Here’s the deal: Time for another monthly recap and income report, where I share what’s new in the world of Desk to Dirtbag and offer a bit of transparency behind the blogging. On to this month’s report…
Oh man, August was another incredible month… Where should I start?
My New Highest Point
I knew I couldn’t miss a chance to climb a big peak while we were in Huaraz, Peru, even if I am a bit out of practice.
I decided to go on a guided trip mountain climbing in Peru as we set out up Yanapaccha, a steep, more technical climb that requires the use of two ice tools to reach the top of it’s nearly 18,000 foot summit.
The climbing was incredible, and we successfully made the summit despite the lousy weather (it had been clear here pretty much every single day except summit day), and this was the summit shot we got:
(Click here to see what it should have looked like)
But regardless, it was an awesome climb with good company. I’d fully recommend the team over at Andean Kingdom, if you’re ever looking for a climbing guide in the Cordillera Blanca.
Visiting Pastoruri and Puya Raimondi
What? It sounds like I’m speaking another language. Those are both parts of Huascaran National Park. Pastoruri is an amazing glacier over a high alpine lake. Just check out that view:
But if you want to see it with your own eyes, you better hurry because it is melting rapidly due to climate change.
And the puya raimondis are a bizarre plant that grows only in the high Andes. They can stretch up to 45 feet tall.
We truck camped beside them, with the place all to ourselves. There was no moon so the stars were about the brightest I’d ever seen in my life. It was breathtaking!
For a total change of scenery we finally left the mountains and continued our road trip to the south, arriving at the desert along the Pacific Ocean.
Visiting Paracas and seeing the ocean again for the first time in nearly two months was a special treat. Even better that we had views like this:
We also made it a point to visit Islas Ballestas, which is known as the Poor Man’s Galapagos due to the huge amount of wildlife, and the fact that it’s a bargain compared to the overpriced Galapagos.
Conquering Sand Dunes
We then headed further into the desert where towering sand dunes are the name of the game. It’s a side of Peru that I never really knew existed, but it was equally stunning, it felt like we were in the middle of Saudi Arabia or something.
Huacachina and Ica are stunningly beautiful places:
But let me tell you, it was almost harder climbing up these sand dunes that it was to scale to the top of Yanapaccha! Talk about two steps forward, one step back.
LONG Driving Days
After a month of sticking around the Cordillera Blanca and making absolutely no progress toward our goal of driving to Patagonia, we finally started driving south again.
Truth is, once you leave the mountains around the Cordillera Blanca (and Huayhuash), there isn’t much of interest in Central Peru.
The big tourist attractions are in the south, so we had to buckle down and do some really, really, really long driving days.
We are talking multiple 7 or 8 hour days. Peru is massive. Another time we did like 10.5 hours in one day.
They can be exhausting.
Most Popular New Article of the Month
Truck Camping Store – Get Outfitted, Get Going
I was inspired by my buddy David Sandel with his VanLife store, and decided to put together something similar for the truck camping crowd. It was only published in the last week of August, but it quickly surged way up the list this month with more than 1,500 visits.
I’ve been getting great feedback on the article from my fellow truck campers and I hope it continues to prove useful for those trying to outfit their vehicle for life on the road.
Other New Articles
- Visiting Laguna Paron – One of the Most Beautiful Places I’ve Ever Seen
- A Quick Guide to Caraz, Peru – A Pleasant Pueblo in the Cordillera Blanca
- What to Pack for a Trek: The Ultimate Trekking Packing List
- How to Turn Your Truck into an RV – Popular Mechanics
- Hiking the Santa Cruz Trek in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca
- Hiking Around Laguna Cuicocha – Ecuador’s Guinea Pig Lake
- An Honest Opinion of San Cristobol de las Casas, Mexico
- Guide to Huaraz, Peru – The Gateway to the Cordillera Blanca
- Visiting Mexico’s Stunning Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas
- Review of the BioLite SolarPanel 5+ Staying Charged while Hiking and Backpacking
- 4 Ways to Save Big Money While Traveling the World
Most Popular Instagram Photo
This shot from the incredible Santa Cruz Trek was easily my most liked photo for the month. It’s probably my favorite as well, though it would be tough to choose among the many incredible sights we saw along that trek.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more photos of my adventures.
What I Read
Wow, I don’t think I read anything this month, which is unusual. Got any great book recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments below.
What I Watched
Dexter – We are still plugging along watching Dexter, we just polished off Season 5 of the 8 season series, and we’re still enjoying it!
August 2017 Income Report
-$387.81 – Amazon Affiliate Sales
-$100 – Advertising On D2D
-$40.29 – Unconventional Guides
-$15.01 – REI Affiliate Sales
-$97.19 – Big Travel, Small Budget book sales
-$40 – AirBnb (Travel Credit)
-$28.37 – YouTube Videos
-$0 – GO OUTSIDE t-shirt
TOTAL = $708.67
GOAL = $1,200 per month
59% of goal covered
August was a pretty great month in terms of income, with a 46% increase over July’s paltry earnings. When I couple that with the great new freelance gig we picked up last month, I feel like I’m doing better than ever.
Help Me Out
If you have any upcoming purchases, please shop through the D2D store at no extra cost to you. Traveling somewhere? Book your hotel through Booking.com or grab your free travel credit for Airbnb.
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Thanks! That’s all I got for you this month. Are you following along on Instagram or Facebook? Be sure to do so, if you want to get the latest. As always questions, comments, and feedback are extremely welcome.
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I have only recently come across your blog. Loving the adventures mate! Your blog is helping me in my decision to ditch the 9 till 5 in January 2018 when I give it a go myself. Got my plane ticket to a new country, I’ll buy a van and go from there. Quitting my (only) job of 12 years was hard, but its done now so im keen to see what happens. Bought your book too, about to get into that as prep. Anyway, keep up the good work!
Hey Patrick! Glad you stumbled across my site, and glad to have you! Sounds like you’ve got some awesome adventures ahead – love it! Thanks for grabbing my book, I hope it proves informative and inspirational for you, let me know what you think.
Great work getting closer to your goal but how are you making up for you income shortfall?
Are you living on only your income or do you have a stash of cash?
I make up for the shortfall by freelancing which I don’t include in my income reports, but it is substantially more than my blog income. And I travel on the cheap so my cost of living is low.