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    The Incredible Scenery on the 8 Day Full Circuit Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

The Incredible Scenery on the 8 Day Full Circuit Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

After several days of a heavy social scene in Buenos Aires (BA), I took an afternoon on a set of couches high above the common area of my hostel to remind myself what I wanted to do while I travelled. Don’t get me wrong, the social scene is a big part of travelling and BA definitely had it. There I was, floating through the busiest hostel, knowing most people by name, stopping for plenty of small talk, piecing together the night before – it reminded me of the good times of university.
The problem was, what was meant to be a great byproduct of travelling (the social), was taking over. I had planned to stay in BA for two weeks to learn Spanish and tango, but instead, after a week, I had only managed a couple of hours of each. There’s always the option to stay at an apartment or a quieter hostel, but I could still find myself getting distracted. Then, when I spent some time to read into my next destination, Patagonia, I noticed that it was coming to the end of the dry season. My mind forward-wound a week and I realised I could also be missing out on a final weather window. I booked a flight to El Calafate to leave a couple of days later. A certain sense of relief.
Whilst my time in El Calafate and El Chalten justifies a blog post later, I felt like the 8 days I spent in Torres del Paine deserves to be described first and foremost. The 8 days were spent hiking and camping along a route called the Full Circuit in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. The scenery was simply unbelievable and by practically winning the lottery in terms of good weather, the photos I took were able to capture much of it too. 
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Hiking up Pedra da Gavea

When I was planning my South America trip, I made sporting activities a priority. I didn’t realise how much I loved it even when I travelled.
Rio de Janeiro was my first destination in South America, and whilst Rio’s culture of extremes itself was an amazing experience, I had my sights set on some hiking too while I was in town. 
Although there were many hiking options to choose from in Rio, in the end, I opted to hike and climb up Pedra da Gavea with a company called Nattrip. Pedra da Gavea is one of the tallest mountains in Rio da Janeiro, standing at 842m high, with undoubtably the best panoramic views over the city.  […]

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    Rio de Janeiro – A City where Poverty, Indulgence, Crime, Celebration, Beauty, Passion and Future all Live in a Strange Harmony

Rio de Janeiro – A City where Poverty, Indulgence, Crime, Celebration, Beauty, Passion and Future all Live in a Strange Harmony

When I booked my ticket to South America, my first stop was going to be Rio de Janeiro. I was confident it was a good place to start, but I didn’t know exactly what to expect. 
Why did i think it was a good place to start?
Like Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro and another couple of cities in South America have the cheapest flights in and out of London. Those included Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Lima. After looking at the different weather for the countries I wanted to visit and how they could broadly fit together, I realised Brazil would be in good weather and would deteriorate over time. With the country in the midst of carnaval celebrations, I also thought it would be high on most backpackers lists, so plenty of like-minded travellers to bump into in the hostels and overlap journeys with. So with weather, a solid backpacker trail to start on and cheap flights, it became my first destination. […]

Reflections from my Original RTW Packing List

After I got back from my Asia travels, I got a chance to reflect on my original RTW packing list and decide how to adjust it for my upcoming South America travels.
The reflections I had include:

Lockable backpacks are useful when lockers are small or non-existent
Dry barrel’s offer so much more than rain covers
Dry sacks and packing separators speed up the check in/out part of travel
Leave space in your main pack to buy clothes and repack with ease
Don’t neglect the clothes you really love
Go plain colours on tops or bottoms but not both or neither
Other gear changes i made for my trip to South America
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Jumping out of a Plane at 12,000ft

Skydiving is probably the last thing on the mind of someone who, like me, has a fear of heights. You may recall how Rock Climbing in Thailand was a real challenge for me but I was quite intrigued how by the end of the experience I felt much more comfortable.

I was keen to do more height-related activities as I travelled, so when I heard about skydiving over the mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand, I knew I had to do it.

The weather was perfect for it (you’ll see from the photos) and the experience certainly didn’t disappoint. It’s one of the top day time activities I’ve done on my trip.

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