As most of you already know, in less than a week I'll be leaving for one of the greatest adventures of my life. I plan to spend 100 days touring four countries in South America.
First leg of the trip starts in Chicago on January 4th 2011 and ends in Buenos Aires, the capital and largest city in Argentina. From there I'll head straight to Mendoza, do some climbing in Cordon del Plata, wait for my friend Brad and start climbing Aconcagua, expedition style, around January 15th. That should take us around two weeks and a short trip to Santiago de Chile and Pacific Coast would end his south american endeavor. We'll part ways in Buenos Aires, from where I'll be flying to El Calafate in the heart of Patagonia, the mythical land of mountains, glaciers, lakes and vast open spaces with no signs of modern civilization. Torres del Paine, Glaciar Moreno, Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres will be the main attractions I want to explore, shoot and enjoy.
End of February will find me on my return flight to Buenos Aires (again!), next destination being Salta shortly thereafter. After a few days in the area I'll be leaving Argentina for good, crossing the border into Chile and spending a few days in the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth. I find it ironic that the larges body of water on our planet - The Pacific Ocean - is bordering the most hostile desert. My plan is to be the first romanian to climb San Pedro Volcano and also Licancabur and maybe Lascar.
Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is a must see, and from there on I have absolutely no idea where should I go. I'm getting the feeling that I won't be able to make a plan and stick to it. I think it's worth improvising and try to find my way to Lima in Peru without much planning. La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Nazca are worthy destinations but I'm more inclined to go off the beaten path and try to experience more remote villages and local attractions that's you'll have a hard time finding on the map. There are also serious questions about transportation, accommodation and safety in those parts of the world and I prefer to deal with them once I'll get there.
Few words about keeping in touch with friends and family: being a photographer means I have to deal with power management, backup solutions, communications with the outside world. I'll have a separate post about the gear and gadgets packed for this trip. I worked on this for a long time and I'm pretty happy with my equipment. Apart for my camping and climbing gear I will be sporting a DSLR with 3 lenses, a tripod, a laptop, a solar panel, an iphone. I suppose that makes me a techie traveler. I'll try to describe and review the gear as I go, keep you updated with my current locations and next moves, short trip reports with images and movies. I won't be able to answer to all the emails and I ask everybody to be patient, I won't be out of the picture (pun intended) for good.
If you have comments, suggestions, ideas, feel free to drop a line here in the comments section, use the email or facebook. I'll do my best to respond.
Wish you all a safe glissade in the New Year, be happy, enjoy life and don't forget to share it with friends and family. In the end, it's all that matters!