Page 4 of ozray Travel Blog Posts

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito November 24th 2018

Still waking earlier than I wanted but that’s fine. We went down for breakfast at 08:00 and out the door just past 09:00. We decided to get a taxi for the ride out to La Mitad del Mundo Or The Middle of The World, meaning the equator. There is a big monument built by the Government in 1972 (replacing a previous small monument) marking the equator which the French Geodesic Mission had marked out in 1746. However, since then the World Geodetic System, used in modern GPS systems indicates the equator is actually 240 metres north of that line. That correct line is marked out in a private museum called the Museo Intinan. Interestingly, when we told our driver where we wanted to go, he took us to the Museo Intinan. We arrived at 10:20 just ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito November 23rd 2018

Woke up this morning at 05:00 as the body clock was still on Chile time, so lay in bed for one hour before getting up to finish yesterday's blog. Internet was a bit slow but managed to get it all done before checking out. The Nice Inn was very cheap $AU45 for the night but is quite modern and clean. Only drawback was no lift and our room was on the third floor. Daisy had a great idea which was to leave our big bags downstairs and we just carried up what we needed for the night. None of the staff spoke English but with Google translate we managed to get the receptionist to book us a taxi transfer to the airport and also to add 20 soles to our bill so we could pay for ... read more

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica November 22nd 2018

Another relaxed start to the day. The hotel was relatively busy and had a full table of German speaking tourists this morning. We had to wait a few minutes to have breakfast. The Swiss couple from yesterday came out, so we took their place. Gradually people left until just one other couple was left, so I asked them “Sprechen sie Englisch” and they did, so we started conversing, they are from Austria and traveling in Chile for 3 weeks. We have met so many nice, like-minded people on this trip. We left on schedule at 09:00 and our first stop was the small town of Socoroma which was the closest town to the epicenter of the earthquake in 2007 and was mainly destroyed but has since been restored with help from the Government. The building are ... read more

Up earlier than we needed to be this morning so it was very relaxed. Met a nice Swiss couple, Helen and Henry, who do a lot of traveling. They have spent quite a lot of time in Australia as well. We left the hotel on schedule at 09:00 and drove back into Lauca NP and stopped at a trail that ran along a series of caves and this was like the vizcacha hotel as we saw a lot of them, mainly sleeping on the rock ledges. The trail was a circuit and crossed the highway and on the other side we saw many different bird species. Left there at 10:20 and as usual stopped a couple of times for photo opportunities before stopping at the main site for today, Lake Chungara. Throughout the morning we had ... read more

South America » Chile » Tarapacá November 20th 2018

We had a nice breakfast considering we were in the middle of nowhere. I went outside for a walk around and all I could see were trucks parked everywhere so I assume the drivers were staying somewhere in Colchane, but I couldn’t see much around at all. We set off on schedule at 09:00. Today was another traveling day but with a lot of brief stops for photos. As has been the case on a few days, it was about the journey rather the destination, there were beautiful spots everywhere as drove higher and higher.. We stopped at four small ghost towns which had well maintained churches for historical preservation reasons. One was just 15 minutes from Colchane in Isluga which was named after the Volcano Isluga which we could view whilst driving through the Isluga ... read more

South America November 19th 2018

Pica is so quiet at the moment, we were the only guests in this hotel last night. In fact, Mayuru Tours had to change our hotel here a couple of days ago because the original hotel decided not to open last night. Here we are also at the lowest point we have been for more than three weeks at just 1,106m asl. We left around 09:20 and visited another church in Pica, Iglesia Matilla which was restored in 2007. Inside was a life size model of the Last Supper which looked similar to the figures we saw them setting up in the other church yesterday. After a short drive we visited Capilla La Tirana, which is a large church of timber construction. Inside is quite beautiful with the ceiling painted blue with stars and beautiful stained ... read more

South America » Chile » Tarapacá November 18th 2018

Relatively late pick at 09:00. Our guide is Alvaro and driver is Mario. T... read more

Up at 4:30 for 05:00-05:30 pickup. While we were waiting met a nice German couple also visiting the Geysers but with a different company. Finally at 05:36 out bus turned up and off we went. It was about a 90 minute drive to the geysers so the guide told us to rest which was good. By the time we got there, there were already a lot of tourists roaming around and it’s not even peak season. I’d hate to come in peak season. The guide was very strict about following the guidelines, but for good reason as people have been killed at the geysers in the past. The last death was in 2015 when a Belgian woman who was taking photos, slipped on the ice into the boiling geyser. Her husband managed to pull her out ... read more

This morning no dramas with the alarms and we were ready at 08:00, but didn't get picked up until 08:30.. This time Alexander was our guide and driver so I got a choice to sit in the passenger seat which I did. First stop was a random place on the highway with a great view of the Licancabur Volcano which is right the Bolivian- Chile border. Interesting thing is that if you wish to climb it, you have to do it from the Bolivian side because the Chilean side had land mines left from the old border wars. Just after leaving there we had to stop the van as a couple of llamas decided to cross the highway. I asked Alexander if many get hit and he said yes, but the much bigger problem are the ... read more

Today's tour pick-up was 07:00-07:30 but Daisy's clock was on Bolivian time still and my phone had switched off so we didn't get up until 7.10! We frantically got ourselves ready until there was a knock on our door at 07:30. Luckily we were the second last to be picked up. The group was made up South Americans, two Dutch ladies, Mary from Oslo and two other Aussie girls from Brisbane, Charlie and Melanie. Today we visited the Salar de Atacama. Which contains the world’s largest source of lithium. Our first stop at 8.45 was Laguna Chaxa in Los Flamencos National Reserve. Here we saw 3 different species of flamingos and had breakfast. We finished there at 10.08 and stopped for 20 minutes at Iglesias Antigua built in 1664 in the small town of Socaire. At ... read more

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