The Trip 2013 – The Stats


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Well thats it. Im back now from a trip of a lifetime. I had such an incredible time, saw so many phenomenal things and met so many awesome people. This will be my last post on my trip and as such I would like to wrap it up with some highlights and accompanying stats.

1. Transport

Days Spent: 251
Kilometers Travelled: ~ 40000
Countries Visited: 16
Capital Cities Visited: 14
Tours Taken: 4
Flights Taken: 10
Buses Ridden: ~60
Hours Spent on Busses: ~300
Days Spent on Busses: ~12.5
Bikes Ridden: 1
Boats Taken: 26
Trains Ridden: 1

Well I have travelled a long way, 40,000km (give or take) which just so happens to be the circumference of earth. So in some ways you could say I have travelled around the world πŸ˜›

I have ridden a great number of different forms of transport.

Some of them safer than others

I learnt that half the fun of a trip like this is in the journey. Sure 12.5 days spent on busses doesn’t sound like fun but it actually gives you time to rest and to think, not to mention write pages and pages of diary entries..

2. Writing

Diaries Completed: 6
Pages Used: 822
Words Written: 117040
Blog Posts: 25

The intention before I left was to keep a written diary so that I would have something other than photos to remember the trip by. Well it turned out to be harder than I had originally foreseen. I estimated that for every day of travel it would take me about an hour to record it in the diary. That means if I don’t write for 5 days I have to find 5 hours the next day to fill it in.

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I used the diaries as a record of the places I went, the things I did the people I met. Although I didn’t just use them as a log book, they are also a record of how I felt at the time and how I changed as a person through the trip be that for good or bad.

It wasn’t all bad though as it gave me time to reflect, take stock and realise what i’m doing and why i’m doing it. Some of the diaries also came with bonus stickers so being an 8 year old at heart I used them to decorate my laptop

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I kept up my blog throughout the trip too which served as a public record of my excursion. Infact I wrote 25 blog posts over the course of my time:

The Trip 2013 – Washington DC
The Trip 2013 – Toronto
The Trip 2013 – Chicago
The Trip 2013 – North Carolina
The Trip 2013 – LA to Mazatlan
The Trip 2013 – Guadalajara to Mexico City
The Trip 2013 – Oaxaca to Chichen Itza
The Trip 2013 – Playa del Carmen to Tikal
The Trip 2013 – El Ramate to Antigua
The Trip 2013 – CopΓ‘n to RoatΓ‘n
The Trip 2013 – Granada to Ometepe
The Trip 2013 – Monte Verde to San Jose
The Trip 2013 – San Jose to Puerto Viejo
The Trip 2013 – Puerto Viejo to Panama City
The Trip 2013 – Bogota to Medellin
The Trip 2013 – Cartagena to Taganga
The Trip 2013 – Tyrona to Bucaramanga
Trip 2013 – Bucaramanga to Montanita
The Trip 2013 – Montanita to Huaraz
The Trip 2013 – Huaraz to Cusco
The Trip 2013 – Cusco to La Paz
The Trip 2013 – La Paz to Mercedes
The Trip 2013 – Mercedes to Itacare
The Trip 2013 – Itacare to Jericoacoara
The Trip 2013 – Jericoacoara to Newport

3. Photos

Photo Albums: 25
Photos Disk Space: 144 GB
Photos Taken: 11672
Photos that made the grade: 2571
Videos Recorded: 181

I didn’t hold back with the photos, I took A LOT. 11672 over 8.5 months is approximately one photo every half an hour. Im glad I did as I came away with some incredible visual memories from the trip

Infact I have so many good photos that its hard to pick out the standout ones

I think I will have to dedicate a whole nother post to this topic alone

4. Activities

Days Spent Paragliding: 12
Paragliding Flights: 26
Paragliding Crashes: 1
Days Spent Kitesurfing: 6
Dune buggies ridden: 2
Days surfing: 7
Waves surfed: ~15
Bungee jumps: 1
ATVs Ridden: 1
Lines Zipped: 5
Mountain Bikes Ridden: 3
Scuba Dives: 7
Deepest Freedive: 21m
Longest Breath Hold: 3m 13s
Kayaks ridden: 1
Waterfalls Repelled: 6
Rafts ridden: 1
Mountains hiked: 3
Walls climbed: 2
Dunes boarded: 3
Skyscrapers absailed: 1

I did as much as I can. Before I went out I told myself not to skimp on activities because who knew when I would get the chance to do them again.

All of these activities came at a cost however..

5. Finances

Money Spent: Β£19184

Yep it cost more than I was expecting (around 15k) but I stayed out there longer than I had originally planned and done far more activities than I had planned. I also didn’t do it in the cheapest possible way by taking 4 guided tours with Trek America and GAdventures totalling 86 days out of my 251.

