Having your own mode of transportation has a lot of benefits. We have said countless times that there is no substitute for having the ability to explore a country free of the constraints of public transportation and on your own schedule. When you have your own transportation, I believe you become a lot more aware of your surroundings, especially the small details that might blur by the window of a bus or a train. One thing that I have noticed a lot of here in South America are roadside shires. If you ask any of the other members on the expedition, they might actually go as far as suggesting that I have become obsessed by these roadside tributes, especially when I slam on the brakes to go and take a closer look at them.