is given to us with the power to make it come true
Kinga & Chopin hitching the world
ticket, two backpacks, a few hundred dollars, little plans and lots of
dreams. That's what we had when we landed in New York in October 1998.
We knew one thing - we wanted to travel the world.
A Vancouver girl and her partner travel the world for free- this
is a synopsis of their journey so far
How to do it almost without money?
How to do it, to get to know best the people and culture of the places
we'll be travelling through?
The world is huge and we want to not only go around it, but also experience
and live it. We've been on the road for over three years now. Enough happened
during that time to write a thick book (maybe some day we will).
We knew our Travelling Protective Spirit landed in New York with us, when
the first night on New Continent we met Ellen and Eddie, who invited us
to stay at their place, so we didn't have to sleep in Central Park.
In Canada with one of the longest rides, from Great Lakes almost to the
Pacific Ocean, we crossed the continent. Resting for a while with Kinga's
family in Vancouver we woke up one day with a dream to go north. Thinking
"Yukon", we ended up in... Alaska. After the whole day and half
a night of waiting on covered with snow Alaska Highway, the right man
stopped for us. Colin took us a few thousand kilometers, to Anchorage.
There we had an ultimate hitch-hiking experience. We went to the airport,
stuck our thumbs out and... hitched a ride with an airplane. Flew over
the mountains, stopped right next to a glacier.
along the coast, to some warmer place - to California. There for
a few months we experienced living in one place working and saving
to give our dreams a better chance to come true.
When the right time came, we packed our backpacks and hit the road
again. Lost ten dollars gambling in Las vegas, hiked down to the
bottom of Grand Canyon, visited amazing national parks in Utah,
walked for a few days along the Appalachian Trail in the Smokey
Mountains, visited museums in Washinton D.C. and Amish farms and
Rainbow Gathering in Pennsylvania.
Then - Mexico - two
months was hardly enough - streets markets, people, colours, nature, Mayan
Chicago Chopin had a genius idea. We got to know quite well the
roads of America - "Let's change them for the rivers".
We were considering a raft, but hitch-hiking is hitch-hiking, and
nothing is impossible if you only want it strong enough. After three
days by the river the boat of our dreams arrived - a boat named
"Spirit". For almost four weeks we were looking at America
from a different perspective - from the water. By rivers, to the
Gulf of Mexico and then to Florida. There, back to the highway and
through the southern states, through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona,
back to California.
In Guatemala we went hiking through thick jungle looking for the ruins
of El Mirador with the biggest Mayan Pyramid. Three hard days just to
discover the way was unpassable at this time of the year.
all the countries of Central America we went to Panama. There the
road ends. The boat of Kuna Indians took us and dropped on a tiny
island of San Blas Archipelago, where living in a cottage with an
Indian family (sleeping in hammocks) we were waiting for some boat
towards Colombia. Every day they said it will come - "tomorrow".
After ten days we boarded a Colombian ship not knowing with whom
we're going... Contrabanditos dropped us in the middle of the night
with all the cargo they were smuggling on an unknown beach on Colombian
From Venezuela, through Amazon jungle to Manaus in Brasil. Then
by Amazon River to Belen and then by roads along the coast. In Rio
de Janeiro one of Kinga's big dreams came true - she hitched a ride
with a paraglider. Chopin likes the language so much (we're picking
languages along the way), the atmosphere, the people, that he says
Brasil is the first country he could live in. Iguacu Waterfalls,
Paraguayan Gran Chaco, poor but fascinating Bolivia with its mountains
and traditionally living Indians.
Then long, thin Chile.
The driest desert of the world, geyser El Tatio, salar Atacama. And slowly
towards the south. To Argentina, and to the very south of the continent.
Ushuaya in Tierra del Fuego. Huge, windy, neverending spaces of Patagonia.
We met penguins up close, and sea lions, flamingos and dolphins.
condors over Colca Canyon, mysterious drawings on the desert in
Nasca, boat trip by Ucayali River from Pucallpa to Iquitos and by
Napo River, through unofficial border to Ecuador.
Back in Peru, after three days and nights in the truck (it's not
always easy and comfortable) going towards Cusco, we had enough
and got off. Waiting for another ride we learned about the little
known ruins of the last Inca fortification. We turned to the little
village where the trek begins. There... we bought a horse. And with
Alasan carrying our backpacks we were hiking for one week through
high mountains and deep valleys reaching the great ruins of Choquekirao,
then Machu Picchu.
Along the Atlantic coast up to Uruguay and back to Brasil. Finally once
more accross the continent, to Valparaiso in Chile. We travelled all over
the Americas. The time came to move on. Having looked hard in different
Southamerican countries for a possibility to cross the Pacific with some
ship, we discovered the world has changed - it's not easily done nowadays.
We had to take a plane.
Before we started to
explore Asia, we needed to repair our budget and took a break - stopping
for a few months Taiwan - teaching English in local kindergartens - a
different kind of experience!
for a way to get to Australia, we ended up in New Zealand first.
Found more luck there - after almost three months of travelling
around that beautiful country's North and South Island, we found
what we were looking for. A yacht that took us on - on a journey
to... Vanuatu. Thirteen days of just the ocean and the sky and we
made it to one of the most exotic and fascinating places we've been
to. There more luck, another yacht, and ten days of handsteering
and we finally made it to the land of OZ.We experienced Australia
as one of the most hitch-hikers' friendly conuntries. A country
of enormous empty spaces (sometimes hundreds of kilometers between
one roadhouse and another), outstanding natural beauty and weird
coincidences. We spent six busy months there, working with a travelling
carnival on Thursday Island, then with a tour company, and then
hitch-hiking all around the continent.
We are now continuing our journey in Japan.
How much longer...? We don't know. We are not limited by time. The world
is big. And fascinating. And we want to see it. And the most beautiful
thing is to go without a hurry and plans and just let things happen, and
enjoy the journey, because there is no destination.
© "Kinga and Chopin" September 2002 email: email@example.com
Ed: This is the second update from Kinga and Chopin. Email them, let them
know you are following their adventures.
Pozdrowienia ze Swiata
Greetings from the world
Saludos desde el mundo
Even More World Journeys
< Reply to this Article