This past weekend we attended our first Syncro Solstice and had a blast. We met great people, spent countless hours talking shop with other Vanagoners, and enjoyed the beautiful Utah Desert.
We never planned this to be a climbing trip, or a trekking trip, or a surfing trip, it was always meant to be an overlanding adventure. That being said, we’ve been very lucky to enjoy an abundance of great trekking, surfing, and climbing over the past year. One of the many amazing places we stumbled across where we could enjoy one of our hobbies was Piedra Parada, a climbing area in the dry steppe east of the green lushness of the Lakes District. We spent four warm sunny days working our muscles and tearing our fingers up on the big walls of the incredible Buitrera Canyon. The routes were well-bolted and fun, the walls were enormous, the canyon was breathtaking, the air was warm, and the beer waiting in the fridge for us was cold. Once again we were very glad that we hauled that heavy climbing gear with us all this way.
Bolivia was a country we knew almost nothing about before we entered, but it turned out to be spectacular. The scenery astounded us at every turn. The laid back beach town of Copacabana on the shore of Lago Titicaca, the interestingly-located and bustling city of La Paz, the deceptive white expanse of the largest salt flat in the world, and the brilliantly-colored lakes teeming with flamingos in the mountains of the southwest absolutely blew us away. Although we spent only about two weeks in Bolivia, we left with hundreds of amazing photos and a sense of awe from the incredible scenery of the altiplano.
Peru is a land of wonders – natural, cultural, and historical. We spent a month exploring this fantastic and huge country, marveling at the colorful desert landscapes, wide-open beaches with perfect rolling waves, snowcapped peaks, herds of llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, ancient ruins, and bustling municipal markets filled with myriad colors and scents. We roamed back and forth between the beach and the mountains – surfing great little breaks and free camping with a herd of other VW vans one week, and the next climbing in one of the most spectacular regions we’ve ever seen high in the thin air of the Andes. We also spent a month battling crappy roads and the very aggressive Peruvian drivers, but that’s all part of the adventure, and Chimera continues to perform like a champ. Here is a selection of the hundreds of photos we took and many adventures we had in roughly the northern half of the country.