A Travellerspoint blog

Bolivia and beyond....

from la paz to buenos aires

sunny 21 °C

Since the last entry we have been through Bolivia which we all unanimously voted to be blown off the face of the earth!! Very glad to be outta there!!
We started off with a bus from cusco in peru to copacabana and la paz!CIMG2205.jpg our first experience was not a pleasant one as we got scammed by a taxi driver and his friend the fake policeman! we swiftly told him where to go and hopped out of the taxi. We stayed in the Loki hostel in la paz, sister hostel of the one in cusco and met some friends we had made in peru.
Stayed there for 4 days and then got an overnight bus to Uyuni to the salt flats. the bus was fine for the first 5 hours then it went through the desert and it was like sitting on a vibrating machine for 10 hours!
The hostel we stayed in had no running water, showers or working toilets and i was sick for 4 days so it wasnt pleasant..
we went to the salt flats the next day which was really coolCIMG2232.jpgCIMG2224.jpg
People plan their photos before they go and do very inventive ones, the best we could manage was a pringles box!CIMG2241.jpgThere was a salt hotel but you cant use the facilities as its an illegal structure apparantly.
We ended up being stranded in the godforsaken place of uyuni where you would expect to see tumble weed on every street corner!! the train station was tiny and full of locals who push by you the whole time, no seats for 3 days to ANYWHERE, someone told us we could possibly try to get a bus to argentinian border so we checked out of our hotel at 5am and went to find a bus, arrived at 5am and no seats left! nowhere open and no room to put our bags in so we had to check into a hostel for the day!!
Ended up organising a bus for the next day to the border of argentina at villazon THANK GOD and stayed there 1 night then had to walk over the border to argentina and get our bus to salta which was lovely! CIMG2253.jpg
We stayed for a night and then happened to stroll by the bus station the next day and discovered there was an overnight bus to iguazu leaving in an hour so we ran back to the hostel, grabbed our bags and were outta there!!

Arrived in iguazu 20 hours later and found a really nice hostel which had a pool and pool bar and whats more it was HOT!!
We were in our element splashing around like little happy pigs in the pool until i fell down the stairs in my wet flip flops!! :) We went for dinner at 1am in the morning with some friends for steak and red wine as you do!!
We went to see the falls the next morning and it was amazing! at one point you can see 3 countries, the argentinian side, paraguay and brazil! 1CIMG2313.jpgCIMG2313.jpgCIMG2308.jpgCIMG2290.jpgCIMG2282.jpgCIMG2296.jpgCIMG2268.jpg Te hbackspray was mental from the falls, we were absoloutely soaked in 2 seconds flat!!

Had our flight booked to from iguazu to buenos aires which we seriously appreciated at this stage, our asses seemed to be moulded into bus seats for the last 5 weeks!!
The flight was only 1.30 mins and we arrived in b.aires yesterday afternoon, looks very like new york or london but still crazy that christmas here isint commercial at all! one white christmas tree with lights on the main street but thats it ! no christmas music or wild queues and its warm so were very confused!! not sure if theres even restaurants open so weve located a mc donalds and a 24 hour shop!!
We went for dinner last nite in this fancy place (well 20 euro each) where theres an hour queue to get in and they give you champagne while you wait outside!
Will be in touch again soon with the next installments but Happy Christmas for now / Feliz Navidad!!!! xxx

Posted by nicolasutt 14:21 Comments (0)

since chile...

santiago - lima - cusco- macchu picchu

overcast 16 °C

ok so i have neglected this a tad so will try to sumamrise as quick and non boringly as i can!
So since we last checked in we have been in Peru....trains planes and automobiles and were still here!

When we arrived back to Chile after the bus tour down south we went straight to the airport after a few cocktails for a lovely 12 hour wait!
heidi and chiara managed to fall asleep on the metal benches while i did laps of the airport to keep warm!
Eventually arrived in Lima after a really nice flight and were picked up by a taxi driver from the hostel...change of currency again just as we were getting to grasps with the last one so were prob throwing around money like 3 little pigs whove just won the lotto!

