It has been ten weeks since we came back from our trip to Patagonia. Two days after we were back home, the Dutch government declared a lockdown of the country due to the rapid increase of the Corona virus. We knew while we left Chile that this was about to happen and seriously considered to stay as the likelihood of the virus spreading in South America at that time was remote. In the end we decided to go home as the health care sector in the Netherlands is one of the best in the world and we are not so young anymore.
Who could have known that most of the world would go in lockdown and traveling would seem something of the past. Surely with children in the US and family in South America, we will go back in airplanes one day, but this is not that moment. At the end of last week, I had to be downtown Amsterdam for a meeting. I walked past the Rijksmuseum, usually a very busy area, full of tourists. It was absolutely empty, so sad.
We are fortunate in a sense that we own a beautiful home with a pleasant garden. Birds are nesting and squirrels are roaming the trees. All very nice ……but we are getting restless again. The world is a wonderful place and there is still so much to explore, so many people to meet, so much food to taste.
Half the fun of traveling is the preparation and therefore we have started to think about trips again. Next winter we will most likely go back to the southern hemisphere and the plan is to combine a visit to Carolina’s family in southern Chile with a road trip to the waterfalls of Iguaçu. Again a road trip of some 5,000 / 6,000 kilometers. The two old ladies have told us already that they will share half the trip with us. A first idea is to drive via Mendoza (and stay a few days to drink some wine), Cordoba and Santa Fe to Foz do Iguaçu. The way back will go through Paraguay, Northern Argentina, Salta towards Antofagasta in Chile and then south on the pan-americana. The whole trip might take as much as four or five weeks but that will be fine as we plan to be in South America for up to three months.
For now this is only a plan but it is already a lot of fun to think and dream about it. It does not make much sense to start organizing this trip any further yet as it is not even possible to travel from Amsterdam to Santiago. We will resume planning in three or four months.
Europe is a great place to be in the spring, summer and autumn. Due to peak season we avoid traveling in the summer. However, that might be different this year. At the moment it is impossible to travel but some countries are gradually opening up. This should lead to opportunities to see some very interesting places which are normally overwhelmed by mass tourism. One place we really like to experience is Venice / Venezia. The good news is that Italy is gradually recovering from Covid 19 and its government wants to open up the country for EU citizens in June. Therefore, as soon as the Italian government considers it safe for us to come we will jump in the car and drive to Italy. Can’t wait.