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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

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(see all 3 book)

Northwest Argentina:
The Wrong Way In the Right Country

Adventure Story, Novel, Book, Writings

April 7, 2004
(Sent From Bariloche, Argentina)


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The title "The Wrong Way in the Right Country" has several meanings; as any good title should.  The wrong way refers to the wind blowing in our faces.  At first, we thought this annoying headwind was temporary.  As the weeks went by, we thought we could deal with it.  Eventually we accepted the fact we were going to suffer and had to readjust the number of kilometers that we could ride each day.  During the last couple hundred kilometers we had to climb completely over the Andes in a very strong head wind.  On this very steep and endless section, the wind blew so hard in our faces that it took three and a half hours to ride 16 kilometers.

Argentina was the right country in many ways.  The everyday diet of the common citizen (and us) is excellent.  I believe their favorite food is steak.  It is a national pass time to grill thick pieces of beef over real wood fires.  They seem to practice this art form from a very early age and by the time they reach adulthood they are experts in selecting cuts of meat, building cook fires, and grilling beef.  This worked very well for me because beef, especially the choice cuts that are so common here, is my favorite food as well.  For the first three weeks that we rode through Argentina, we ate US$2 fire grilled steaks everyday.  At times our large lunches made riding very difficult.

Argentina is also far more advanced economically than any country that we have visited in Latin America.  This meant that hot showers were hot and people were not asking us for money at every corner.  Until recently, Argentina was considered the most expensive country in South America.  Their Peso was tied to the US$ (one to one) even though market value suggests it was actually worth much less.  Everyone told us of the glory years before the crash.  With the inflated value of their currency, imports were very cheap and everyone was buying.

The problem was that Argentina's exports were very expensive and no one was buying.  Major industries went under and unemployment increased.  Then and now Argentina runs on a deficit with a string of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans to make up the difference.  This could not last forever.  On December 21, 2001, the entire economic and political structure went into turmoil.  When the Argentinean Peso was finally allowed to float, it plunged.  Most kept their retirement nest egg in the bank.  They thought their 100,000 Pesos was also 100,000 US Dollars because for years they were interchangeable.  You can imagine the anger when they learned that their money in the bank was in Pesos and now worth one fourth as much in US dollars.  To make things worse banks were not allowing people to withdraw their failing pesos.  Millions of people with money in the bank were suffering because they could not make withdrawals.  Everything exploded.

There were huge protests in the capital demanding sweeping changes in the government.  Many people we met were involved in the drama and tell their stories of out of control protest marches and businesses being attacked.   Argentineans can now claim that they had several presidents in five days.  Few, outside Argentina, have experienced such chaos.

While we were in Argentina, one US dollar was worth about three Argentinean Pesos.  The north of Argentina had the best value for our dollar that we had seen on this trip.  It was not quite as cheap as Guatemala or Bolivia but the standards and quality of everything are much higher.  Argentina was also our first country that had an extensive campground system.  This meant that we did not have to rent a hotel room to take a hot shower.  We had good weather and spent weeks at a time sleeping in our tent.  These campgrounds were very cheap and the savings freed up our budget to eat out constantly.  We lived like kings in a cloth castle.

THE DEBATE CONTINUES BETWEEN US

I want to thank all of you who wrote in on our discussion board with suggestions about what continent we should explore next.  These comments have given us many new ideas that we previously had not thought of.  We still do not know where we are going after South America but at least we have more information.  Really, we are more confused than ever.  We do plan on flying back to the USA in June to visit our families and publish our first book.  We hope to be done with the book in October and back down the road in early November.  I like the idea that we can go anywhere we want.  Not knowing where we are going is half the fun.  Please let us know where you want us to go by posting your comments on http://www.downtheroad.org/Discussion/


*Help Support this Web Site and Continue Our Travels Today!!  If a book is bought from Amazon.com by clicking straight from our site we receive 15% of the sale.  If you click through from one of the books (or general links) but decide to buy something else from Amazon we still receive 5% from the sale.  In other words you are not limited to just the books pictured on our site.  see also Our Complete list of Participating Online Store for More Shopping


 

2002 - 2012 DownTheRoad.org (TM) All Rights Reserved
  


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INDEX #2: South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present


(see all 3 book)

June 4 -  July 8, 2003
Ecuador #1
Quito to Riobamba, Ecuador

Cindie's Daily Journals
Ecuador #1

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Ecuador: Riding on top of the Southern Hemisphere

