trips to the grocery store can turn into an adventure. Having expectations of maintaining normalcy may just end up leaving you frustrated. Now having priorities like giving yourself time to think and be alone may become more necessary as time passes, but that’s different than sit ups, push ups and studying.

So happy you’re enjoying yourself. Remember all those conversations about, “what if we hate it??” Seems kind of silly now, huh?

I still miss you though!!!

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:31 am

Hahaha, YES. I am so glad I don’t hate it but then again, it’s crazy to think that I ever feared I would. I guess I always need something to worry about :)

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Keirnsy October 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Torres del Paine! So beautiful! If you spend any time in Natales, please note that there is a gear rental/pub owned by a man from Salem, Oregon. He is very jolly and has worked for Marion County Public Works seasonally for the last decade.
Thanks for sharing your adventures!

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:31 am

Sarah! Yes, we will be in PN for a few days. Do you remember the name of the bar? We will definitely go there!

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Anne and Noah October 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Can’t say I blame you for not running in Cusco. We were there for 3 1/2 months, and I ran exactly ONCE (in our last week there). But, it wasn’t too bad, so go ahead :)

Please PM me for when you’ll be in Patagonia. We’ll be there around the same time, and it would be neat to connect on/around the trek!

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:34 am

I ran twice in Cusco and both times I thought I would die.

I will send you an email about our Patagonia dates!

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Patti October 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Love the shoe give-a-way!

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:34 am

I know, how cool is it???

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Kristin October 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

If you aren’t in Arequipa yet, you will love it! one of my fave cities in Peru.

Good for you for slowing down.

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:35 am

Kristin, we just got into Puno and are heading to Arequipa next! Looks like we’ll have about two weeks there. We’re going to hike Colca Canyon and climb El Misti. Can’t wait!

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Geoff October 24, 2012 at 3:11 am

One of the things I learnt after my first couple of months of travelling is to plan yourself days (or even weeks) off travelling – take a holiday from your travels. Doing stuff, even amazing stuff, every day can get exhausting. You need to schedule days where you just sit in your hostel, reading, watching TV, doing nothing – the first time I tried I felt guilty, like I was wasting my travel time, but once you get into the routine they really become something to look forward to!. Enjoy the rest of your time in Peru, it’s a lovely place to get stuck in for a while

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:36 am

Geoff, that is such good advice. We’ve been doing a little of that but agree that we feel guilty while we’re doing it. One thing we do is turn in early and spend evenings just being lazy- this helps us relax and unwind a bit.

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Bama October 24, 2012 at 5:01 am

I can imagine both of you being so occupied with so many things while on the road. I’m planning a five-month trip or so within two years’ time, so this is kind of a reminder for me of what to expect from a long-term journey. By the way, always the best with the campaign!

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:36 am

Thanks Bama. Where do you plan to go on your five-month trip?

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Charlie October 24, 2012 at 6:54 am

I’ve so many plans for productivity on the road too (books to read, languages to learn, writing to do), I guess much of it won’t happen. Though great ways to pass those long bus rides! And I never get round to exercising on the road either but just think of all that extra exercise you’re doing just looking for the grocery store instead of sitting at a desk!

Enjoy the slower life for a bit with your month in Peru :)

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:37 am

I always think I’ll get so much done on busses but I mostly just end up staring out the window and thinking the whole time- which I LOVE!

I think the thing I miss most about home (besides people and dogs) is running. I love running so I’m sad it isn’t in my life like it used to be.

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Lauren October 24, 2012 at 7:32 am

It’s so good to read posts like this while planning my trip. I keep myself up at night pondering these kinds of things and it’s good to hear that maybe I shouldn’t over think it! Spontaneity and living in the moment is the whole point, right? Thanks for sharing, Kim!

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:38 am

I totally over-throught everything and then once we started traveling it all went out the window. But I needed to overthink, you know, that’s just how I am. Think, think, think, and then when the time comes just let it be :)

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Kirsten Lodge October 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Hi Kim!

A suggestion… we decided to not go with a guide for the trek into the colca canyon… there was a great hostel that served amazing pizzas in the little town at the top. The owner there drew us a map and told us to trek all the way to the bottom and stay at a camping ground at the bottom of the canyon. There is a bunch of hot pools there and the most stunning camping ground on the other side of a giant swing bridge. We then hiked back up and along the other side and back down to the ‘oasis’ and camped there too. It’s pretty tough trekking – especially when you are carrying all of your food, tents, etc. But so worth it. Most of the day trips just go to the oasis and back up. Have a great time. Your trip is bringing back such amazing memories!

Have fun.
Kirsten

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:40 am

Kirsten, thanks for the advice! So you rented your own tent and all the gear and just did it yourself, huh? I want to do that but I wonder if we’ll pull our stuff together in time. I’m nervous about Colca Canyon- our friends said it was WAY harder than the Inca Trail, and I didn’t exactly think the Inca Trail was easy.

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Kirsten Lodge October 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Hi Kim

We bought a super cheap tent in arequipa and took our own gear. It was WAY harder than Inca trail but that first camping ground we stayed at was absolutely magical.. I have an old blog post about it (http://dodgylodgey.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/camping-in-colca-canyon.html). I may have actually sent it to you before? I haven’t posted any photos unfortunately… We weren’t very savvy in terms of taking bare essentials. It was definitely one of the most prominent memories of that trip! Have fun! Can’t wait to read what happens next on your fabulous adventure!

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Sarah Somewhere October 25, 2012 at 9:22 am

Hi Kim, I’m sure you will find your balance soon, I can definitely identify with needing to slow down, we did it after six weeks in SE Asia, so I can’t imagine gong non-stop for five months!!! India will be amazing for you guys, have you heard of the Andaman Islands? There are off the west coast of India (quite a way, they are quite remote), and though I’ve never been there I have heard they are amazing…

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Kim October 27, 2012 at 5:42 am

I have never heard of those islands but you better believe I will be doing some research now!

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Maddie October 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I’m exactly the same, the lazy days reading piles of books haven’t happened but I’m happy amid the chaos. It can be exhausting (I feel guilty even saying that, sorry friends and family!) having to constantly plan and be thinking ahead and some days I just announce that I can’t be bothered and we’re having a rest day. I’m the queen of list making and it really does help having ‘must do’ goals for every day when you’re packing in your travelling.

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Johnny November 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

Love your website – what a great spirit you have! Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us.

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