It was however a trip of a lifetime and as they say; you can’t put a price on memories and so I wouldn’t have done any of it any other way.


Handstands Popped: 18

The Trip 2013 – Jericoacoara to Newport

Note: This is a condensed version of the pictures I took with some added narrative. The rest of the pics can be viewed in the album Trip 2013 – Jericoacoara to Newport. Each picture can be clicked to see a larger version and comment / like.


Sadly we had to leave Jericoacoara in the north of Brazil where we had spent the last 6 days but all was not lost at the next destination for us is arguably one of the best cities in South America, Rio de Janeiro.


Coming from the north of Brazil on a domestic flight you sweep in frighteningly low over central rio then bank sharply in front of Sugarloaf Mountain before turning into Santos Dumont airport


We arrived the evening the 30th of December and headed over to the apartment we would be staying at for the next two weeks.


We knew months ago that we wanted to be in Rio for New Years Eve so started looking for places to stay. Thats when we discovered quite how expensive Rio is. The cheapest hostel we found wanted $80 for a single bed in a 12 man dorm for NYE with a minimum stay of 4 nights, hotels started at $250 per night for a room.

We started to worry that our plan for NYE in Rio wasnt going to be feasible. Thats when I decided to check out AirBnB which I had read much about. Im glad I did as I found this beautiful apartment in Botafogo a really nice district in Rio. I contacted the owner, Claudia, and secured it for our stay for a very reasonable price.

When we rocked up Claudia and her daughter Elisa and her boyfriend Lucas greeted us warmly and after a refreshing shower and change of clothes they mixed one of the best Caipirinhas I had had so far. Thats when I knew we had made the correct decision with booking the apartment.


The next day we had just enough time to hit the shops looking for something white to wear for the evening madness on Copacabana.


And then the evening was upon us, a few fortifying drinks and we headed out.



We didn’t really know the way to go but we needn’t have feared as there were huge crowds of people all heading down to the same place, Copacabana beach.


Wow, it was sheer madness down there. 2.5 million+ people all in one place at once is quite a sight

It took us far longer than expected to push through the throngs of people crowding the beachfront. We reached Lucas’ shop / bar where we were meeting him and Elisa just in time to grab a bottle and head down to the beach for the countdown


Then the sky tore asunder with the most impressive fireworks display I have ever seen


Much of the rest of the evenings was quite a blur but I remember thoroughly enjoying myself


We spent much of the following day in bed recovering and were up and back in tourist mode the day after. First up was a visit to the Botafogo Botanical Gardens.


A huge place with all manner of different trees and flowers



The following day we headed down to the famous Copacabana beach again


The intention was to go for a swim in the ocean but we really didn’t fancy the look of the green, heavily polluted water. It didn’t seem to stop some local nutters from enjoying themselves though


Next up was a trip north to the Lapa district where we went to look at the famous steps. After walking around in the 40 degree heat for over an hour getting lost (my fault) we finally arrived to what we thought were the steps


We weren’t very impressed by SelarΓ³n’s creation and left after a short while. Turns out they weren’t the actual steps and just some random steps, woops! It was seriously hot that day though I managed to convince Kelsie to take a short journey to MAR the Museum of Art in Rio.



Some of the stuff there was interesting other stuff was really weird such as a framed half opened packet of salt or a video of transexual eating watermelon.

The next day we hit the Ipanema Hippie Markets for gifts and souvenirs



There was some interesting stuff there but what fascinated me most was the artwork on display




In my opinion far better than a packet of salt. We spent the rest of the day sampling the food and chopp (mug of beer) in a local pub



Next up was the most famous tourist attraction in Rio


There were some stunning views from up there



Afterwards we decided to head over to Sugarloaf mountain. On the way we passed this small beach which highlighted one of the great sadnesses about Rio..


It was truly horrific, and that isn’t a scratch on what Copacabana was like post NYE, we even saw a dead turtle washed up on the beach in Botafogo.

Anyways, the walk up to Sugarloaf was really nice and we got to see some little cheeky chimps along the way



It wasnt till we hiked all the way to the top that we discovered our error. Apparently you cant purchase cable car tickets from Urca (the midway mountain) up to the top of Sugarloaf, doh! Oh well theres nothing to do then wait here and have a beer and watch the sunset I guess!




The following day we decided to do a favela tour. Basically we were driven to the top of the Rocinha favela (the largest in Rio) and then walked our way down the narrow street till we reached the bottom.


The entire place was a huge confused jumble of buildings, pipes, wires and open sewers. It smelt pretty bad of stale water and there was trash all over the place



The people there seemed happy enough though and we even had a troop of kids play us a tune


As a game developer I was glad to see that even here they were playing games


And then it was almost over, just one or two more days to admire the incredible views and giggle at the strange language





Then it was time to say a sad farewell to Kelsie who was leaving one day before me. We had travelled together for over 5 months in total (with a 2 months gap in between) and in that time I have had some of the best moments in my life. It has been incredible to meet someone who I can not only get on with and makes me laugh constantly but incredibly doesn’t get annoyed with me (much) despite spending every second of every day with me. Hollandaise you will be sorely missed!


