Page 9 of hkwoody Travel Blog Posts

The change from Bolivia to Chile is startling. The 1st thing we noticed is that the roads are so much better, thats not so difficult though as Bolivian roads are very bad. The second thing was that bars and restaurants in San Pedro de Atacama had roaring fires and were warm at night. The 3rd thing was less good - Chile is much more expensive than Bolivia. The reason we´d come here was to see the Valle de la Luna, it was worth the detour. The best time to catch it is in the evening as the sun sets. The colours of the Andes changes almost every second as the sun goes down. Our tour got us there in plenty of time to get a good position on the ridge. It was another fantastic experience to ... read more
Long Way Down
More Incredible Rock Formations

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni July 4th 2009

After Potosi we took another 6 hour Andean bus journey to Uyuni which is a dull, cold, boring town. From there we took a 3 day tour of the Salar de Uyuni - the biggest salt flats in the world, the altiplano laguna, and the high desert. All at around 4000m above sea level !!! The salt flats were first on the list. They´re vast and absolutely amazing. It´s hard to describe what it´s like to drive across what looks like a white sea dotted with islands and with volcanoes on each "shore". At this time of year the skies are blue, the sun shines and the whole thing is dazzling and surreal. After driving for a couple of hours we came to the 1st island which really feels like it´s in the middle of the ... read more
Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi June 30th 2009

Almost no words to describe our experience in Potosi. The bus journey from Sucre was an event in itself, on the bad side my seat was stuck in the recline position making things uncomfortable for me and the girl behind me and the bus was also (over)loaded with people standing next to us for the bumpy six hour journey. But as always the upsides made up for it, the mountain views are spectacular and the food and drink sellers who appeared each time we stopped were entertaining and made sure we didn't go hungry or thirsty. The fact that the city of Potosi is the highest in the world at 4000m is a shock to the system of us sea level dwellers but the real extreme experience is the mine in the Cerro Rico mountain - ... read more
Cerro Rico
Geared Up
Geared Up

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre June 27th 2009

After 20 hours on the Death Train we spent a few hours in Santa Cruz, a few hours was enough - not much to see or do. We then took an overnight bus to Sucre. Bolivian buses and roads are something to be experienced. The buses are very basic with no facilities, a bit of a challenge when the journeys are so long - in time if not distance. Once out of towns the roads are not much more than dirt tracks. So our journey of ~400km took 15 hours, about the same 30km/h average speed as the train !!!!! but it was cheap b$70 (US$10) per person. Our fellow passengers were all locals and an interesting bunch, the guy across the aisle smoked, spat, talked to himself, shouted and whistled at people we passed in ... read more
Lunch (US$1.25 for each)

South America » Bolivia June 21st 2009

Crossed from Brazil into Bolivia to take the famous "Death Train" - nobody really knows how it got the name, but it's not dangerous so it wasn't because of that. Originally booked our tickets through an agent in Corumba (on the Brazilian side of the border) but when we went to collect them it seems he couldn't be arsed to get up in the morning to cross into Bolivia to buy the tickets - ****ing monkey !!! got our money back and went over the border anyway. Couldn't buy tickets for the Sunday train, but could get them for Monday - so no big deal, except Quijarro (town on Bolivian side) looks pretty rough. As it turned out there is a great new hostel there, so we had an afternoon by the pool getting some sun. ... read more
Our Pullman Carriage
Start Of The Journey
Fellow Passenger

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso do Sul » Bonito June 20th 2009

Everybody we've met said we must go to Bonito - so we backtracked a couple of hundred km to do it, was the right choice. The main attractions are the rivers which are crystal clear and full of fish. We chose the Rio Sucuri - it was awesome. You're kitted out with wetsuit, mask and snorkel then dropped into the river near it's source, then you drift downstream for ~ an hour, about 2km, before they take you back out for a great lunch. We saw all sorts of fish, birds, more monkeys - fantastic. Unfortunately no photo's but for us another unforgettable experience. ... read more

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso do Sul June 17th 2009

Had 3 amazing days in the Pantanal. Went the whole hog on the camping option, chose a tent instead of an indoor hammock, glad we did, even though it was fairly cold one night and the showers were at natural temperature. The tent was right next to the river - which was full of caiman (a kind of crocodile or alligator) and piranha, the trees were full of parrots, eagles, toucans and other exotic birds, and the sky was full of stars - simply incredible !!! On our jeep safari we saw monkeys, deer, foxes, capybara, iguana, giant storks, wild otters and best of all a big (2.5m - 3m) anaconda. Also did river trips, horse riding and fishing - where Atsuko showed me up by catching 4 good sized piranha to my null point :-( ... read more

Arrived this morning in Campo Grande after long, cold overnight bus journey - not as good as Argentina, but OK. Assumed Campo Grande was the last stop - which it wasn't so we were still sitting on the bus when our bags were already off and sitting on the pavement, Atsuko was still asleep - putain !!! weather is now getting warm - high 20s in the day and much warmer in the sun. Tomorrow we're heading into the Pantanal for 3 days. Organised the tour through the hostel, should be hiking, piranha fishing, horse riding, and lots of wild animal watching. We took the option of camping so plenty of mosquito repellent to hand. Expect to have more huge steaks and chorizo sausages for dinner tonight - Brazilian portions are the same size as Argentinian ... read more

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Foz do Iguaçu June 11th 2009

Went to the Itaipu dam, impressive feat of engineering, but no big white plumes of water the videos and photo's show, learned they are the spillway which is only opened when the water level is too high - which I guess it isn't now. Was expensive as well R$13 (US$7) each. Wouldn't recommend. At least the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day :-)... read more

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Foz do Iguaçu June 10th 2009

Visited the Argentinian side a couple of days ago now just back from the Brazilian side of the Iguacu (Iguazu) Falls, not enough words to describe how awesome they are !!!!! couple of pics attached but they don't really show it either, it has to be seen to be believed. Weather yesterday and the day before was cloudy overcast and even rained a bit, but the days we were at the falls we had clear blue skies - somebody somewhere likes us :-) Brazil is different from Argentina - wealthier, more expensive, a bit more "sorted", that said the people, at least in this bit of the country, aren't as happy or lively as the Argentines we met. Today we're going to visit the Itaipu dam and maybe go into Paraguay for a few hours. Then ... read more
San Martin
Santa Maria and Garganta del Diablo
Floriano and Garganta del Diablo

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