2014: The Year That Was
Presenting my passport to the Ecuadorian border official raises a smile as he leafs through my passport and inspects my Peruvian exit stamp, the inedible red stamp reads “En Exceso de Permeanencia”.
In many countries the implications of over staying your visa would result in you being banned from the country, deported or worse. Instead I am relieved of $13, forced to fill out seemingly never ending paperwork and with a slap on the back told not to do it again, with a wink and a wry smile.
3 months ago upon entering Peru, 90 days seemed an inordinate amount of time. Yet the Peruvian Andes captivated me, the seemingly endless dirt roads and sleepy Andean villages. Riding high mountain passes, and descending in to muggy valleys, repeated over and over again.
Somehow time just seemed to slip away. With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, the border crossing episode left me questioning where all that time had gone. Like many of us at this time of year, I found myself in a reflective mood, I tried to piece together where the year had gone since leaving Buenos Aires with a laughably basic grasp of Spanish.
Tying together the months, I decided to pick out some of my favourite memories from the year and put them in a chronological order for friends and others to enjoy.
January: Antartic Peninsula, Antartica
February: Torres Del Paine, Chile
March: Cerro Torre, Fitzroy National Park, Argentina
April: Carretera Austral, Chile
May: National Park Lanin, Chile
June: Santiago, Chile
July: Abra Del Acay, Argentina
August: Altiplano, Bolivia
September: Macchu Picchu, Peru
October: The Peru Great Divide, Peru
November: Mining Roads, Peru
December: Cordeillera Blanca, Peru
Explore. Dream. Discover.