OR...I head due west for Mendoza (wine country) to meet my pal, then make my way north through Chile into the Atacama desert, into Bolivia and down through the north of Argentina (which everyone vouches for) then back to glorious Brasil. Taking this route will keep me in warmer climates and still give me plenty of mountain riding and more tropical Brasilian exploration towards the end. Theoretically, I can still do all of this after coming back from the south. But with only three months left, and the nature of the trip, it seems that I need to be realistic and accept that everything will take much longer than anticipated. Considering my love for Brasil, I am inclined to keep a solid month or more to ride through their impressive canyons and jungles. At this point the trip is more of a scouting mission for the future trip. Through all of this BS I have learned what to do and not to do next time around.
With all of this said, it is time time to decide. What do you think?