JoZ and JL


South America » Argentina » Mendoza » Mendoza February 27th 2009

In Mendoza we stayed at a hostal called Simplemente Mendoza, owned by an American/Argentine woman and her Argentine husband. Despite the cold showers, they served delicious pastries for breakfast and we really enjoyed our time there. We stayed four days in Mendoza and drank wine every day but Sunday! We did the obligatory wine tour, but this one had a twist. We first visited an artisanal chocolate and licor place where we had home made tia maria shots and a taste of chocolate. We also bought ourselves a little bottle of mistral--port made with white grapes--since we'd been seeing it around for a while and wanted to try it. Then we went to a boutique bodega called Don Arturo and Mrs. Don Arturo herself showed us around. From her we learned that instead of saying wine ... read more
Ships and Wine do go together
This guy was thirsty

South America » Argentina » Jujuy » San Salvador de Jujuy February 21st 2009

We wrote this a while back, but hadn't had a chance to publish it yet... On the 13th we bussed it from Tilcara to San Salvador de Jujuy (pronounced who-hwee but John took to calling it ¨hooey¨). There we met Louise (from Scotland), Thomas (from Liverpool) and Pace and Laura (fellow 'Mericans who have just finished their 2.5 year Peace Corps stint in Malawi and decided to bike around Argentina before going back). We had breakfast together and then decided to all go to the hot springs. This was really just a modern pool but quite at bath water temperature. That night (Valentine's, actually) we drank some wine at the hostel and then went to a club to see a folklore band. Unfortunately we have no photos of these fun events as we were busy talking ... read more
Grapevines in Cafayate

South America » Argentina » Jujuy » Tilcara February 13th 2009

We got to Villazòn, which is the Bolivian border town. We changed our Bolivianos in for Pesos (thus halfing our money, literally). The Bolivian border guard was a young, jovial guy--joked around about the U.S. with us and stamped us on our way in no time. Then we walked across the bridge to Argentina--glorious country that Josie missed so--and waited over 2 hours to get our stamps there! The Argentinians kept getting pulled ahead of line and we were stuck with whole families of Bolivians, little children and ancient grandparents, always budging in front of us with new relatives. Then, it seemed like the immigration officers took at least a half hour siesta where they just closed the (one) window. We got through and trudged uphill with our bags to the bus station, bought a ticket ... read more
Tilcara Ruins 2
Tilcara Ruins 3
Our cave...

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Tupiza February 13th 2009

We are dedicating this blog to Pete because he keeps popping up in John's dreams and saving the day. Thanks for subconsciously always being there for John, tall guy. We have really weird dreams while we're travelling. Sometimes, when our days aren't too full we are very busy all night with math tests, waiting on tables, places to go and stuff to do. Other times people from our past pop up with people from our present. It's a weird inner world on the road and even weirder while sleeping. We wish we could say we just hopped a bus to Tupiza, no problem. But, of course, we were in Bolivia and things rarely happen so simply. Our bus stopped after 2 hours (of deafening Andean flutes) and it became clear we were meant to get off. ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Salar de Uyuni February 13th 2009

Bolivia had a strong aversion to us using USB ports so we couldn't upload any photos for the last few weeks. So, we'll try to backtrack and recollect our last week or so in Bolivia since we've recently crossed into Argentina and it's like a whole new world. Please check back for videos dedicated to Steph Lee--we haven't been able to upload them yet. We need to buy a new jumpdrive as ours has filled up. The bus ride from Potosì to Uyuni was perhaps our best yet. There was a group of 5 Argentinian girls and 3 Argentinian guys, both groups armed with guitars and good vibes. Most of the ride consisted in passing the mate gourd around, sharing snacks and having an epic sing-a-long. The bus broke down (no surprise) at one point, but ... read more
At the Salt Island
And now for a close-up

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi February 3rd 2009

Well, it's been a bit since we've written. Partly because there wasn't a ton to write about, partly because we were in a fight with Bolivia for a bit and a third part because we just didn't feel like it. But, we got all packed up to get on a noon bus today that turns out won't be leaving until 7pm (something about a block on the road--we don't even get into it anymore) so some time opened up today. Cochabamba: This city is overlooked by a huge statue of Christ with outstretched arms. It was a pretty hip place with lots of cafès, clothing stores, movie theaters, etc. Also, there was quite a bar culture-we happened into a bar where young, chic Bolivians were doing flights of shots and playing dice games. Conversely, we saw ... read more
DinoLand - Sucre
 The Cerro Rico - Potosi
Double Rainbow Over Potosi

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz January 25th 2009

Puno, Peru: Puno is the main town on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. We liked this town quite a bit even though it downpoured every night. On Sunday there was a folklorico music festival which entailed what seemed like hundreds of folklore groups from all over the province playing music and dancing in a parade that lasted from 10am until it rained at about 7pm. It was pretty exciting to see young and old, traditional and more modern all rocking out in the streets like that. We also saw a Sunday matinee of a really terrible Peruvian movie that we don't recommend. Still, it was pretty interesting to see how they pulled it off--stark but grand theater with wooden floors and curtains, dvd player and projector, started about 40 minutes late, etc. The last day ... read more
Folkloric Festival - Puno 2
Floating Islands
Floating Islands 2

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Copacabana January 22nd 2009

Did you know that Americans need a visa in order to go to Bolivia? Well, you´d think we would as we planned to spend about 3 weeks there. DOY! We were in Puno, Peru about 2 days before we planned to cross the border and found out we would need $135 USD each, our yellow fever vaccination forms, passport photos, filled out forms, copies of everything.... Visions of large bribes danced in our heads. Luckily, everything is possible down here. We met a tourist agency guy named Oscar. We paid him $5 each to get fake vaccination documents from the Peruvian hospital. We were told it could take a very long time and we could get a lot of grief. At first everything went fine, the guys were cordial and we were on our way. One ... read more

South America » Peru » Puno » Puno January 18th 2009

In no particular order... * The People! Our group was 16 people from the US, Canada, England, Australia, Holland (Kim from Amsterdam hiked in her Birkenstocks, smoking all the way!), and New Zealand, plus 2 guides. Everyone got along really well. We became fast friends and everyone helped each other out. It was nice to walk and talk with different people along the trail. It was so hard for us to separate that many of us had dinner together the following night. * The Porters! These guys are legends! We felt good about how the company we went with (Peru Treks and Adventures) treated them. Our guys had matching pants and jackets, good shoes, headlamps, proper backpacks, etc. There were 20 porters for the 18 of us and they carried all the tents, food and supplies. ... read more
Ready, set, go!
Photo 3

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco January 16th 2009

So far we haven´t met any other travellers who came the back way to Cuzco as we did. We knew it was going to be really set up and touristy here but we were still kind of blown away after being in smaller towns of locals for a week or so beforehand. Cuzco has a lot of people offering a lot of things: young women offering massages, little boys offering candy bars and cigarettes, sketchy guys offering drugs, waiters enticing you to come into their restaurant (so much good veg food!), grandmas offering to do your laundry and everyone offering tours, tickets and tourist info. There is lots to buy, do, see and consume, which is probably why the time went so fast and we still don´t feel like we´ve done it all. Tonight is our ... read more
Cuzco Central Plaza

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