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Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:26 pm
by Nezahualcoyotl
I trust people here at this forum to know a lot about South America, please give me some suggestions! Here are my ideas so far -

The Spring 2012 expedition to Peru and possibly Bolivia is from March through May (about 3 months). We will be exploring the wilds Peru and Bolivia with a focus on ethnobotany, medicinal knowledge, the environment and helping the people of South America. We will be volunteering at an orphanage, playing tourist around Cusco's "Sacred Valley" region and then taking part in the 2012 expedition.
Aside from volunteering at the orphanage we will be exploring the "Sacred Valley" region of Peru for about 3-4 weeks before rest of the expedition team arrives, which will give us a chance to adjust to the culture, the environment, the altitude and the ambiance of this ancient and beautiful land! This will include seeing the ancient ruins of Ollantaytambo, hiking the Inca Trail and visiting the mythical mountain city of Machu Picchu. While most of the team will be staying two to three months anyone is welcome to stay for a short or as long of a period as they would like.


South America: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, etc.

*Cusco - "Sacred Valley" region
*Lima - avoid.

*Salar de Uyuni and surrounds
*Samaipata - relaxed hippy town in the easy, just up the hill from Santa Cruz.
*La Paz


*Vilcabamba- not a bad relaxing spot (note the Vilca trees in the main square!).
*Cuenca- a beautiful colonial town and has quite a diversity of indigenous culture.
*Quito - avoid.


2-3 months (50-100 days) or longer.

~Expedition Goals~

Visit both the Andes mountains and the Amazon River Basin (including the actual Amazon River itself).
Arrive in Peru 3-5 weeks in advance rest of the rest of the expedition team.
Volunteer and stay at the " orphanage for awhile. Help the orphan's in whatever way possible, focusing on self-sufficientcy and sustainablity. Give the gift of a large amount of seeds and help build new gardens in addition to other donations such as clothes, cookware, food, etc. During your journey through Peru collect as much seed as possible and return to the orphanage before you leave to give to them. Make a plan on how to help the orphanage- becoming more self-sufficient, planting seeds, making raised beds, etc.
Go to Ollantaytambo and stay at the K.B. inn. See the ruins at Ollantaytambo.
Setting out from Ollantaytambo hike and backpack around the "Sacred Valley", perhaps traveling on the Inca Trail or some other route to Machu Picchu.
After hiking to Machu Picchu use the quickest, cheapest and safest means of transportation possible to return back to the orphanage, Cusco or another location where you can rest for a few (2-5) days before the expedition team arrives.
Hang out in the city of Cusco for at least a few days at some point during the journey. Cusco will likely be our starting point, ending point and "homebase" so to speak.
Visit shaman who uses "San Pedro" and ingest the holy cactus with him/her.
Visit "Ayahuasca" shamans, seek to learn some of their knowledge especially about the plants themselves.
Go up above 15,000+ feet if possible, but only use the pharmaceutical drug diamox the first 2-3 weeks or if symptoms are unbearable.
Press many botanicals and deposit the herbaria specimens in a suitable organization just before you leave. Give seeds to the orphanage and other worthy people who will propagate and preserve the plants.
Document the expedition with photography, video, audio and plenty of notes. Compile this information into a movie or whatever.
Live among tribes people for a period of time and learn their ways and culture philosophy.

~Plant Documentation & Collection~

Document and collect seeds from medicinal plants, food crops and especially reputed psychoactives. Collect as much seed as possible!
See various Trichocereus in their native habitat, take lots of photos.
Collect Trichocereus peruvianus plant cuttings and seeds with features of your liking- "True Blue"
Collect Trichocereus pachanoi plant cuttings and seeds with features of your liking- almost nonexistent spines, etc.
Collect Trichocereus bridgesii plant cuttings and seeds with features of your liking- any plants with 4-ribs
Collect Neoraimondia macrostibas ("Cimora" admixture strain) plant cuttings and seeds.
Learn more about the "Cimora" brew. Collect and document "Cimora" botanicals, create herbia samples for all plants. Ingest the "Cimora" brew.
Document the preparation and usage of Anadenanthera.
Try to find a Diplopterys cabrerana plant.
Collect Banisteriopsis caapi (White/Yellow/Light/Sky/Heaven strain) plants and seeds.
Collect Psychotria viridis (potent strain with appentages under the leaf) plants and seeds.
Learn more about Virola species.
Collect Justicia pectoralis var. stenophylla plant cuttings.
Collect Salvia species plants and seeds.
Collect Nicotiana species (smoking strain) seeds
Learn more about the usage of Ilex species, collect seed from useful species.
Document Psilocybe species or other psychoactive, edible or medicinal fungi. Make spores prints.
Collect Passiflora species used in "Ayahuasca", "Cimora" or for other psychoactive/medicinal purposes.
Collect Erythroxylum novogratensis var. truxilensis in Trujillo, Peru.

Can y'all tell me more about Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and anywhere in Peru that is a good place to go that isn't the "Sacred Valley" region near Cusco (I've been there already).

I'm looking for ruins, hikes, etc. but with plant collection, learning about the culture and getting off the beaten path in mind. Please make any suggestion that comes to mind!

Re: Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:06 pm
by Nezahualcoyotl
Come along with me :) It will be $1500-3000 if anybody would like to join the expedition team, this covers all expenses.

Re: Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:11 am
by RocketeerJim
Wow, that's about $30 per day. Is that really enough to cover transportation and per diems?

Re: Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:28 am
by Nezahualcoyotl
yes, i believe so.

per diems?

Re: Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:52 pm
by Ulmdorgr
I think he means per day (carpe diem...).

This is an awesome itinerary. I would love to try and hike up there. I've seen the photos. I'm saving for Burning Man (~$600), Shambhala (~$300), and maybe a Spirit Walk ($500). Maybe I'll be able to go, though. Too bad I don't know you better.

Re: Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:48 pm
by Nezahualcoyotl
too bad you don't know me better what do you mean? Come along with me!

Re: Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:23 pm
by Nezahualcoyotl

1) All members of the expedition team will meet in Lima, Peru in the morning. We will rent a car and immeditely leave the city.
2) Drive to Matucana and rent a hotel room. Spend the day exploring the area and resting.
3) Continue driving through Huancayo, Ayacucho, etc. as you continue towards Cusco. Enjoy the sights and find some interesting places to visit??? like where????
4) Once we arrive in Cusco return the rental car and rent a hotel room. Rest in Cusco for about a day.

I was going to drive from Lima to Cusco in a rental car, i'm going to stop at Matucana but what are some other good places between Lima and Cusco? Any route I should take? Any route I should avoid? Is this area safe? Is this a bad idea? Where should I stop along the way? Huancayo, Ayacucho, etc.? Where should I avoid? What plants grow in this region that I should collect? Is this just pointless and there is nothing of interest between Lima and Cusco? Am I just wasting my time and money with this idea?

Re: Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:01 pm
by BigfootWallace
Sounds fun. Wish I could go. I'm currently studying Spanish, and one of the reasons is that if I get the chance to down south that I will be able to communicate better. I already know some, but I'm trying to get back into the habit of using in mainly, right now via writing on the internet. LOL. A great way to meet folks down yonder.

Bigfoot Wallace

Re: Help me plan my expedition to South America in 2012!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:40 pm
by Nezahualcoyotl
Come with us BigFoot!!! It's pretty cheap!