Then it was my turn to leave. Before doing so however the awesome Elisa took me out for one last night on the town. Her and her mother made our stay in Rio perfect and if you are planning a trip to Rio I strongly recommend staying with them at their awesome apartment




Then all that was left was to hop on the plane and get my ass home.


I thought it fitting to end my 8.5 month journey where I started, on the front step of my parents place in Newport, Shropshire!


The Trip 2013 – Itacare to Jericoacoara

Note: This is a condensed version of the pictures I took with some added narrative. The rest of the pics can be viewed in the album Trip 2013 – Itacare to Jericoacoara. Each picture can be clicked to see a larger version and comment / like.


Continuing my explorations of northern Brazil with Kelsie we travel from Itacare on bus then boat to the busy tourist destination of Morro do Sao Paulo.


We spent just two days exploring the town. Nice though not the snorkelling paradise we were hoping for, apparently its not really the time of the year for crystal clear waters.



Morro was nice though it definitely existed to cater to tourists, a Benidorm of Brazil so we were happy when we arrived at our next destination, Boipeba, the quieter younger brother of Morro.



We really enjoyed our two nights there and wished we had spent longer. The hostel we stayed at “Abaquar” was really nice and the owners Fernanda and Peter made us feel so relaxed and at home inviting us out to join them for dinner on both nights.



We spent the first day chilling, practising our newly discovered favourite Brazilian sport “Frescobol”



The following day we took a boat tour around the island hoping for some promised clear water for snorkelling


Sadly the water was cloudy yet again and not really suited to underwater exploration, still we had fun whizzing around on the speed boat. Not sure if this little chap did tho:


That evening we headed down to the beach to watch the sunset and have a beer


While we were sat there a group of local lads managed to get hold of a buoy from somewhere and turned it into a trampoleen which they then used to catapult themselves into the sea


It looked like so much fun I thought I would have to have a go


Sadly we had to leave the happy island and carry on our journey north up to our Christmas destination many miles north. To break up the ridiculous number of bus-hours we stopped at a couple of cities along the way. The first being the forgettable city of Maceio



And Natal



Neither city was particularly impressive really, though it probably wasnt helped by the fact we didnt do a whole lot in either city other than walk around. Also it was raining in Natal “The city with 300 days of sun” which didnt help matters!

Fortunately our few days of gloom were instantly forgotten as soon as we reached Jericoacoara on Christmas eve eve.




Jericoacoara is a little hard to get to considering there are no paved roads in and you have to swap from your bus into a rickety open-sided wooden lorry that travels at 2mph along a sandy path for miles to get there. Though its totally worth all the effort. Once we arrived we instantly fell in love with its laid back yet up-market-ish surfer vibe.


We immediately decided to extend our original 4 days there to 6 days, for the first day (xmas eve) I decided I wanted to have another go at kite surfing


Well I had the perfect place for it, Jeri is a wind-sports meca. The wind was so much stronger than I had been used to in Peru or Ecuador I had trouble at first and face planted, loosing my board several times. Before long though I was up and running.


Our love of Jeri was certainty helped along thanks to our choice of accommodation. We decided to splurge a little for Christmas and go for something a little more expensive than we had been staying at up till this point.




As for Christmas day, this was the first Christmas I had ever spent away from England and was in two minds about it. I really enjoy all my family Christmas traditions and so was kind of sad not to be doing them this year, still Kelsie did her best to make it as much like normal as she could

Lunch, instead of a christmas roast was a beautiful Lasagna and salad with copious quantities of Chaiparinia at a resturant called Bistrogonoff



Although not a roast it still had the required property of forcing me into a post-christmas-lunch-nap. We woke up just about in time to make the beautiful sunset on the huge sand dune at the end of the beach..




.. now that I dont get to do in England! The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur thanks to Kelsie’s gift of Cheese, Crackers and Port a must have to complete my Christmas day!


The rest of my time in Jeri was filled with various other awesome activities. Seeings as how I have now mastered Kite Surfing to an alsmot professional level I thought I would have a go at Wind Surfing and see if that was just as easy



Yup! Piece of cake. For the final day in Jeri we took a tour around some of the sights just outside of town including some interesting rock formations



And Lagoa Azul (blue lagoon)


We travelled to these destinations in style (and at breakneck pace) in our sand-limo:


Sadly we had to leave Jeri on the 29th though not was all doom and gloom however as next up with Rio de Janeriro again and the epic party waiting for us on Copacabana on NYE!