Page 3 of KatieBrooks Travel Blog Posts

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate January 18th 2011

Our bus journey from Ushuaia to El Calafate was going to take a detour back through Rio Gallegos, as apparently there is no direct route. The ride back to Rio Gallegos went pretty smoothly through the four border crossings- no nonsense of having to take all our packs off to go through various control points like last time on the way down. However, Luke was extremely disappointed that he had to throw away his new packet of olives, and we had to mess around declaring our asparagus cup-a-soups. Talk about hard feelings. The Chileans certainly don't like people having to pass through their country to get into Argentina. So four more passport stamps later we were at the final hurdle and on the home straight just forty minutes from Rio Gallegos when something had to go ... read more
Che Legarto hostel
another triangle house
right side

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia January 10th 2011

All the way back in Rio we had made a rash change of plans. With a depressing weather forecast for the forseeable future along the Brazilian coast, doubled with the fact that we were in the most expensive country in South America (for those exchanging from the pound), we decided to leave Brazil altogether as soon as possible. This left us with about a month of free time before our flight out of Buenos Aires, which we now needed to fill. Obviously this wouldn't be too difficult with the number of countries at our fingertips, all offering a variety of wonders within themselves. So we tossed a few ideas around, including living in Buenos Aires for a month to try to get some work in a hostel and recover some funds, or making our way slowly ... read more
along the Beagle Canal
Katie down by the water

The following five days went by without much excitement at all. Our main ambition was to use our time finding a new camera, which unfortunately was without success as we were stranded in Paraty, an expensive tourist town, then realised how expensive electronics were in Brazil, even in Sao Paulo. A brief account of these days precede the real blog. Someone was still out to get us when we arrived into Paraty from Rio. As we had changed our bus at such late notice we had been unable to book any accomodation. It was around 10pm when we arrived, so we sauntered into the nearest internet cafe and started writing down the addresses of hostels we could try. We asked the nearest taxi how much he was charging to Che Legarto hostel, he said 15 reais. ... read more
us at the devil's throat
impressive falls from the Brazilian side
worrying sign

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana December 29th 2010

We arrived into Rio at 6am Brazil time, but still 3am Peruvain time. We had no idea what the exchange rate was, or how much 'reais' were worth, but armed with out printed map sent from our hostel, we knew a taxi was going to cost around 60-100 reais. We paid 90 and hopped into our taxi, esctatic to be going back to the beach. The weather was overcast which was a bit disappointing. We knew it was rainy season but we had seen photos from previous years and it had looked alright. The ride took about 20 minutes and we drove on a highway that separated two favelas which are shanty towns where people live illegally. This road is famous because apparently there are shoot outs across the road between the two favelas, but it ... read more
kid making a kite
life in the favela
all the way from Solihull town centre

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores December 26th 2010

We arrived in Lima completely exhausted. Getting good at bargaining, we managed to get a taxi to the Miraflores area for 25 soles between us, when the tariff sheet said it should be 40 soles. There was another traveller in our car (an antisocial one) who was clearly annoyed that he was paying 30 soles for himself. Oh well if that's how the taxi drivers make their money, that's fine with us. Last time we were in Lima we had been really excited to find a McDonalds with adjoining McCafe, all next door to a cinema. This time we had found the addresses of some hostels even nearer to these establishments, and when we were dropped at our first selection Luke was mesmerised to see that we were directly opposite McDonalds. We were worried there may ... read more
on the way to the airport
in the arcade
down at the front in Miraflores

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco December 25th 2010

We were glad we had already booked onto the Christmas meal at the Wild Rover, as when we returned from Machu Picchu there was already a waiting list of around 20 people. On Christmas morning we slept in until about 11 as we were exhausted from the previous day. We showered and headed into the Irish bar connected to our hostel to have some breakfast and skype our families. As we were waiting for our food to arrive we saw some familiar faces poking around the reception area. It was the couple that we had met at Machu Picchu and we were really glad to see them. They had been staying at another hotel and we had invited them to come and drink with us for Christmas. Unfortunately they were unable to book onto the Christmas ... read more
Christmas party
Christmas dinner
dorm at Wild Rover

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu December 24th 2010

The train from Ollaytantambo to Aguas Calientes took about 2 hours, and it probably could have been walked in 4. It was rocking around from side to side like crazy, so was practically impossible to sleep. We arrived at 9.30pm in a mad panic as we had to find somewhere to stay, buy our admission tickets for Machu Picchu, book bus tickets, and have something to eat and actually sleep before 4.30am. So seven hours. Wow talk about short on time. First of all we rushed to the bus ticket windows, which were closed. Damn. We made it back to the special office to buy admission tickets to Machu Picchu. That was also closed. Annoying people were harassing us outside the doors of the office trying to make us stay at their hostels. We were trying ... read more
climbing to the top
both of us at Machu Picchu
another llama enjoying the view

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco December 21st 2010

We arrived at the airport in La Paz early for our flight to Cuzco. We were meant to arrive at 8am for our 10.15 flight, but got there nearer to 7 due to the taxi ride only taking 17 minutes instead of an hour. We settled down for a foot long sub after checking in. The airport was so relaxed they didn't even have proper queues and it was really small. After our boarding time came and went we were a little annoyed that we hadnt been informed of why we were delayed. Excuses changed from bad weather in Cuzco to bad weather in La Paz, and we eventually took off around 3pm, after already having boarded the plane once and being taken off again. We arrived in Cuzco an hour later, but it was again ... read more
inside Paddy's
Pisac market
Pisac terraces

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz December 18th 2010

The main reason we were returning to La Paz was to do the Death Road bike ride, something we had missed the first time around, and something we definitely wanted to do. We also loved the city and were excited to get back. We arrived at the bus terminal around 6am from our overnight bus, and were still exhausted so decided to get a private room back at the Wild Rover to catch up on some sleep. We had to go back there as we had left our bags in storage. It was a bit of a surprise when we opened the door to our designated room and saw a couple had broke in and were using it. The hostel worker was a little embarrassed as even through a lot of coercing the culprits would not ... read more
coming down the road
a viewing point
death drops

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre December 14th 2010

We arrived in Sucre around 8.30pm. On the internet we had found the addresses for a few hostels, so headed to the one apparently nearest the bus station. This was a Hostelling International hostel, and was completely overpriced at £20 a night for a double room, not even including breakfast. It also appeared not to be closest to the bus station we were at. However, we were just so relieved to have somewhere to sleep after hardly any rest the past few days. We were not impressed with the location of the hostel (at least a 25 minute walk from the town) and easily the most expensive backpacker place in the whole of the city. Therefore we decided to move on the following morning to somewhere else highly recommended on the internet. This was Wasi Masi, ... read more
another plaza
our room at Wasi Masi
nice chocolate shop

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