Okay, we have some questions in the queue and I got some more today, so here it goes:
Q: How much of a difference is there in the Spanish from country to country? Are the idioms and accents pretty similar throughout?
A: The Spanish definitely differs from country to country. In Venezuela (and apparently in Colombia from the Colombians we have met), they have removed the letter 's' from the alphabet. Adios becomes adio, for example. These are the hardest accents to understand. In Argentina, the Spanish has almost an Italian accent, which isn't surprising given the country's desire to be European. Chile has a tough accent as well (a Peruvian guide actually told me that she can barely understand people from Chile). Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador have accents more like Americans learn in Spanish class. As to idioms, our Spanish really isn't that good. They definitely exist, but we don't understand any of them.
Q: Wait, so those line pictures (in Nasca) *aren't* carved into rock? No way! It's amazing they haven't washed away in the rain. How big are they?
A: No, they aren't carved into the rock. Just dug down in the top layer of small rocks to a depth of upto about a foot. The drawings in the picture on the blog are some of the smaller ones and are maybe 500 feet long. Some of the larger ones are up to about a half mile across.
Q: So, I see all the street food you are eating. Are you getting fat from the food or skinny because you aren't eating much?
A: We definitely eat our fair share of unhealthy street food, but we also do a lot of hiking and often don't eat at real restaurants to save money. So, I think we are staying about the same, though it is safe to say that our diet is not as healthy as when we were in the US. Bolivia, despite its theft problem, was the only country where they routinely gave salad or vegetables with any street food.
Q: Do you ever get a good night's sleep? What time do you normally sleep to?
A: We take a ton of night buses, and it is difficult to get a good night's sleep, though we have gotten better at it. I would say that we get a good night's sleep about half the time. However, we do get up early a lot because the sun comes up around 6 and goes down around 6 and we try to take advantage of the light when we aren't in a big city. In the cities, we sleep until around 8am on average, but are up earlier when doing outdoors trips.
Q: Are you sick of being together 24/7? Do you ever get anytime to yourself?
A: Depends on the day. We definitely have days when we are completely sick of one another. The odds of it being such a day goes up dramatically if it is a day when we are both tired from traveling a long distance or hiking a lot. We're still happily married for now, though. We sometimes go our separate ways for a few hours when we are in cities, but not all that often.
Q: How does your budget look? You sticking to it?
A: We are doing fairly well in terms of budget. We need to publish a financial update, but our costs have actually been lower in our last few countries. We should be about where we expected or a little lower for the South American portion of the trip.