I ntroduction:

One of the questions we have been asked many times this year by the people we meet is, “what has been your favourite (insert variations along the lines of country, place, experience, moment etc..)”. It is a question we have loved spending idle time pondering ourselves. In fact, only about five days ago we devoted pretty much a whole entire day to this exercise! It’s a wonderful way to idle away the hours, I can tell you!

There we were kicking back in the warm desert heat of the pretty seaside town of Bahia Inglesa. We were ensconced at a cozy and cool little café in a dusty little side street, complete with views of the ocean. Funky latin tunes floating through the air. Soon we found ourselves almost moulded into the seats, as we nibbled on meals of delicious raw fish in delectable sauces and sipped chilled Chilean Chardonnay. Somehow our conversation meandered into considerations of what have been the most amazing experiences of our year thus far. It pretty much didn’t divert from there for the many hours that melted away into the afternoon sun.

The discussion and the day could probably rate as a potential first ever experience in itself, in that we were having such a grand time reminiscing on what has been a monumental year that we managed to stay until it was dinner time. Two meals in the one café and not a butt cheek lifted! Now that’s an afternoon that I think I may not have completed if it weren’t at the end of a year of really knowing what it feels like to have so little demands on myself. At this point I feel no need or no silly self imposed pressure to rush off and “do something” instead of just simply being.

But I digress, during this afternoon of blissful contemplation we did come up with a top five and it wasn’t too hard for us to narrow it down. However, crowning one of them as king is something I’m a little reluctant to do, because the old theory of primacy and recency may be at play in swaying me towards our four day hike to Machu Pichu. So with the power of recency, Machu Pichu looms large in my memory. But I can say with absolute confidence that if it is not the best experience, then it is a serious contender for numero uno. There were so many elements that made those four days memorable and combined they are hard to compete with. But as they say, it is a wee bit like comparing apples with oranges when it comes to rating the top five, so for now, all I am prepared to say without further contemplation (Damien, stay tuned for our scheduled rendezvous at the Red2One bar at the W in Santiago for that important event!) is that hiking to Machu Pichu is something I will carry in my heart and soul forever. Should I be so fortunate as to reach old age, I will happily rock in my rocking chair out on my deck and think how lucky I am to have experienced it.

As for the top five experiences, they will have to star in another post.

Day by day posts following….

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2012 is the year that my fiance, Damien and I took leave of work to see this wonderful world we live in. Our adventures took us to Scandinavia in the winter to view the ethereal Northern Lights, the heat and humidity of Asia for three months, Europe via caravan and now South America. We have seen so many wonderful sights and met so many great people that I know that year of travel will continue to inspire and inform how we live our lives for all the years to come.

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