What we will miss about South America…and what we won’t

I’m writing this from Rapa Nui aka Easter Island, one of the most remote places on Earth: the nearest inhabited land is over 2000 km away. The island is beautiful, magical and peculiar but as you can imagine, the Internet connection sucks. It can just about manage to chug away with anything text-based but anything involving an image, forget it.

So because we can’t upload our pictures from Santiago and Valpairiso in mainland Chile, and because Easter Island will be our final stop in South America, Mark and I got thinking about some of the things we will miss from this magnificent continent. Which inevitably led to a list of things we will be happy to leave behind!

Things we will miss about South America:

  • The incredible landscapes
  • Markets, particularly the amazing set meal deals there
  • Delicious, buttery avocados: big ones, small ones, some as big as your head
  • The abundance of awesome fruit. No tomato grows on a tree in England!
  • Swimming with sea lions
  • The diversity of people and cultures
  • The pride with which (particularly the Andean) people maintain their heritage
  • Steak
  • Successfully communicating in Spanish (satisfying, but rare)
  • Friendly people genuinely trying to help you out
  • Vendors selling useful things on buses, trains etc – wish people would sell water, mints, tissues pens etc on the tube in London
  • Habits we could easily adopt: chewing coca leaves and drinking mate

Things we will not miss about South America:

  • Stray dogs, everywhere
  • Having to constantly watch your step to avoid filth from stray dogs – we say “mind the poo!” dozens of times a day
  • Long bus journeys. Our record is 28 hours. A six hour journey is nothing to us now
  • Washing in cold water – Mark says shaving without hot water is particularly difficult
  • People being blasé about littering – for every person who is passionate about conservation and ecotourism, there are ten who throw their rubbish on the street, out of bus windows etc
  • Trying to speak Spanish and accidentally coming out with French
  • Having to carry toilet paper at all times
  • Not being able to flush toilet paper, but having to deposit it in a skanky plastic bin filled with other people’s soiled tissue
  • The coffee – considering how much great coffee is grown in South America, it’s a shame they export most of it and just serve crappy instant Nescafé as standard
  • Dodgy Internet connection!

Of course this is just a bit of fun, we have had the time of our lives in the four short months we have explored this continent. We have seen so much but are acutely aware that there is so much more to experience. Hopefully one day we will.

Anything we’ve missed out?


3 responses to “What we will miss about South America…and what we won’t

  1. Spitting? and not just in the street. You get on the bus and there it is a great big greeny on the bus floor!!!! Most of your annoyances I got so used to your list has just reminded me that they were annoying, but the spitting! I never got used to that! Other than that SA is pretty great!

  2. Seem like there is graffiti everywhere even when a neighborhood is nice there would be some, I will not miss that. But I loved seeing babied bundled into their mommy’s backs with a huge colorful piece of fabric. (Ecuador June-July 2014)

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