With the last stopover in Panama my five month journey through South America came to an end today. 11 countries including the trip to Antarctica have been amazing. I have seen amazing parts of this world, enjoyed more and less good food, found beautifully peaceful and over crowded spots and was able to get my Spanish to a very good level. And I met a lot of great people and had some amazing and deep encounters. But I can also clearly sense that the hostel and backpacker life on the more or less beaten tracks is enough now for me and I need a change of scenery. So it’s good timing. Muchas gracias América del Sur para todo! Que tenga suerte y yo regresaré seguro.

I just arrived in San Diego and booked myself in a comfy hotel room downtown. Also the visa topic was solved and now I am officially allowed to stay here for the next six month – would you have let me in with this picture? 😂

Last little equipment shoppings have to be done and I have to collect my last equipment pieces from a friend of a friend who let me use her address for the shipping. Also had to organise how to get to the beginning of the trailhead.

I have to admit I am super stoked to get back on a long distance trail. I can tell – whenever I think about actually getting back on the trail I catch myself smiling. I really miss the easy life of WALK, EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT.  Not to worry about the next days or weeks and where to go. Just needing to get up, getting ready and start walking. Of course you have to plan a bit of food, water, weather, distance and camping spots but this is fairly easy. I am looking forward to spending time in the mountains again. Living with the rhythm of daylight. Being very close, connected and dependent on the elements. Back to the HOBO life with only one pair of shorts and one shirt, no fancy stuff and similar minded people around.

And also being disconnected again from technology, being freed from the urge and burden to constantly check and reply messages – don’t get me wrong and don’t stop keeping in touch! But sometimes it’s draining to keep up and also annoying not being able to be present in the here and yet and the actual moment because you get lost in your phone for hours. No reception = no chance 😉 So please excuse long response times, short answers and maybe the one or other missed birthday along the road. Don’t take it as lack of interest or even personal – I just want to submerge with the trail life again. I’ll try to keep up with the Te Araroa discipline of one article each day from the trail! So definitely stay tuned.

One last note – for you as readers but especially for myself! I will hike again in the well known tradition as NOBO (Northbounder – hiking from south heading north) as already done on the Te Araroa and the West Coast Trail. So it’s fixed I guess: NOBO FOR LIFE! 🤘🏼 But I am very also very aware that this journey will be very different from Te Araroa. This story and the beginning of my journey will always stay unique and very special! My connection to the TA, the Kiwi and NZ will also be very special. So I have made my self aware that the PCT will be a new chapter, a different journey and completely different experience which I will take as it comes (hopefully) never making the mistake to compare it to the TA. I am extremely excited what it will bring. I can’t wait to finally get going!!! I am so ready for you PCT… 🤗