Leigh & Peter


Leigh & Peter

Two novice adventurers exploring South America for 3 months!

Europe » United Kingdom » England December 3rd 2011

We had a chilled time in Colonia, wandering around the cobbled streets, soaking up the Uruguayan sun and eating plenty in attractive restaurants and cafes which line the streets (of course including "helado artesan" - homemade ice cream)! On the slow boat back to Buenos Aires we had a fantastic lightening display. The fact we were sitting in a huge tin can was perhaps not the most comforting of ideas, but we enjoyed the show without getting fried! What came next was perhaps the scariest 20 minutes of the whole trip...we were moving hostels in BA (due to a variety of reasons) and had found the street where the next hostel was, only to see that all the doors were closed, and there was no sign of 'Che Telmo Guesthouse'. It was late at night and ... read more
Puerto Madero, BA

South America » Uruguay » West » Colonia del Sacramento November 28th 2011

Ushuaia. What to do at the end of the world? Sadly boat trips don't visit the giant waterfall which plunges into space any more as too many tourists were going missing. So we settled for some sea kayaking and a boat trip to some penguins. In case you were wondering, no the Beagle Channel (which flows past Ushuaia) isn't exactly tropical and yes is often pretty unsettled. Despite this, we were assured we'd be fine on the kayaking trip for 'those with experience only'. We chanced on a calm day and had a great experience kayaking round the islands most tourists head round on a big boat - seeing plenty of cormorants, sea lions and holes on an island which were dwellings for the naked native indians. That's not to say it was easy and both ... read more
Wet but smiling

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia November 18th 2011

On the bus to El Calafate we managed to pass through 3 police passport checks (more than Peru and Bolivia together). This can take anything upto half an hour depending on the ability of the particular police officer being able to find your name on the bus register. El Calafate itself is a bit like Keswick, but the star attraction is the Perito Moreno glacier, whilch performed quite well by spitting off a nice chunk of ice into the lake. Watching it do this is very satisfying as even a small lump makes a very big crash! From El Calafate we went to El Chalten, the supposed trekking capital of Argentina. We felt particularly underdressed, with our scruffy little rucksacks (a mere 12 l) and lack of trekking poles/soft shells/ LEGGINGS (!), but just about managed ... read more
The Fitzroy
Made it to the top
The French Valley and Los Cuernos

South America » Argentina » Río Negro » El Bolsón November 3rd 2011

Heya from Patagonia! Woo! We're currently in El Bolson - a lovely arty, hippy town in beautiful North Patagonia. Tomorrow we head out on our most epic bus journey yet - some 26 hours south to El Calafate! Since our last update, we've been on bikes on no less than 3 occassions. I promise you this is not my influence. First was the 'not to be missed' Mr Hugo´s bikes and wineries tour in Mendoza. What we hoped to be a great day certainly delivered! Despite a bad start to the morning... having woken up in our dirty hostel, realising the included breakfast consisted solely of biscuits (no there wasn't even a variety box), having to rush to the bus station and then getting the wrong bus out of town... with the help of some lovely ... read more
The view from our hostel!
Chilled in Beautiful Bariloche

South America » Argentina » Mendoza October 27th 2011

We thought we were bus veterans. We´ve been on Cruz del Sur in Peru complete with bus attendant, toilet and meals. We´ve been on buses packed with overdressed locals across a pass at 4800 m watching Dances with Wolves in Spanish. We´ve been on Bolivian buses sellotaped together which pick their own way through the rocky desert whilst new patches of road are built. For days we´ve been dreading our 18 hour journey from Salta to Mendoza. We picked Flechabus especially because they looked new and had suspension so were disappointed whenthey palmed us off on the mystery company Ándesmar´. Now this Andesmar is no National Express. Oh no. Its far far superior. We´re talking (almost) full Cama, bus attendant, meals toilet. This sounds like Cruz del Sur in Peru? Wait until I tell you they ... read more

South America » Argentina » Salta » Salta October 25th 2011

¡Hola Chicos! Where did we leave off? Dusty and (hopefully not too) covered in Silica in the highest city in the world, I think. Since then we've been pretty busy and are now down in Salta - NW Argentina and soon to brave an 18hr bus journey to wine paradise Mendoza! The inbetween... After the mine and an election induced chill day in Potosi we headed to Uyuni for our salt flats (salar de uyuni) tour. The 7 hour bus journey turned out better than expected... though you don't expect a lot from Bolivian buses and this did come with a late start, cellotaped windows, plenty of dust and a good portion of off road sections (by this I genuinely mean you wouldn't take your battered Corsa here, but these guys manage to keep an impressive ... read more
Intrepid Explorers
Leigh takes to the saddle
´As you imagine Utah'

South America » Bolivia October 16th 2011

So we had a pretty uneventful border crossing into Bolivia, and Bolivia turns out to be the kind of place that doesn´t even have a sign saying ´Welcome to Bolivia´. Our first stop was Cobacabana, which is on Lake Titicaca and quite a nice little town. However, our first Bolivian stop was marred by the lack of cash machine, meaning we had 26 quid to last us! This wouldn´t be so bad, except we did the tourist thing in Cobacabana and visited Isla del Sol (the birth place of the Inka Gods I think) which had fantastic views of the lake, but where all the locals made us buy tickets to walk across their island. Anyway, we found our emergency euro´s and dollars so resolved our money problems and jumped on a bus to La Paz. ... read more
Getting close to the Caiman
Leigh gets a ride in Cerro Rico

South America » Peru » Puno October 3rd 2011

This is our last morning in Peru! We´ve had a fantastic time and done loads of cool stuff. Yesterday, we were typical tourists and went on a boat tour to the floating islands of Uros where everything is made out of reeds. It was very clean, and even had its own kittens. Let´s go some place like Bolivia... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Salkantay Trail October 1st 2011

Our trek started with a very early morning and a cold shower (just in the hostal) then a spectacular drive to the trail head with Mark the Texan, our guide Fredy and our two cooks. Although the last two hours were rather hairy on a very narrow road and a big drop down to the bottom of the valley. The first part of the trail was easy, just a gentle up. The steep up that followed was a whole different kettle of fish, especially with altitude and lack of fitness induced by a dissertation. We had lunch and stopped for the day in a sheltered valley which turned out to be our campsite. We had amazing views of Salkantay mountain which is really close, really high and covered in glaciers. Just looking at it makes you ... read more
High Point of the Trek!
The crew (minus guide Fredy) at Machu Picchu

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco September 25th 2011

¡Hola! A late entry to fill the gap up to the start of our Salkantay trek as there´s too much to write for one! So where did we leave off? A bit sick in Arequipa I think! Well luckily in a better state than Juanita, who can be found in a museum in said city. Then she is over 500 years old and with a cracked skull. So yes, a mummy of sorts - though perhaps more correctly an ´ice maiden´ as she is pretty much intact inside and out - frozen at over 6000m on a volcano in Southern Peru. She was an offering to the mountain god - to appease or to gain favour. What´s incredible is she and a procession of priests, family and various important Inkas made it up to the peak ... read more
Colouring Alpaca Wool
Alpacas, Sacsayhuaman and Cusco

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