Thank you all for posting all your questions, we were swamped with them, both through our blog, mailing list (if you want to receive automatic updates when blog, mail us on this address) and through Facebook!
Tell us about the ARCHITECTURE... - Anne-Marie & Thijs-Jan
A lot of the architecture in South America is colonial, especially in Argentina what we noticed was the lay-out of the cities, all rectangular, with a square (typically called Plaza de Armas) in the middle. The east coast of Uruguay was quite different, it seemed to be this place where a lot of (Argentinian, it would seem, lots of expensive cars with Argentinian license plates driving around) money was. A lot of modern villa’s with a view of the ocean.
What's the average km you do on a day (and of course also curious to the max you did and the minimum) - Mike
We’ve been traveling for just over 9 months right now, we’ve done 41.000k, which roughly makes 150km on average a day. But of course we don’t drive every day, far from it. We spent 1 month in The Netherlands and Germany waiting for our flight to South America, did 3 weeks in Buenos Aires to learn Spanish, 2 weeks in China to visit a wedding.
I would say we do an average of 400km per day, max around 800km, least, dunno, 0, I guess!
Best and worst CouchSurfing experience – Kun
As you might know, we’re quite avid CouchSurfers, and we surf during this trip as well! One of the best experiences we had was a completely unexpected one in Iran! We had a flat tire in the middle of Iran and we ended up trying to find a new inner tube on a Friday, their rest day, ie all shops were closed and it took us quite a while. It also didn’t help that we didn’t speak any Farsi, but the very helpful and resourceful locals managed to find just about the only guy in town who spoke English, and he was able to help us find what we were looking for. In the end, he invited us to stay with him and we met every member of his family over a wonderful evening barbecue!
Worst? Dirty places, like, really really dirty. Don’t like those… it happened 4 times so far that Shu felt the place so dirty that she started to clean the place, that never happened in our house before!!
Best and worst foods – Kun
Talk about a difficult question, seeing that you *know* that we’re Chowhounds!
Off the top of my head…
Lahmacun in Turkey, wow!
Asado in Argentina. Rodizio in Brazil
Ceviche in Peru
(or know as Kinilaw in The Philippines)
Worst? Any food that makes either of us sick or go to the toilet in rapid succession several times a day. So far it only has happened twice, once to either of us.
Shu answers: “When we were in Greece, we stayed with a self-sufficient family with their own garden and animals and cheese and bread. We picked up some sardines and crabs from town. Together we had such an unique and delicious meal. Also I have discovered that homemade food are better than bought.”
Place where you would go back in a heart beat, and a place where you will not go back unless you were clubbed over the head and dragged back forcibly – Kun
Eastern Turkey was amazing! Italy has been and always be a favorite. I loved driving Carreterra Austral in Chile, several roads in Bolivia and Cuzco to Nazca in Peru. Too many to describe! The unpaved parts of Ruta 40 in Argentina were among the worst…
Shu answers: “Brazil and eastern Turkey. Oh, just day-dreaming about them brings big silly smiles to my face. And a few friends´ homes as well: a lovely renovated house in Germany, and a self-built house in Tucuman, Argentina. I would not want to go to the Caspian Sea coastline of Iran. The area was poorly developed and traffic was terrible and dangerous. Come to think about it. I find it such a turnoff to see bad development which are quickly and poorly done, and abandoned soon after. Such a waste of resources.”
Can you please relate for us 3 of the stupidest arguments you've had while on this epic trip of yours? Please also share any interesting injuries or afflictions – Sonya
Hehe… yeah, we’ve had our fair share of arguments… the ride’s not always smooth when you’re spending 24/7 with each other. One specific one that comes to mind is an argument we had whether or not to laminate copies of our passports… yup. We sink that low… I argued we should do it, Shu argued that the ZipLoc bags that we’re using work quite fine. By now, we have one set that’s still in a ZipLoc bag (which, ironically enough, I carry), and Shu carries the laminated one after hers got wet in the rain!
Injuries. I took it to try out Enduro riding with the son of friends of us in Argentina. I made a spectacular crash trying to go down a hill. The bike was fine, I really hurt my knee, was limping for 2 weeks.
Enduro riding in Argentina
Tell us more about bed bugs!! Did the person who infected you know they were infected? Do they hurt? How can we save ourselves from them? – Sonya
No bed bugs for me! Luckily! But Shu has had them thrice so far, once during a CouchSurfing experience and twice in a ‘hotel’. We would not know who gave it to us, Shu says they do hurt. How to save yourself from them? If you know, let us know, cos we obviously haven’t learnt how to know. The obvious: make sure the room you’re staying in is clean, if it looks dirty, all the bigger the chance of getting them.
What have you discovered on this trip that you didn't know about yourself or your partner? Good or bad – Sonya
Good: I had been thinking of doing a motorcycle trip like this, but one of the things that held me back was that I have zero technical knowledge. ‘What would I do if I have a breakdown in the middle of nowhere?’, was the question that held me back. But I learned to accept whatever happens, and that things will sort themselves out, with the creativity that I have, and that others have. That, and I did take it upon myself to learn at least a few technical things about the bike.
Replacing the front tire
Knowing what you know about what's involved with a trip like this, would you do it again? I guess you're doing it right now so that answers that... – Sonya
Yup, would do it again in a heartbeat. And if you’re thinking of doing it: JUST DO IT! It’s you who’s stopping yourself from going, no one else. It’s scary to do the first few steps, but it is SO worth it!!!
The rain, so worth it…
More answers to your questions will come soon! Keep sending us your questions!