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Pictures in Ecuador #1

Full size Picture Pages

- Quito The Old City
- The Equator "Mitad del Mundo"
- Volcano Tugurahua, Backpacking
- Banos, Ecuador Natural Hot Springs
- Quito to Latacunga, Ecuador
- The City of Latacunga, Ecuador
- Latacunga to Riobamba, Ecuador
- The Village of Mocha, Ecuador
- The City of Riobamba, Ecuador
- Other

 

July 9 - Aug 4, 2003
Ecuador #2
Riobamba to Macara, Ecuador
( Peruvian border)

Cindie's Daily Journals
Ecuador #2

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Ecuador #2: The Magic of the Andes

The Fastest Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of  Pictures in Ecuador #2

Full size Picture Pages

- Riobamba to Alausi, Ecuador
- The City of Alausi, Ecuador
- Nariz Del Diablo - Train Ride
- Alausi to Cuenca, Ecuador
- The City of Cuenca, Ecuador
- Cuenca to Loja, Ecuador
- Loja to Macara, Ecuador

 

Aug 5 - Sept. 14, 2003
Peru #1
The Ecuador border to Huallanca, Peru

Cindie's Daily Journals
Peru #1 JOURNAL

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Peru #1 Riding Between The Extremes

Best Place to see Pictures
Peru #1 THUMBS

Full size Picture Pages

- The Ecuador Border to Chiclayo, Peru
- Chiclayo to Trujillo, Peru
- Casa De Ciclista, Peru Cyclist House
- The Ruins of Chan Chan
- Ruins - Temple of the Moon and Sun
- Trujillo to Huallanca, Peru
- Huallanca to Huaraz, Peru
- Huarez to Pachapaque
- Pachapaqui to Huallanca

 

Sept. 15 - Oct. 31, 2003
Peru #2
Huallanca, Peru to
Copacabana, Bolivia

Cindie's Daily Journals
Peru #2 JOURNAL

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Peru #2: Been Doing Some Hard Traveling

Best Place to see Pictures
Peru #2 THUMBS

Full size Picture Pages

- Huallanca to Huanuco
- Huanuco to La Oroya, Peru
- Arequipa, Peru
- Cusco, Peru
- Tambo Machay, Pucapucara, Qenqo
- Sacsayhuaman, Inca Ruin
- Machu Picchu #1
- Machu Picchu #2
- Machu Picchu #3
- Cusco to Santa Rosa, Peru
- Santa Rosa, Peru to Copacabana Bolivia
- Uros, Peru Lake Titicaca

 

November 1 - December 8, 2003
Bolivia
Copacabana to Villazon, Bolivia

Cindie's Daily Journals
Bolivia JOURNAL

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Bolivia: The Calm After the Storm.

Best Place to see Pictures
Bolivia THUMBS

Full size Picture Pages

- Copacabana, Bolivia on Lake Titicaca
- Todos Santos - Day of the Dead
- Copacabana to La Paz
- La Paz to Oruro
- Oruro to Quillacas
- Quillacas to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
- Salar de Uyuni Salt Lake to The City of Uyuni

 
(December 9, 2003 - January 22, 2004)
NW Argentina
La Quiaca, to La Cueva, (border with Chile) Argentina

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's North West Argentina Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Northwest Argentina: The Wrong Way In the Right Country 

Best Place to see Pictures
Pictures of  North West Argentina

Full size Picture Pages

- Quiaca to Tilcara
- Tilcara to Salta
- Salta to Cafayate
- Cafayate to Belen
- Belen to Mendoza
- Parque National Talampaya
- Valle De Luna Provincial Park
- Mendoza to La Cueva
- Aconcagua National Park

 
January 23 - February 29, 2004
Chile
Portillo, Chile to Bariloche, Argentina

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Chile Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
coming!

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnails of Chile

Full size Picture Pages

- Portillo to Los Andes
- Temuco to Parqua National Conguillio
- Conguillio National Park to Villarrica
- Villarrica to Playa Pucara
- Playa Pucura to Puerto Pirihueico
- Bariloche, Argentina Velodrome

 
March 3, to 23, 2004
  Patagonia, South America
 Argentina and Chile

Cindie's Daily Journals
Patagonia

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
coming!

Best Place to see Pictures
Patagonia THUMBS

Full size Picture Pages

- Southern Patagonia Birds
- Perito Moreno Glacier, (Before rupture)
- Perito Moreno Glacier (After rupture)
- Torres Del Paine National Park #1
- Torres Del Paine National Park #2
- Torres Del Paine National Park #3
- Torres Del Paine National Park #4
- El Chalten  - Fritz Roy
- Cuevas los Manos, Rock Art


- My First Jewish Passover
- Ski Argentina Cerro Cathedral
- Fall in Bariloche
- Cerro Campanerio
- Cerro Lopez
- Nordic Cross Country Skiing Bariloche, Argentina

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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