Sunday 2/9/09 Buenos Aires!, Argentina
Week 70 Stats
Start city: Chacabuco, Argentina
End city: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Total distance traveled by bicycle: 155 miles
Days on the bike: 3
Average miles per day of riding: 51.7 miles
Longest day: 62 miles
Shortest day: 42 miles
Total money spent: $764.20 U.S.
Average spent per day: $109.17 U.S.
Most expensive day: $698 U.S.!! Eeeek! Plane tickets to South Africa ain’t cheap
Cheapest day: $4.80 U.S.
Total number of days since the start of the trip: 490
Total miles cycled to date: 10,619 !!
Total money spent to date: $7,739 U.S.
Average spent per day to date: $15.79
Number of big-ticket purchases represented in this dollar amount: Lots—1 transcontinental plane ticket, 1 inter-country round trip plane ticket, a new laptop, a new camera, a 5 day tourist sail from Panama to Colombia
For other cyclists out there planning a trip, don’t let this high dollar figure discourage you: It’s possible to travel much more cheaply than I have been traveling. I’d say $10 a day for North, Central, and South America would give you a comfortable trip without lots of worrying about budgeting. To do it on $7 or $6 is possible with more budgeting. Spending $15 or more per day on solely food and lodging on a ride through North, Central, and South America would be almost difficult–for example, in places like Peru, Ecuador, or Bolivia, you’d need to eat five or six meals a day at restaurants AND stay in nice-ish hotels to spend $15 or $20 a day in the countryside. Because most bike trips are centered around countryside riding (since most of the world is covered with countryside instead of cities and urban sprawl), a long-term travel budget devoid of large purchases will reflect the countryside spending behavior of the bike traveler, not his/her city spending habits. When planning a budget, plan on having lots of those $2 and $3 dollar days in the countryside when you don’t spend a lot simply because there are (blissfully so) few stores around.
Sorry to get so underline/bold crazy with the text above, but lots of would-be travelers scare themselves away from long-term travel because of unjustified finance fears. I think it’s important to spread the word on this subject: Long-term human-powered travel is cheap! What you pay for for one month of rent back home can give you 2 or 3 months (or more!) of traveliving if you choose to move under your own steam–be it by cycling, skateboarding, walking, running, rowing, etc.
Gone are the days of young people spending $30 or $40 a day to stay night after night in expensive hostels and restaurants. For the conversation-seeking, experience-valuing traveler, social networking travel sites like CouchSurfing and Hospitality Club are turning hotels and hostels into fossilized institutions, travel relics of bygone eras. The energizing, new-thought-spawning conversations that hostels foster can be had in the comfort of a local resident’s apartment or home, amidst a group of his/her friends, for 100% less than what a traveler would normally pay to stay in a hostel. Continuing the conversation at a little hole-in-the-wall cafe or bar that’s filled with neighborhood residents—-what more does the traveler want?!
Nights spent camped out in public parks: 2
Nights spent camped out in the backyard of the horse farmer: 1
Nights spent in Manu’s apartment in BA: 4 (Manu is a friend of a friend from college)
Number of seconds I paused to think before pushing ‘Confirm’ on the South Africa plane ticket purchase: A few, but only a few
Amount of time spent rereading sections of The Glass Bead Game: A few hours
According to an NPR interview I listened to this week, number of Bruce Springstein songs in which the chorus is filled with the general message of the song while the verses are filled with imagery-loaded details: Every single song—it’s Springstein’s song ‘formula’
Free open air concerts attended in a public park in Buenos Aires: 2
Hours I waited in line to go to a drumming concert before being turned away at the door because the place was packed to the brim with young 20-somethings: 1.5
Number of people who decided to sit, chat, or dance in the streets to the drumming because they weren’t admitted to the concert: 200
Lunches with Pius and Stefan: 1
Average cost of an avacado in Buenos Aires: $1 U.S.
Cost of a coffee or tea: $1.50 U.S.