Page 2 of HannahLewis Travel Blog Posts



When we trekked to Annapurna Base camp (November 2009) we had ascended 3,500 metres over 5 days bringing us to the lofty altitude of 4,300m. At the time this was the highest point on earth either of us had been, and as we stood there awed, gazing at the snowy mountain peaks all around us Lewi declared that he had a huge urge to continue higher. Obviously at that time it wasnt possible (no gear, no guide), but i think it was this lingering curious urge and promise of other-worldly sights that brought us to the door of 'Huayna Potosi Refugio Tours'. Like many of the countless agencies in La Paz, 'H.P.R.T' offered guided excursions to the summit of the collosal and beautiful Huayna Potosi. One of the many stunning snowy monsters in the Cordillera Real ... read more
The Legend Felix our guide
vertical limit
Felix ahead as always

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz May 9th 2011

Having rode high on the salt flats where evening temperatures left us frozen, it felt good to drop down to the barmy valley city of Cochabamba. Of course, this involved an overnight bus journey and a 3am connection in a cold Oruro but at least this time we did not have to rough it on the floor. In fact, we arrived into a sunny Cochabamba and found Hostal Jardin, a pleasent guesthouse around a flowery but manic garden. The owners were friendly, and their dog even more so, and thus we set about relaxing for a while. Cochabamba, like many South American city's, has a statue of Christ looming over it. Although not as impressive as Rio, this Cristo is a damn sight cheaper to get to and interestingly taller too. The gondola ride up ... read more
Balloon and popcorn sellers
The hooded 'executioners' in the Easter parade
Av La Valle with a mountainous backdrop

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni May 1st 2011

After we had all climbed down from the Pringles tube, Sharon passed the addictive snacks around, Lewi grabbed a pinch of salt from the floor, sprinkled it on the crisp and munched. This is how to get extra salty pringles in Uyuni...The Salar de Uyuni to be precise. The Salar de Uyuni is the worlds largest salt flat and was once part of Lago Minchin, a huge prehistoric saltwater lake that used to cover most of southwest Bolivia. Now its dried up remains only covers a mere 12,106 sq km, and most of that was under about 7cm of water when we visited. This gave the scene a surreal tropical island feel as our Toyota Landcruiser surged through the intensly salty water, shimmering ripples fanning out beside us seemingly as far as the blue haze on ... read more
wonderful reflections
The captain Edwin and most of the gang
crossing rivers

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre April 21st 2011

Eighteen hours into our journey across the barren chaco region that seperates Paraguay and Bolivia, our bus broke down. The midday sun was adding heat to a situation we had not been in for a while. Brazil and Argentina had dazzled with buses and prices to match any European country, but now we were back on a proper bus that rattled and smelled its windy way from A to B via C. The journey up to that point had not gone without incident. A few hours into the trip Han had exclaimed that "South Americans are good travellers". It was true that, unlike their Indonesian counterparts, nobody was sick aboard the juddering bus, but the man behind me was doing his best to dispel our theory. I could smell the alcohol on his breath and ... read more
a pretty santa cruz church
The iconic sucre streets
the colourful sucre central market


As we approached our eighteenth month away from home it was clear to us both that our desire to travel and immerse ourselves in foreign realms had not slackened. Despite this we had both become quite attached to Rio and the lifestyle that we had found there, but now our internal travel clock began to tick and we knew it was time to move on. The lure of Igaucu Falls was motivation enough and had us hurrying to pull on our walking boots once more. In true traveller style, at the very beginning of our quest to the Falls, we slept on Rio's bus station floor. It was not comfortable, the mosquitoes were hungry and the security guards grumpy, which meant that little, if any sleep was had. At the time this was very frustrating, but ... read more
Up close to the Devils Throat, Brasil
Rainbows and smiles
Thundering waters steams from Salto San Martin

