Uyuni to La Paz

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Written by Neon

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Walking along the tracks

As things sometimes go, I got sick shortly after Fidgit was feeling better. We believe it was with the same illness, because the symptoms were the same. We were still in Uyuni as I was getting sick, but decided to try and move anyway because Uyuni is an expensive (by Bolivian standards) tourist town. We ‘slack-packed’ as far out of Uyuni as we could with day packs, and then rode a bus to the next large town, Oruro. I was so grateful to have a more than competent hiking partner during that time, because I was basically useless. I just shuffled along behind her, blowing my nose, coughing and wheezing. Continue reading

Villazon to Uyuni

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Written by Neon

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A kind Bolivian border guard posed for a photo with us at the border!

We were unsure what to expect from Bolivia, our first ‘new’ country since we entered Chile across the Straight of Magellan. We had asked around, and heard many differing opinions both on crossing the border as well as about the people of Bolivia, so we just decided to see what we would see – as per usual. Continue reading

What we can Learn from Argentines

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Written by Fidgit

Somos un nacion atada con alambre.
[We are a nation held together by wire.]
-Argentine saying

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Looks stable to me.

Martin recalls a story about when his father was in elementary school. A government program was instituted in schools to encourage the children to save money. They would make deposits into a bank and the savings would be reflected on a chart in class. The boy was so invested in it he would walk instead of taking the public bus and sometimes would skip lunch to save up. It was reflected and celebrated on the classroom wall.
Then, one day, that political party lost power.
The Argentine peso lost value.
The program and several banks disappeared.
Along with the kids’ savings.
Continue reading

Border Crossing: La Quiaca, Argentina into Villazon, Bolivia

Written by Neon

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Argentine side of the border

I had not gone through the trouble of getting a Bolivian Visa like my hiking partner had while in the United States, so I had to get one at the border. I read many different blogs about crossing the border, and each one said something different. Even the Bolivian Consulate website said something different, so I am going to assume that each border crossing is its own special snowflake, and just give you the rundown of my personal experience. Continue reading

Getting Gear in South America

Written by Neon

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Notice holes in nearly everything, except my peanut butter jar.

If you ask anyone who lives in and/or has traveled to South America, you will likely hear similar tidbits of advice from them: “Make sure you have US cash; the mail system in most countries is terrible/non-existent; be sure to bring enough gear, because gear is expensive and/or non-existent.” Continue reading

The Work of Getting Along

Hiking alone is dangerous. Working as a team is difficult.
So, what do you do?
Make a choice and figure it out as you go.

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Her Odyssey team in Salta, Argentina. PC: Their Only Portrait

While I was prepared to do this walk alone if I did not find a suitable hiking companion, I believed the right person would come along. That person turned out to be Neon. Apparently before we set out my brother and several other near and dear friends had admonished her to, “please just try to make sure she doesn’t die on this trip.” She has taken that job seriously.
Continue reading

Salta to La Quiaca

Written by Neon

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Fede, me, Fidgit, Isabel and Antonio in Salta

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“Bridge”

Arriving back in Salta after a longer-than-planned hiatus from Fidgit and our trek, I was immediately welcomed into the home of Isabel and Antonio, family of friends from Bariloche. Fidgit and I (and all the gear I hauled from Peru, which friends and family had collected and hauled from the US) reunited and shared stories about our time apart. As we caught up, we also planned for our route up to higher elevation and into Bolivia. Continue reading

Herstory: She Can Dance

 The ‘Herstory: She Can’ series profiles women who pursue their passions. Each have stepped up with courage, a message, and a willingness to share her own odyssey.


The specific weight of the soul is equal to the sum of what has been dared.
~Bert Hellinger

A sewing machine and life jackets helped fund the wing where we sleep in Alejandra and Koky’s house. “This place has always been our refuge.” Continue reading

The Tompkins Land Donation: Shedding Light on Chile’s Conservation Conundrum

Were not wise sons descendant of the wise,
and did not heroes from brave heroes arise.
-The Odyssey

Written by Fidgit

Patagonia took us almost 4 months to cross on foot at the price of blood, sweat, tears, close encounters, and disease; it will always hold a piece of my heart. Lately, as many of you have probably noticed, it’s been in the news. Much of the press to arise regarding the Tompkins land donation to the Chilean government focus on the act of the gift, but fail to address whether Chile’s park system is prepared to manage it. The key element to the success of this historical event will be the interplay of private and public lands, specifically regarding those intended for conservation.

This is a massive and complex topic. Continue reading