Page 4 of Purple Haze Travel Blog Posts

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal May 24th 2013

Day 3 saw us rise an hour and a half before the sun to try and track the Giant Anteater under the full moon. It was surprisingly fresh and soon clouds shrouded the moon, meaning that we had to rely on our head torches for light. Flavio found fresh Anteater tracks, but we were unable to track him down. We did come across some Capybara's, Agouti's, and crab eating Foxes, plus numerous birds creating the dawn chorus. On our way back to the Pousada we spotted a Blue and Yellow Macaw, a magnificent looking creature, and extremely noisy. After gorging ourselves at breakfast (i think we have worms), it was time to do horseback riding, not my favourite pastime. Of course i got stuck with a horse that did not like being told what to do, ... read more
Blue and Yellow Macaw
Crab Eating Fox

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal May 23rd 2013

Day 2 starts off with a very hearty breakfast, still don't understand where this massive appetite is coming from, and then onto a small dinghy to cruise down the Rio Claro for a few hours, spotting numerous waterbirds, Hawks, Kites, Iguana's, Monkeys and of course Caiman. The weather is overcast, so it means the animals are a bit docile, but it also means that us of the fair skin do not fry and crumble under the usual mid 30 degree heat and high humidity. Once again Flavio is a machine, pointing out animals with his eyes that are so well camouflaged, that we have trouble finding them with binoculars. Our break after lunch allows us time to go through Flavio's encyclopedia-like mind and write down the names of the birds that we have managed to take ... read more
Capuchin Monkey
Capuchin Monkey
Capuchin Monkey

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal May 22nd 2013

The Pantanal was always going to be a highlight for me on our trip, and it did not let me down. The cost to get there and do an organised tour is a shock, especially after coming from Bolivia, but it is worth it, and even more worth it to do it with a well reputed company. We had arranged for a 4 day tour, just before the high season starts, so the place is not swamped with tourists, but the slight chance of seeing a Jaguar is even slimmer. Another reason for us visiting at this time is that the Pantanal is in a state of transition, with the raining season finishing up 4-6 weeks ago. This means that there is still a good amount of water draining from the area, but also sections of ... read more
Chestnut-eared Aracari (Toucan)
Owl Butterfly
Howler Monkeys

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Cuiabá May 21st 2013

It is 2am, Sunday night, and we are in the Campo Grande bus terminal. The Lonely Planet guide said that this is supposed to be fairly seedy at night, with hookers & dodgy characters. But there is nothing that interesting to observe to help kill the next 3.5 hours till our bus. We arrived here at 11.45pm, after another fairly torturous day. Getting to the border crossing at 9am this morning high hopes were held of getting into Corumba, Brazil by 12. We got through the Bolivian side in 2 hours, but the Brazilian side took another 4 hours. Not sure if today was a special day, but there were a lot of Bolivians seeking visas today, the majority on their way to Sao Paulo. There was around 150 people to process, including 5 gringos, and ... read more

I am writing this in a bus around an hours drive east of Santa Cruz. It is 9am, 12 hours after we left the city. We were due in Quijarro, on the Brazilian border at 6am. Instead we are in the middle of a blockade that stretches for kilometres on either side for us. There are hundreds of buses, and many more trucks parked at various angles on the side, and across the road, with most of the occupants aimlessly wondering around the road with a look of despair. But let me go back a few days. Two days earlier, we had walked 20 minutes from our hostel in the middle of Santa Cruz to the third ring of the city. The city is made up of 9 rings, expanding from the middle, with an extra ... read more

South America May 12th 2013

After a very nice 12 days in Sucre, we are moving onto Santa Cruz for a quick stop before venturing into the northern section of the Pantanal in Brazil. Sucre has been good to us, firstly as a place to chill out and get aclimatised to the Bolivian lifestyle, and also where we have done our first week of spanish school. Things are ridiculously cheap here; we are staying in a very nice B&B, La Dolce Vita, where we have a private room that is the size of a small studio, for $18 a night. It is next door to the main market where there is an amazing selection of fresh fruit n veg, as well as all sorts of meats and other produce, where we can walk away with two large bags of goodies for ... read more
Sucre Bus
One of the blockades, this time in the centre of the city
Zebra control on the zebra crossings

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni May 8th 2013

As i mentioned in the last post, Uyuni is full of rubbish, but there is one area where there is cool rubbish, the train cemetery. It's about two kilometres out of town, and is home to 100's of old bits of locomotive's rusting away. We got into Uyuni around 2pm, and seeing as there is sfa to do in town, we decided to head out to the graveyard late afternoon, after a well needed shower, and after watching Barca get destroyed by Bayern Munich. We went with Dot & Too, and the Moncica's, two fun loving, and slightly nuts Swiss women, who we met on the tour. They are two middle-aged flight attendants who travel together each year to far flung areas of the globe, this time doing Bolivia and Peru. The Monica's managed to negotiate ... read more
Train cemetery
Train cemetery
Train cemetery

The last blog was a long one, so i will keep this one brief, and beef it up with photo's... We are granted a sleep in until 6.30 on day 3, but it is still bitterly cold when we leave the homestay. Shortly after leaving we arrive at the Arbol de Piedra, the petrified forest. It is not a petrified forest, but a cluster of large volcanic rocks in the middle of the desert that had been spewed out by a volcano millions of years ago. Soon after we reach Laguna Hondas and find that is completely frozen over, even though it is 100's of metres wide. There are still some brave (or stupid) flamingos walking on the ice hoping that it will melt and provide them with a feed. Next is another lagoon, Laguna Negra, ... read more
Natural Bano!
Arbol de Piedra
Flamingos on ice covered lagoon

We depart Salta on the Saturday catching a bus at 7am to get to the border town of La Quiaca from where we hope to cross into Bolivia. It is a 7.5 hour ride, initially through the area that we did a tour a few days ago, and then further into really arid and harsh landscapes. We have the two front seats on the top level of the bus, and it provides a great view, but also means copping a pounding from the sun as it rises from its slumber into full force. La Quiaca is small dusty town, that really only seems to exist as a border control point with Bolivia. It is a 20 minute walk to the border, and after getting some directions from an old Bolivian lady we successfully locate it. We ... read more
View over the Sillar
Children of Cemillos
Lady of Cemillos

South America » Argentina » Salta » Salta April 24th 2013

Ah Salta, you have made up for the bus trip from hell to get here. Leaving Mendoza at 8pm last Friday we were in good spirits after having spent a nice week in Argentina's 4th largest city and wine capital. Soon though, our spirits were dented as not long after a somewhat passable dinner was served, a loud clunking sound started emanating from the back of the bus. It was not a good sound, and was even louder when the bus changed directions between lanes or around corners. The drivers soon took notice and started stopping the bus to check on it every 30 minutes. After a few hours we found ourselves in a very small & dusty truckstop of a town disturbing the local mechanic from his friday night beer drinking (it was midnight by ... read more
View over Salta
Convento San Bernardo
Convento San Bernardo

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