We’ve fallen a little behind on the blog… too many fun adventures have had us out exploring the world rather than sitting at our computers. However, we are making a big push to catch up, so stay tuned for more posts! We’re hoping to post one a day until Christmas, so think of it like an advent calendar of sorts… and maybe you can help keep us honest.

Week 6: Bicycling Manistee, MI to Ensign, MI

Total distance: 337.3 miles

Day 36 – 51.9 miles – Manistee, MI to Empire, MI

Eric has been taking every opportunity to work on his presentation, which is now just over a week away. The opportunities don’t arise that often since he usually needs power and wifi to make progress. Today his partner was doing an initial dress rehearsal to some people at work and Eric wanted to listen in. Unfortunately, cell service in the area was pretty spotty, so roughly 10 miles into our ride, we pulled over on a grassy area so Eric could be on the phone for an hour.

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Budget Update

As we settle into the long haul, we’ve started taking the budget quite seriously, so it’s time for a progress update.
TLDR; budget was broken but we’re good at being frugal. 🙂
The goal is $50 per day per person, so $100 per day total.* We’ve been tracking our expenses on a really neat app totally geared towards budgeting in this way. It lets you record expenditures in any currency, and does the conversion and tracking for you.  This has been super handy, and dare I say fun, when it comes to actually precisely tracking every single thing that gets purchased. Jess is our accountant, and she’ll tell you more about this awesome app later.

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Montevideo: “Pretty Much A Success”

Before we left Buenos Aires, people kept telling us we shouldn’t spend a week in Montevideo because there’s nothing to do there. If they’re talking about nightlife and comparing it to Buenos Aires, they might be right; however, we have loved having time to explore.

We spent the week in a funny sort of hostel we found on AirBnB. We chose it over the other most promising option because the other one mentioned they had cats. We decided we shouldn’t spend a week in a place where Eric would suffer from allergies… only to show up and find two cats and two dogs in the hostel. Continue reading “Montevideo: “Pretty Much A Success””

A Walking Tour of Old Town Montevideo

Our free walking tour with Rodrigo from Free Walking Tour MVD was great. We met him at the Plaza Independencia at 11am, and as is characteristically Uruguayan, he was holding his guampa piled high with maté leaves and a bombilla sticking out. He explained that Uruguayans take their maté very seriously, unlike the Argentinians who just like to drink it. There’s a specific process one should use to make sure the maté retains its flavor for the whole thermos full of water; otherwise, you are just drinking warm water.

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A Tale of Two
Bus Rides

We took an overnight bus to Montevideo, Uruguay. Not only is it nice to sleep as much as possible during an 8-hour trip, but it also means that you don’t need to pay for a night of accommodation. We booked a Condor Estrella bus leaving at 22:30 (10:30PM) and getting in at 6:30 the next day. Everything basically went according to plan, but Jess and Eric had very different rides.

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Our Life in Buenos Aires

We arrived in Buenos Aires late on Wednesday night and our first introduction to the city was through a taxi driver from the highly recommended Tienda Leon taxi company. We discovered that lane lines are just a suggestion. If there are only two lanes, why not make three? Turn signals are definitely only for turning – why waste a good signal on a lane change? Our taxi driver pulled out a magnifying glass to read the address of our apartment, and then definitely went through a red light before stopping at a handful more. There are some places where stopping at red lights is unsafe late at night, but this didn’t appear to be the explanation here. Apparently some red lights are optional.

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BsAs Solo dos

Our trip started with a bang! The adventures in Puerto Natales and El Calafate were amazing, and we were super lucky to start the trip with Sol and Travis.  Right now it feels like this trip could be almost a normal vacation for us. The days have been filled with activities, and we’ve moved around to three different locations in ten days. We’ve done two-week trips like this before, trying to see as much as possible in a short period of time and we’ve even done them with friends, so in some ways this is a “normal” trip.

A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles.

Sign in a hostel… actually by Tim Cahill

Alas, all good things must come to an end, Sol and Travis are leaving us :`-( This is our first time doing a vacation with Sol and Travis, and I must say we’d happily do it again.  Without them we’re about to shift into a new mode of travel. We’re settling in for the next few months in South America and this is where the new adventure starts.

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