AS YOU can see from this gimmicky map, I’m slowly getting a few pins planted here and there in this place in this great big world of ours. But in the grand scheme of things I’ve got a million places I still want to go with Africa, Asia and Europe mostly untouched (I’ll be on European and African soil in the coming months as part of this trip).
Here’s a run-down of where I’ve been on this trip so far:
February 23 – Left Adelaide, South Oz for Buenos Aires, Argentina
Feb 23 – Arrived in Buenos Aires
Mar 2 – Crossed over to the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo
Mar 3 – 9 – Caught a bus to sleepy surf town, La Paloma
Mar 10 – Bussed back to Montevideo and caught a ferry back to BA, Argentina to catch bus south to Patagonia
Mar 12 – Arrived in adventure hub El Calafate
Mar 13 – Day trip to Glacier Perito Moreno
Mar 14 – Crossed over to Puerto Natales, Chile
Mar 15 – Bussed it to Torres Del Paine to begin the ‘W’ Trek
Mar 19 – Arrived back in Puerto Natales
Mar 20 – Took a bus the long way north to trekking mecca El Chalten, Argentina
Mar 22 – Headed north for Bariloche, in Argentina’s beautiful Lake District
Mar 23 – Arrived in Bariloche
Mar 25 – Crossed back into Chile via Osorno, headed for sleepy surfing town, Pichilemu – home to big-wave spot Punta De Lobos
Mar 26 – Arrived in Pichilemu
April 1 – Bussed it north to the capital, Santiago, in time for its inaugural Lollapalooza Festival
Apr 6 – Hopped on a bus to bohemian Valparaiso
Apr 7 – Headed north for Coquimbo to search for more waves
Apr 9 – Was on the road again headed for bodyboarding heaven, Iquique
Apr 10 – Arrived in Iquique
Apr 30 – Quick bus to Arica, at the top end of the country – home of the gnarly El Gringo
May 3 – Crossed over into Bolivia and arrived in the capital La Paz, in the afternoon
May 10 – Sought the tranquility of Lake Titicaca – bussed it to Copacabana, then jumped on a boat to Isla De Sol – birth of the Sun God
May 11 – Hiked the length of the island then went back to Copacabana in the evening
May 12 – Crossed over into Peru, landing in Cuzco – the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city – at night
May 14 – Made our way to Aguas Calientes, where we spent the night
May 15 – Spent the day atMachu Picchu – iconic Inca ruins – then back to Aguas Calientes to sleep
May 16 – Went back to Cuzco
May 17 – Jumped on a bus headed for Lima, Peru’s capital
May 18 – Arrived in Lima
May 19 – Overnight bus to Trujillo
May 20 – Splurged and checked into a hotel in Trujillo
May 21 – Day trip to Pacasmayo to surf its long left-hander, then caught a bus at night headed for Talara
May 22 – Arrived in Talara and caught a moto-taxi to wave-abundant ghost town Lobitos
June 24 – Bailed Lobitos, on a bus headed to Ecuador
Jun 25 – Arrived in surf/party town Montañita via Guayaquil
July 4 – Said goodbye to the boys and took a bus to bustling Guayaquil to spend the night, to wait for my flight the next day
Jul 5 – Travel day, destination Central America. Checked into my hostel in Panama City’s crumbling Casco Viejo suburb
Jul 7 – Took a bus to yet another sleepy surf hamlet, Santa Catalina (purportedly home to Central America’s best right-hander.
Jul 18, 19 – Went back to Panama City with a friend. Bussed it to Puerto Lindo, the embarkation point for the San Blas Islands, to meet a couple mates from home the next day.
Jul 20 – Bought our food and booze for the boat and headed off bound for the San Blas Islands, a tranquil archipelago of some 400 picture-perfect islands.
Jul 24 – Arrived back in South America, in Cartagena, Colombia – one of the continent’s most beautiful cities.
Jul 27 – Arrived in Medellin, Pablo Escobar’s old haunt, to hang out with a couple of friends from home for a week.
August 3 – Touched down in Santa Marta, Caribbean coast after a 17-odd hour bus ride back north.
