South American Adventure


South American Adventure

Welcome to Amy & Mark's South American adventure story. We fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina on 21st September so it all starts then...

South America April 7th 2010

Leaving behind our volunteering job in Ambato was sad, but with about 6 weeks left we were eager to see a bit more of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela before the flight home. Baños From Ecuador we took a bus to nearby Baños, where we stayed a few nights. We hired bikes for the waterfalls trail, which was fab as we had lovely sunny weather with plenty of breeze, and it was a really easy ride as it was pretty much downhill all the way, and we returned to Baños in the back of a truck with some other bikers. The "Devil's Cauldron" (Paillon del Diablo) at the end of the trail was a huge waterfall and we got soaked taking pictures! It was such a hot day though, so quite a refreshing end to the ride! ... read more
Sunset in Misahualli
On the actual equator line
Monkeys in the square

South America February 22nd 2010

NASCA: We eventually managed to get on a bus out of Cusco to Nasca. The bus was supposed to take 13 hours but it ended up taking 18. So when this is added to the time that we spent waiting in Cusco we actually arrived 32 hours after we had initially told the hostel that we would arrive. The journey actually wasn´t too bad and the bus even had air conditioning that seemed to come on just before things got unbearably hot. An added bonus was that the route from Cusco to Nasca included some very impressive scenery. When we got to Nasca it was very hot and we were immediately accosted by locals trying to sell us icecreams or take us to hostels. The weather was completely at odds with the heavy rain that we ... read more

South America February 17th 2010

Hola a todos! So, we are now in Ambato, Ecuador, where we are spending a month volunteering with the Jovenes Para El Futuro foundation. We arrived a day late in Ambato due to lots of bus strikes in Peru, and were immediately put to work in the school "comedor" where the school children eat lunch before they leave the school and go home for the rest of the day. Lunchtime is a noisy, messy affair in the comedor, but as we've been given mainly teaching duties, it is nice to see the children outside of classes. The Jovenes Para El Futuro (Youth for the Future) Foundation comprises of various projects, but all of them focus on the support and protection of vulnerable and deprived children who live both in the city centre or make up part ... read more
Deck the streets...
Foam fun

South America January 22nd 2010

Hello, we are currently trying in vain to leave Cusco for Nazca so I thought I´d write another blog. This time it is about our stay in Arequipa and our visit to the Colca Canyon. Anyone who has spent any time in Arequipa will no doubt be aware that in and around the Plaza de Armas it is quite hard to avoid people offering tours; around the city, to Colca Canyon and to Machu Picchu as well as other places. After four months travelling in South America we have been a bit put off taking tours and wherever possible we have tried to visit places using public transport and without the obvious time constraints of an arranged tour. However we were drawn in by the offer of a "Campesino Tour" and afterwards we were very glad ... read more

South America January 22nd 2010

Hello again! I'm taking the opportunity to write a blog entry today as we're currently stranded in Cusco, Peru, due to a bus strike over the price of fuel. There have been quite a few strikes for various reasons throughout the countries that we have visited so far. So we are in Peru, our fourth country. So far we have enjoyed Peru, despite the fact that it definitely feels like the most touristy place that we have visited (perhaps bar Salta in Argentina and San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.) This is inevitable, due to the fact that Peru was the capital of the Inca Empire from about the 11th - mid 16th century, and the main cities that we have based ourselves in - Arequipa and Cusco - are tourist hubs with lots of amazing ... read more

South America January 4th 2010

Hola everybody! Mark and I are really making the effort to bring our little blog up to date as by myself I have proved a bit lax to say the least! We arrived in Sucre on 27th November, planning to stay a few days. Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, but compared with La Paz it´s a city of small proportions. There are lots of beautiful spanish colonial buildings painted in their traditional white. On our first day we visited a couple of museums and whilst relaxing in the main square in the afternoon we got talking to some of the children who work on the plaza as shoe shiners. Anyone who has sat in the plaza in Sucre for more than 30 seconds will know that it is almost impossible to do so without ... read more

South America January 3rd 2010

This is my first contribution to our collection of blogs. Amy has finally relinquished control and let me have a go! We arrived in Potosi after a 6 hour bus journey from Uyuni that only cost 15 BS each. Straight away we noticed the impressive colonial architecture in the city and there are plenty of churches that are well worth a visit. My favourite was the Iglesia San Francisco where you can view the city from the roof of the church. The altitude in Potosi is 4070m above sea level and we did feel it walking up to the centre of the city with all of our belongings. We had decided to find Hostal La Casona as it looked good online and when we arrived it did look really nice. It is a large colonial style ... read more

South America November 30th 2009

Hola otra vez! OK, so I told a little white lie about the nest blog coming very soon, but I will start where I left off in the last entry and bring it up to date,if that is possible in one entry! The bus journey from Antofagasta to San Pedro de Atacama, desert oasis town, was incredible. We went overnight, as we did very often in Chile and Argentina in order to save paying a bus fare as well as a night's accommodation, but from the moment the sun began to rise at about 6am I could see that the landscape was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Rocky desert of various shades had opened out all around us. For a little while we travelled along the rugged coast and we passed one relatively large coastal ... read more
Termas Puritamas
Sunset over San Pedro
El Tatio gesers at 6am

South America November 29th 2009

Hola a todos! (Hello everyone!) I haven´t been embracing the blog writing as much as I'd planned recently, not that I haven´t wanted to but we've been up to so much! We've definitely been embracing the travelling lifestyle, although moving on every 2-3 days and never really unpacking can get a bit much so I'll be really happy if we can settle in one place for a while soon... hopefully very soon as christmas is coming! I'm writing this entry from Sucre, the capital city of Bolivia. We've only been here a couple of days but we already like the city and Bolivia is by far the poorest of the South American countries which means everything is cheaper here. It is heartbreaking to see some of the poverty, particularly the working children on the streets from ... read more
San Martin de los Andes

South America October 24th 2009

Almost into our 5th week here and it feels like we've done so much. Easy way to start this blog entry though ... this afternoon we saw whales! They were incredible. We're on the north east coast of Argentina at Puerto Madryn, which is situated just below the Peninsula Valdes, a sort of diamond shaped bit of land which sticks out into the coast which has been sectioned off as a nature reserve. At the reserve you can see all sorts of wildlife including elephant seals, as well as taking a boat trip to see southern right whales. The reserve is so big that to go and see it you need a vehicle, for which there are two options. Hire a car, which isn't too expensive if you get a group of people, but the roads ... read more

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