We are happy to report that this list is much shorter than the first!
Western Food: Ceasar Salad at the fake Hard Rock Café in La Paz
Lesson learned: No matter how much you are craving foods from home, stick to what the locals make for themselves. When you order a Western dish, you never really know what you are going to get and most of the time it is an utter dissapointment.
Place for budget travel: Tahiti
The utopian dream of paradise does exist - at the Sofitel in over water bungalows that carry a $700US per night tarif. It is not the place to visit after 4 months in South America, with a backpack and aspirations of living on a budget.
Travel Sickness: Altitude Sickness (for Patrick) & Dengue Fever (for Alex)
If you've never gotten Altitude Sickness, don't. The insomnia and head-aches caused by are some of the most depiliatating travel ailments. Even with all the precautions, it can still get you. Besides rest and patience (and descending as quickly as possible), there is a solution: acetazolamide (diamox). Carry it with you.
As for Dengue, don't get that either. Carried by infected mosquitos, we are not sure where we got the bite that did us in. Though the 9 days of fever, night sweats and overall body pain are difficult, the weeks after of mild depression and fatigue were for Alex even worse.
Moment: Realizing the backpack was gone
It is like an alternate universe - you think you are going crazy. But you aren't. And your eyes aren't playing tricks on you either. It's just gone and there is nothing you can do about it.
Place to stay: Manta (Tarqui)
Lonely Planet's shoestring suggestions sometimes send you to some rather sketchy places. In Manta, we were sent to Tarqui, the town on the other side of the canal - the canal that the book describes as "rather stinky". That was an understatement. We made it one night and then it was time to head to the right side of the tracks. Even with our nicer room, there was little to write home about in Manta.