This morning I'm having a lazy Sunday morning in bed with tea and tasty good all butter iced Madeira cake, looking at flights to Quito and then the bus journey that I would need to take back from Argentina to Quito to catch my return flight. I came across this interesting link on the Lonely Planet website which has helped me decide that, I think, it would be best to get the bus all the way down through the countries I want to visit and then back up - that way if I feel like I missed out on something I can always try and make it back there before I leave.
I've also been trying to set out a budget, and have come up with the below (excuse the messy layout!):
Ecuador 6 week(s) £672
Peru 5 week(s) £560
Bolivia 5 week(s) £525
Paraguay 2 week(s) £210
Argentina 2 week(s) £252
Chile 4 week(s) £588
Flight (average cost): £800
Backpackers Insurance (approx. cost for 24 weeks): £138
Estimate for budget: £3745
I need to take into consideration that the above doesn't include a trip to the Galapagos or the Inca Trail or any mountain treks and so on...BUT it's good because I nearly have 5 grand saved so I'm well on my way to having enough money for the trip.....which means I now have to book the flight!
My very rough plan would be this; go to Ecuador and do turtle or animal conservation whilst learning Spanish, if I can I'll try and fit in some orphanage work (although I could probably do this in other countries too) and then try and do some more conservation work/volunteering in Peru...and that's my plan so far!! I think this week I really need to read up/investigate on things I can do in the other countries that I want to visit.
Ultimately I would like to pick up enough experience whilst I am in SA that would help me get a conservation/environment job when I get back to London. My other choice would be to do a project management course before I leave the UK and try to manage some projects whilst in SA, so, when I get back I have a greater chance of doing project management.
I have always wanted to discover a new species and climb a mountain, so I suppose these are "must do" things for me in SA.
I really need to think about the exact type of life I would like to have; ultimately I would like to be making a change on a local and national level, doing my extra activity's that I enjoy doing; crafts, photography, making clothes etc and and then having enough spare time to socialise and read...I suppose I'm not asking for much? Hmmm, some extra thought needs to be put into this.