Contrary to all the stories we´d heard about not setting foot outside the hostel door in Lima we thought it was actually quite nice!
I think i was just delighted to buy some flip flops seeing as I forgot them so i was happy out after about 5 mins!
We decided to be very cultured and go to the cinema to see james bond...when in lima!!!

Left 2 days later on our bus trip to Cusco which was a lovely 23 hours NON STOP over crappy little roads winding round the mountains!
our seats were situated beautifully beside the toilets which was very pleasant! The lady working the aisles took an immediate dislike to us being the only 3 non south americans on the bus and answered every question with no and a little smile...at one point heidi asked her for some hot water to put a tea bag in AS she was pouring hot water into someones coffee cup and the response was no anglais seniorata!!
Our ears must have popped about 17 times as we climbed up towards cusco which is on level with the clouds!! We felt like 3 heavenly little pigs! (¨,)

Arrived in Cusco and found our hostel...Loki which was great! Suzanne Taylor had recommended it to us as it has branches all over s.america!n663061802..29_5708.jpg
The hostels we´d been in had been very small and no atmosphere but Loki was huge with hammocks in a courtyard and loads of people around so being the friendly pigs we are we befriended a troop of danish and aussie guys who showed us the main centre and the nightlife after the premiere of the rafting video in one of the bars!
n663061802..01_5989.jpg

We went market shopping the next day and exhausted ourselves haggling!
Befriended some local ladies in peruvian dress who walk around with llamas on leads for you to take pics of!!
llama.jpgn663061802..25_4601.jpg

Made some more friends in the hostel and had dinner there followed by a table quiz. our team consisted of the 3 of us and a range of different creatures from roscommon, belfast and london!
We came 2nd with our pure brains and one of the guys from our team did a victory dance around all the tables none the less!
n663061802..16_2282.jpg
Went for our farewell dinner with our new best friend phil to an irish bar which claims to be the highest in the world...i was dying with altutude sickness and couldnt even look at the girls eating their dinner and spent the evening with my head turned from them!

Woke up at a lovely time of 5am to get our train to macchu picchu! We were all wrecked and out of it a bit and didnt even question the taxi man when the 3 min journey to the train station seemed to be taking 20 mins! We were dropped at the bus terminal and we started to panic a bit cos the train was leaving in 10 mins and we were the other side of the town!
Taxi man sped off with us weaving in and out of the pig carcasses and dogs at the street markets!! NIiiiiice

Arrived at the train station just in time and got on our backpackers train which was actually grand compared to what we had heard!

4 hours later we arrived in Macchu Picchu Peublo or Aguas Calientes (hot springs) and lugged ourselves and our rucksacks up the vertical paths in the town! Found a nice enough hostel and passed out practically with our bags on our backs for 5 hours!

Got up and went exploring to get our entrance and bus tickets for macchu picchu for this morning and went for dinner in a really nice restaurant that had a massive open fire in the middle!

In bed at the very reasonable hour of 10pm and got up at 4 am to leave for the bus up to macchu picchu.
We arrived up at Macchu Picchu and started climbing up into the fog!
We couldnt see a THING cos the fog was so bad! We tried exploring a bit but decided to stay still due to the nice sheer cliffs that drop down that were hidden by the fog.
After about half an hour at 6am the fog started to clear a bit and we climbed down and explored the ruins...crazy to look at, soooo many buildings all over the place basically on a mountain top in the middle of nowhere!!
The different terraces are so crazy to look at and they extend down for hundreds of metres!n663061802..75_7987.jpgn663061802..80_9322.jpgn663061802..75_7987.jpgn663061802..78_8774.jpgn663061802..82_9854.jpg

After our exploration was fufilled we decided to walk down the route instead of getting the bus...after about 20 mins we heard a bus coming behind us and hopped on!! Hardcore or what!!
Felt like we had been up for ages so we were starving by the time we got back down and had a very unusual and slightly PIG meal of fajitas and tortilla chips at 10 this morning as there was nothing else on the menu!

Writing this entry from the main little square in Aguas Calientes while we wait for our train to bring us back to cusco!
All in all i think its safe to say the 3 little pigs are well adjusted to their portable homes and are settling in nicely! chiara has even purshcased a pair of baggy fisherman-pirate baggy pants in true peruvian style and were hoping to try roast guinea pig when we work up the courage!!!

