Page 4 of Luke and Katie Travel Blog Posts

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi December 13th 2010

We loaded onto the bus to Potosi after a good pizza in Uyuni. After being in the car all day coming back from the salt flats we were not looking forward to getting back on the road. The journey took six and a half hours, and we were dropped on the side of the road somewhere in Potosi in the pitch black at 1.30am. Nothing new there. We waited to be hounded by the usual taxi drivers, but surprisingly this didn't happen. Eventually a taxi came round the corner so we took our chances and dived in. We were headed to La Casona Hostel, the room had been booked for us by Honey Tours in La Paz, we were soon to realise with a hefty booking fee. We were exhausted and had to get up early ... read more
miner's entrance used today
holding lit dynamite
96% alcohol

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Salar de Uyuni December 10th 2010

It turned out that they weren't lying or overexagerrating when the tour agency had casually told us: 'There's no road for the last five hours of the journey'. That, we were soon to realise, was why our bus had wheels suitable for a juggernaut battling through a Russian winter. At around 2am we shifted from tarmac roads to dirt tracks, our new road formed with rocks easily the size of footballs. And unfortunately for the passengers, our driver insisted on tackling them front on- testing the suspension as regularly as possible. The bus was jumping around and bouncing everywhere, it was impossible to sleep or talk, and made for an extremely interesting toilet experience thats for sure. This wasn't however the first disruption to our night's sleep. Earlier on when we had left La Paz (after ... read more
sun setting over the salt flats
the red lagoon

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz December 7th 2010

When we left Banos in Ecuador many moons ago, we had planned to reach Bolivia within the first week of December. However, after realising the situation regarding buses in South America (i.e can't always be relied upon, and often no services between major towns) we accepted this might be out of the question. It was therefore with much joy that we crossed over the border and reached Bolivia- La Paz even- on the 7th of December. The ride out of Copacabana to La Paz went without any major events really. We were expecting maybe a little slip off a cliff or something, but apparently this wasn't the really dangerous side to enter the city. There was a little commotion when a man from the front of the bus stood up and said 'Right now we must ... read more
armed police in the street
plenty of money changers

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca December 6th 2010

Puno is a town on the shores of Lake Titicaca, and is famous for being the entrance to the Uros Islands, and the border town to cross from Peru into Bolivia. We were astounded that someone from Puma hostel was at the bus station to pick us up, despite our bus being one and a half hours late. There was a little man holding a sign reading our names, and we were nothing short of estatic. We were taken to Puma hostel, with whom we had not even made a booking, but had briefly emailed earlier that day saying we were interested in staying, and would it be possible to arrange a pick-up. When we arrived at the hostel we were welcomed by our lovely host Frida. The hostel seemed to be more of a family ... read more
reed slow boat
lighthouse on the shores of Lake Titicaca
Katie in traditional dress

South America » Peru » Ica » Huacachina December 3rd 2010

We had stayed at Loki in Lima and were a little disheartened to be leaving as the city had surprised us by being really modern with all the comforts of home on our doorstep. It was the first place we had seen proper Christmas decorations, and our taxi driver informed us that the celebrations in the city were big. We had only heard negative remarks about the city previously- we were already looking forward to returning. We were told it was a 5 hour bus to Ica, then a short taxi ride to the small town of Huacahina, which is situated around a lagoon, which in turn is surrounded by sand dunes. Our reason for visiting this place was firstly because it looked and sounded like paradise, and secondly because we could do some wild activities ... read more
dune buggies lined up

South America » Peru » Piura » Máncora November 29th 2010

As soon as we crossed the border into Peru the temperature rose by about 10 degrees, and we saw the sun for the first time in a while which was a nice welcoming. We entered via the Panamerican Highway which runs parallel to the coast, between the mountains and the sea. After about half an hour of driving through grassy land, we were into a barren and rugged landscape not dissimilar to that in The Hills Have Eyes. We were driving through the same unhabitable environment for what seemed like forever, when all of a sudden a town started to appear. Only on the coastal side of the road however, the other side remained rugged. We had arrived in Mancora which is a small beach/surfing resort in the north of Peru, and was our destination of ... read more
Loki Del Mar
anyone looking for a job
looking out to Mancora beach

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca November 27th 2010

The following days were a combination of crap and really really crap, and served as a reminder that we had become too accustomed to the amazing transport systems throughout Mexico. We had found the buses in Quito incredibly efficient because they drive around pretty much every street and pick up every Tom Dick and Harry- there will be a bus driving past anywhere at least every five minutes which will take you in any direction you could possibly want to go. This is really good in a city and means you are able to move around quickly. However, these are not the types of buses you want to get on to travel cross country. So we woke up early on Saturday moring determined to get to the border before Sunday, 7am. We had around 24 hours ... read more
park in Cuenca
welcome to Peru
Cuenca after the census

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños November 25th 2010

From The Secret Garden, we took a private ride from a man who worked at the hostel; he dropped us to the side of a road where we could apparently catch a connecting bus to Banos. We had thought we were headed to a bus terminal, but it doesn't really seem to work this way in Ecuador. We were harassed and lied to by numerous 'bus boys' before we finally made our decision to hop onto a bus which had no mention of Banos on the front, but we we had been assured by the driver's little helper that it was indeed a 'directo' service to Banos. We arrived in Banos around three hours later, after driving around the houses. Banos is a cute little town surrounded by steep green mountains. It is famous mostly for ... read more
the raft
town square
typical Banos street

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Cotopaxi November 22nd 2010

We took a taxi to the Secret Garden Hostel in Quito for our transfer to their partner hostel at Cotopaxi. This place was really cool, with an open air roof terrace that had fantastic views all over the city. However, it was more expensive than the hostel we had stayed in, and breakfast wasn't even included. It seemed like every traveller and his brother was staying there though. The manager of the hostel was French, and he had certainly brought along with him his cultural influences by having the most fantastic breakfasts cooked up by chefs on the terrace. The choice was eggs or French toast on this particular day; we ordered both while waiting for our transfer as we didn't know when we would next eat. Finally everyone was ready and we clambered into the ... read more
at the refuge
trying to keep up
views of Cotopaxi from our cabin

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito November 18th 2010

We arrived at Mexico City airport ready for our flight to Ecuador. When we reached the counter we were informed by the very brusk check-in assistant that we would need to prove that we had an onward flight out of Ecuador before she would let us board the flight. Well that was bloody great seeing as we didn't have one. Even our itinerary which proved that we would be in Singapore by February (the maximum allowance for our visas would be three months in Ecuador) she was not ready to let us on. We were about to insist she booked a bus journey into Peru for us when eventually a manager let us through after proving that we had credit cards on us. We are not exactly sure what the law permits but fortunately we were ... read more
beggar buys knife
bike riding in the old town

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