Aug 4 – Headed to the fringe of Tayrona National Park to a Canadian-owned surf camp to find surprisingly good waves.
Aug 9 – Back in Santa Marta for a night of partying.
Aug 10 – Taxi to nearby Taganga to wait for a mate to arrive so we could scuba dive.
Aug 18 – Bussed it back to Medellin. Again.
Aug 22 – Jumped on three flights, crossing continents to Europe.
Aug 23 – Arrived in Barcelona, meeting up with the babe after six loooong months.
Aug 29 – San Sebastian next stop, north Spain, tapas and shit.
September 2 – Hired cars and drove west, scouring the coast for waves and finding accommodation at Mundaka (home to Europe’s best left).
Sep 6 – Further west now, basing ourselves in Llanes, famous for its cider and a tidy wedge for the bodyboarders.
Sep 9 – Dropped the car off in San Sebastian, then caught a bus to Hossegor, France.
Sep 14 – Travel day/night. Bus to Bayonne, then back to Spain – first San Sebastian, then overnight through Madrid, Granada and Malaga.
Sep 15 – Arrived in Pizarra – our base for trips in the south – staying with relatives of the babe’s stepdad.
Sep 20 – Went to Granada, home of the grandiose palace Alhambra.
Sep 23 – Back to Pizarra where we whiled away our last few days in Spain.
Sep 26 – Stepped off the ferry in Melilla, north Africa (but still technically part of Spain).
Sep 27 – Hectic first day in Morocco, spent in the hectic maze of Fes.
Sep 28 – Arrived in beautiful Chefchaouen’s blue-washed streets.
October 1 – Headed to Tangier for the night, to soak up the Beat Generation vibe of former residents Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.
Oct 2 – Caught the train one stop south to coastal town Asilah.
Oct 4 – Caught an all-day train to Marrakesh.
Oct 5 – It was back to the coast with a bus to Essaouira, our host a heavy-drinking Muslim woman.
Oct 7 – Amped to get some waves when we arrived in Taghazout to find the town severely lacking in swell.
Oct 14 – Arrived in Marrakesh to rest up for the night before a 3-day tour through the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert.
Oct 15 – Departed in our four-wheel-drive out of the city for the first day of the epic tour.
Oct 17 – Back in Marrakesh in the evening to wait out our last couple of days in Morocco.
Oct 19 – A big jet plane took us to Portugal, its capital Lisbon to be precise.
Oct 23 – Met up with some mates from Adelaide at the Lisbon airport and jumped in a hire car to Ericeira – our base for exploring the coast for the following week.
Oct 29 – After a week of scoring good waves in Peniche and Baleal and zero waves in Ericeira, the boys left us and we took a long bus down to touristy Lagos in the country’s south.
November 4 – Headed north to Nazaré, to find the world’s biggest beachbreak, Praia Do Norte, too big and messy. Days after we attended his movie premiere in the town, Garrett McNamara rode a wave at the break he claims to be the biggest ever surfed.
Nov 6 – On the road north again to Portugal’s second biggest city, Porto. Good friends, good times, good waves awaited.
Nov 10 – Another travel day, the worst kinda days. Early flight from Porto to Barcelona – massive wait – then arvo flight to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. One train later and we were in nearby Hilversum to stay with a Uruguayan friend.
Nov 15 – Next stop Berlin, Germany where we stayed at a friends apartment in a surprisingly cosy 2×2 metre attic.
Nov 22 – London calling. Arrived in the morning sleep-deprived, cold and cranky but a coffee and vegie burger cheered me up.
Nov 28 – Impulse purchased a bus ticket to Newquay on England’s Cornwall coast, for a crappy hostel sleep and a freezing surf the next day.
Nov 29 – Late-night flight, first to Singapore then on to Melbourne in the best country in the world.
December 1 – Sat down on the couch to watch the cricket and drink ice coffee and rarely moved from that spot.
Dec 5 – The end of a nine-and-a-half month journey and Fear In English, with the return to my birthplace, my muse – Adelaide.