Leaving cusco for bolivia on sunday so i expect a lovely detailed entry will be done from there!!

Adios!!! xx

Posted by nicolasutt 10:29 Archived in Peru Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Pachamama By Bus

Santiago to Pelichemu

sunny 22 °C

So we booked flights to Peru for next thursday and with a week to spare we decided to hop on the bandwagon and do a bus tour thing! The bus turned out to be similar to the ramshackle high school bus!

Left Santiago on thursday morning and were picked up by our ever so friendly guide called yerson who i just figured out now cos he was signed into the comp! we have been calling him mr guide for the last 3 days!
First day we set off and stopped at this little village in the middle of nowhere where everything is made out of clay, chiara got gangbanged by a bunch of wild dogs and think she´s learned her lesson now as she believes she is st francis of assisi, the patron saint of animals and insists on getting the most deranged and flea ridden dogs to follow us all over chile!!

We arrived then in Pelichemu which is prob like lahinch, little surfing village.
The guy who owned our hostel was a raving lunatic and insisted all 13 of us, the 3 irish piglets, dutch couple, the token american and a german girl, and 2 italian guys to have dinner with him.
Chiara and i feeling adventurous opted for the fish option which turned out to be shark!! Actually quite nice but the gallons of strawberry wine that were being thrown at us prob helped!!
The lunatic host obviously trying to get us all drunk insisted we go across the rd for a traditional drink called a pisco sour....1 part sour mix 4 parts local spirit which needless to say got the better of one in the camp and our very own miss farrell was suffering from a bad case of the spins before bed time!

Posted by nicolasutt 17:47 Archived in Chile Tagged events Comments (1)

arrived at last!!

hola!

sunny 20 °C

So...after 24 hours of planes, trains and automobiles {without the automobile part} we arrived in santiago.
Decided to have a stiff drink in Heathrow after everything which turned into a cocktail and a drink and before we knew it we were running up 2 escalators and legging it for a train while we all pissing ourselves laughing!
Flight was grand...didnt even watch a film cos we were so tired and we had a lovely peeping tom to keep us company in the aisle across from us!
Arrived in Sao Paulo late cos delays in heathrow and ended up getting to our chile flight as it was taking off!!
The guy just laughed and we were left to wait in the airport which we have unanimously voted the PIGGEST airport of all time.....things went wrong consistently for the next hour which we found very funny...prob only cos we were so tired tho!
The owner of the hostel was waiting to collect us in santiago and we had no way of contacting him cos 1} no pay phones, 2} no internet 3} everyone speaks portuguese in brazil and we had been learning 10 hours worth of spanish since heathrow 4} only credit card phones which chiara attempted and kept on getting thru to a very angry spanish lady 5} we were starving and they would take our US dollars 6} all heidi wanted was plain bread and managed to get into a fight with someone working in a sandwich shop who claimed that she could only possibly sell her bread with mayonaise or chicken! 6} taxi got fed up of waiting for us in santiago and left 7} taxi driver tried to fleece us

Anywayyyy...with all that into account..we arrived in Bellavista which is meant to be quite young and cool u know..lots of bars and restaurants on a little street.
We are attempting to speak in spanish to everyone which is hilarious..hostel is lovely..communal showers so we have no secrets after earlier on!

Went exploring slightly for some water as we realised we were hyper for no reason and put it down to dehydration!
Just back from dinner now which was lovely...mainly tapas places so we indulged and has some sangria to help us sleep cos were a bit all over the place!!
Tomorrow were meant to be going to a zoo, hopefully to find the infamous llamas!!
Booked into the hostel here until weds so might book another nite if we decide to stay but thats enough decision making for today!!

Will be in touch soon when we have more exciting news to report!!

XXxxx

Posted by nicolasutt 18:04 Comments (0)

5 days and counting!!!

nearly there!

So the leaving drinks are in 3 days....not packed yet, room still looks like a bomb hit it but CANT WAIT to go!! :)

Posted by nicolasutt 07:05 Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 6) Page [1] 2 »