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro April 10th 2011

Rio, Rio, Rio. The words is a verb in itself, conjuring images of sun, sand and samba. One's mind looks down on the city like Cristo Redentor does from his perch, backed by perfect blue skies. We positively salivated at the chance to revel in the city's splendour, dreaming of caipirinhas and birthday hedonism but also wanted to feel the real Rio aside from the 'glitz' and 'glam'. When the chance arose for us to stay in a favela for our time in the jewel of Brasil, it did not take us long to decide. Vidigal Favela Vidigal is one of the most visible in Rio, looming over Leblon beach from a hill known as 'Morro dos Dois Irmaos' (Hill of the two brothers), where homes of all shapes and sizes compete for space, accommodating approximately ... read more
Vidigal early morning scene
Sunrise shot of Vidigal
Vidigal streets

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Ilha Grande March 23rd 2011

Caipirinhas are the drink of choice in Brazil, a delicious but potent mix of fresh limes, sugar and cachaça (cane rum). We'd already begun our infatuation with this cocktail during Carnaval but arriving in Trindade we realised this was the perfect caipirinha destination; surrounded by beautiful beaches and with Paraty (the second highest Cachaça producing region in the country) nearby there was no shortage of supply or demand!  Our trip from Saõ Paulo to Paraty was a return to local bus hopping, which was great, but did entail standing around for hours at obscure bus stops. Once in the beautiful, historic and ultra cobbled streets of Paraty we realised that the famed name tag also came with a price tag, one that we couldn't afford. So we took one last bus of our day to tiny Trindade, ... read more
Lewi watching the mist rise from the hills
Ilha Grande's main town Abraao
The surf crest rock on the horizon

South America » Brazil » São Paulo » São Paulo March 23rd 2011

Carnaval, this most wonderful Brazillian celebration, had gripped us like it had the nation. Scenes of jubilation, cross dressing, dancing and drinking filled both the day and the night. Eighty percent of the country's expenditure during the five days is spent on beer and with us contributing to the cause our Carnaval continued, the siestas always followed by extravagant fiestas.    Having enjoyed the lucid carnaval feel of Ilha da Santa Catarina and the free spirited delights of Florianopolis, it was time to indulge in a night of electronica at one of Brazil's biggest nightclubs. Set amidst the lush Atlantic rainforest near the town of Balneario Camboriu, 'Green Valley' was the perfect setting for three of my favourite DJs to throw us, and four thousand others, into raptures. Booka Shade, Trentemoller and Axwell kept us going ... read more
Lewi intent on the music
At 6am the crowd is still dancing in full sunlight
The Museo de Futebol

South America » Brazil » Santa Catarina » Florianópolis March 23rd 2011

The phenomenally big country of Brazil was on our itinery for many reasons; beautiful beaches, exciting cities... but most of all because of it's world famous Carnaval celebrations, a party not to be missed. As we were in the area at the right time of year it would've been rude not to!  The tough decision was deciding where to be for this special time. Rio was too expensive and Salvador too far to travel in the time we had. We had read about some super-clubs with world class DJs performing special Carnaval sets in southern Brazil. So with this in mind a circuitous route brought us to the Ilha de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis. A dip in fortunes and dodgy bus routes left us stranded on an empty road, knocking on doors searching for an illusive guesthouse. ... read more
The brilliant conductor
Chilling on the pier after a crazy Carnaval night
Glitter fills the air as another raucous float passes by

South America » Paraguay » Encarnacion March 9th 2011

At the Northeastern tip of Argentina we had Brazil to the north and Paraguay to our east. Freedom of opportunity took us on a whim to Paraguay for the weekend. We exalted at the possibilities of travel, it's not everyday you get to choose between crossing a number of different borders. Unless, of course, you live in Switzerland. Going to Paraguay for the weekend did involve, however, a twelve hour overnight bus journey from Buenos Aires. Cheap long distance buses were a thing of the past as we battled with our wallets to pay the £90 it took to get us both on board. The deal was made considerably sweeter when we were served beef stew followed by pudding on the journey. Brilliant! This was still the cheapest ticket we could buy. The meal was a ... read more
The Sambodromo
Beautiful brickwork at Jesuit Missions
The themed floats




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