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100 days and counting
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-09-24 20:08:37 | Roswell, New Mexico, United States
Keywords: altitude, bus, speed, transportation
I can hardly believe it was only 100 days ago since I left to begin this journey. But at the same time, I have those 100 days of ground transportation imprinted in my buttocks! :-) I have travelled more than 18 000 km (that's almost 11 000 miles) on the roads of Canada and USA, mostly in buses.

I've been below sea level and up to 14 000 ft in altitude.  I have experienced difficulty sleeping above 7 000 feet, that's why you haven't read much about my passage through Taos, Santa Fe or Albuquerque. I was getting better at it though.  Based on that experience, I'm glad to have extended my stop in Mexico City from a week to a month in December, because I'll probably need that first week to get used to sleep at that altitude again.  I've been down to 5 000 ft of altitude only for a few hours and I already feel the difference in my body.  I know I'll sleep well tonight.

I'm also tired because of that fast travelling I've been doing.  It's true it was mostly my pace of travelling before, but doing it for a few weeks and doing it for a few months is a whole different ballgame.  I will do more fast travelling in the future, but only in short bursts, maybe a week or so, to cover great distances in a short time, or when I can't find cheap lodging in one location.

Packing my stuff and hauling it every two or three days is not something I liked either.  That also made me realise I should be travelling lighter.  In terms of clothing, I left with enough clothes to last two weeks between laundries.  That meant having 6 or 7 t-shirts, jeans and two shorts (plus some night clothes for when not in hotels).  Why so many items?  Well, because I didn't know when and where I'd be able to wash a load.  Also, hunting down laundromats and do the washing does take a few hours, and when you're in a location only for two days, that counts.  Now that I'll travel more slowly, I'll reduce my load almost by half by targeting only one week of clothes.

In terms of other stuff, well, I left Montreal with extras in terms is soap, shampoo, USB cables and other things, simply because I had them already and didn't want to throw them away just to have to buy them again later.  These items are getting lighter because I used them or lost some.

Before entering Mexico, I wanted to get new shoes, and ideally a spare one too since I have very large feet (size 14).  That means a good extra volume and weight.  But I was able to find a compromise, with good sandals.  I was also happily surprised to find cheap shoes at the world's largest chain store, since they don't carry my size in Canada.  That gave me hope for the next countries.

Right now, all the stuff I'm carrying is over a 100 lbs in total, in 3 bags: 50 lbs in my rolling suitcase, about 25 lbs for each of my camera bag and my laptop/lunch backpack.  I want to reduce it to 80 lbs or so in the next week, then to about 60 lbs by the end of the year.  This will depend on how easy it will be for me to find clothes and shoes in Mexico.

I'll leave you with a laugh.  One of the things I have right now is powdered milk, because I like it and it can be tricky to find some fresh milk sometimes depending on my location.  I will use it all (or throw it away) before leaving the USA because it's not a good idea to cross a border with white powder, especially not the US-Mexico one :-)  (although it would be worst if I was travelling into the US instead of out)

100 days done, just about 5 000 more to go to complete my tour around the world :-)   it's just the beginning.

Related posts:
My entrance into Belize
Inter-city bus transportation
17-hour bus ride
12-hour bus ride
10-hour bus ride...

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