my 6 month trip in nerdy facts

Looking back on my trip through the Americas, here are some interesting or boring facts:

Countries visited
Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, United States.

(Latin) America 201112 - Google Maps

Projects worked at: community farm/bakery in Argentina, family farm in Uruguay, social project in Brazil, community restaurant in Brazil, children education project in Colombia, hostel in Colombia, health/community in Costa Rica, community farm in California, US
Random jobs: publishing an ebook on, picking up trash, building fences, teaching English to Colombian kids, making granola, washing dishes, making beds, making arepas for breakfast, feeding chickens, cleaning toilets and picking, packaging and delivering avocados.

Met people from: Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Germany, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, United States, Canada, France, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, Wales, Denmark, Uruguay, England, Scotland, Sweden, Austria, Paraguay, Haiti, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Venezuela, Czech Republic, Russia, Ireland, Panama, Costa Rica, Switzerland, South Korea, China, Afghanistan.
Nicest people: Colombia (with Costa Rica and Brazil close behind)
Best experience of hospitality: being invited to a family Christmas party while waiting in line for the ATM (Colombia)
Worst miscommunication: on a 20 hour busride, thinking we are having a bathroom break in the middle of nowhere, going to the bathroom, coming back noticing the bus is gone (turns out it was just making a round to pick up supplies)
Best meeting: being reunited with 3 Shelter friends in LA

No. of friends/Couchsurfers stayed with: 16
No. of hostels/hotels/campsites stayed at: 16
Fanciest accommodation: double room in a 3 star hotel
Most basic accommodation: hammock on the beach or a tent in the jungle
Best ho(s)tel: Penthouse 1004 in Bariloche, Argentina
Worst ho(s)tel: Hotelroom in Cartagena, Colombia

Most southern point visited: Puerto Montt, Chile
Most eastern point visited: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Most western/northern point visited: San Francisco, CA, USA
Highest point visited: Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia (4,800m)

Most beautiful old town: Cartagena
Most beautiful city: Rio de Janeiro
Favourite cities: Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Panama City (especially Casco Viejo)
Most diverse country: Colombia
Quirckiest town: El Valle de Anton (village in an old volcano crater with things like square trees, carved stones, golden frogs and bike rentals)
Natural highlights: Iguazu falls in Argentina, Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Lake Dictrict in Argentina, pretty much all of Costa Rica, Parque Tayrona in Colombia
Cool animals seen (in the wild): tucan, sea lion, elephant seal, coatie, fiddler crab, and lots of cool and weird birds, bugs, snakes, spiders and lizzards.

Getting around
Means of transportation used: feet, airplane, ferry, bike, train, motorbike, moped, bus, metro, car
Hours spent on long-distance buses: over 200
Hours spent on planes: +/- 50
Miles traveled: too many
Best transport experience: a 20 hour busride in Argentina, with fully reclinable seats and a hot meal (and even champagne and whiskey, if I’d wanted to)
Worst transport experience: trying to get into Panama City from the airport, which was like one long traffic jam and took about 3 hours.

Weirdest food tried: biriba (custard apple – also one of the most delicious) or mame sapote (just plain weird, but it probably wasn’t ripe)
Favourite foods tried: pão de quejo, strawberry & white chocolate pizza, homemade granola with homemade yoghurt and honey, Argentinan empanadas, Colombian arepas, homemade hummus, Freebirds nachos, mushroom pizza from California Pizza Kitchen
Favourite drinks tried: homemade banana-coconut smoothies, açai juice, mate
Best restaurant: Crepes & Waffles in Medellin (delicious crepes and other meals, with a huge section of vegetarian options, and they only employ single moms). The rodízio pizzaria (all you can eat pizza) in São Paulo was pretty great too.
Worst meal: dry pizza in Uruguay
Favorite cuisine: Brazil

Craziest thing done: working in a slum where gangs reign or taking a cable car through the biggest favela complex of Rio de Janeiro
Most “extreme” thing done: rappelling down a waterfall or paragliding
Most random experience: leading music/worship in Portuguese in a church in Brazil


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