Blogs from South America - page 5657


South America » Argentina » Chubut December 7th 2004

We are coming accustomed to the long range bus journeys here... our latest, the 16 hour hop from Bariloche, near the Chilean border to Puerto Madryn, on the Atlantic coast; followed the pattern that is developing.. we get on the bus late afternoon/ early evening.. we are treated to a couple of pretty decent films, in English, with Spanish subtitles. However, the volume is always at an annoying low/medium level where action scenes and arguments can be heard easily, but intimate conversations cant... as a result, following the plots can be difficult. So if anyone can tell me what happens at the end of "Under Suspicion" with Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman, I´d appreciate it... I gathered that big Gene´s character confessed to the 2 murders, but then there was a bit of a twist, and ... read more
There he blows!
Mum and baby
Elephant Seals, Valdes peninsular

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi December 7th 2004

The highest city in the world So the day that we arrived in Potosi, the highest city in the world, we booked a tour to the famous Potosi silver mines. The next day, we started the tour by suiting up in special trousers, jacket, wellies, hard hat and head torch (complete with stylish belt). We went to the miner's market where we were able to buy as much explosive material as we wanted (as can the Bolivians for their fight against the destruction of the Coca fields by the Americans, in fact a miner can send his children to buy explosives!). The explosives that we bought were presents for the miners. At the market we were shown the ingredients in making an explosive, dynamite (there are three kinds, Bolivian, Peruvian and Argentinian, apparently Peruvian isn't any ... read more
Explosives anyone?
Don´t we look sexy??
The smelter

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires December 7th 2004

After the morning in Machu Picchu, we headed down to Aguas Calliantes for a swim in the Hot (luke warm) Springs and later in the afternoon caught the train back to Cusco for a good night´s sleep back at the hotel. Tuesday we did some tourist shopping and that evening had dinner with the Inca Trail gang (guinea pig is over-rated). After dinner we got the 10pm Bed Bus back to Puno and then the next morning continued through to the Peru/Bolivia border. We had lunch in Copacabana and by 6pm we were looking for a bed in La Paz, Bolivia. We also managed to book a mountian bike tour for the following day going down what is statistically "the world´s most dangerous road". Ooooooohh. Thursday we were hurtling down a dirt track filled with pot ... read more
No man's land
Bolivian border
Lunch in Copacabana

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz December 6th 2004

We were so excited to be heading for La Paz...the guidebook makes like theres tons of good outdoor activities around the city and lots of interesting museums and markets to visit in the city... Well, it´s definitely an interesting place...but after Todd spent the whole of our first day with altitude sickness...fever, and throwing up, we aren´t feeling so up for adventurous undertakings. So, there will be no bike ride down the World´s Most Dangerous Road, no long, bumpy, and for Todd, who gets the motion sickness, nausea inducing bus rides to beautiful little Andean towns, and no boat rides to jungle retreats (again, the dirty old motion sickness). But no worries! Sunday there was literally nothing going on in the city, because of municipal elections. We found just 2 restaurants open for dinner, and we ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre December 4th 2004

We arrived in Sucre (the constitutional capital) after a pretty good bus journey, comfy semi-cama seats (reclining with foot rests) and we bought travel cushions - aren´t we good to ourselves?? The road was pretty good if unpaved, and I woke up in time to see the sun rise. When we arrived we met a nice taxi driver who drove us around some places to stay (probably his drinking buddies) for no extra cost. We found a really nice place called Hostal Independencia and settled in there. We decided to spend the day walking around a couple of the museums as the next day was election day in Bolivia and most places would be shut. We visited the Museo Arte Indigena which was set up to preserve and progress native weaving. We saw two women from ... read more
Simon Bolivar made of flowers!
Freak rainstorm!
Inside the Hostel

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco December 3rd 2004

Arrived in Cuzco bright and early on Suzy's birthday...was greeted with a birthday hug by the owner of the Hostal Resbalosa, where we are staying in Cuzco. Went to a restaurant called Macondo for dinner, which is supposed to be nuevo andino/ jungle cuisine...what can i say, it was ok, the chocolate mousse for dessert was the best part, though! Relaxed and took in the charms of this beautiful city...smaller than Arequipa, with a few more backpackers, of course. Highlights include the excellent Museo Inca, and the Santa Catalina church, which is now a museum full of religious art...from the Cuzco school. Also, there being a number of supposedly Irish, English and American pubs/ restaurants, we found ourselves looking for some kind of food that would remind us of home. The food in these places isn't ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Tiwanaku December 3rd 2004

On Friday before leaving for Sucre we went to visit Tiwanaku(or Tiahuanaco). This is Bolivia´s most famous archaelogical site. It is believed to be the capital city of the pre-Incan Aymara civilisation who lived around Lake Titicaca. The city consists of temples, dwellings and a huge (and as yet to be fully excavated) pyramid. The pyramid is said to rival any of the others found in Mexico or elsewhere in South America and excavation is currently underway and due to complete in the next five years. It has seven different levels and no peak, so quite different to the Egyptian version. There is a impressive sun gate on the site that is lit up at different points at the winter and summer solstices. Tiwanaku fell from prominence after Lake Titicaca's water level lowered and the shoreline ... read more
View from the top of the pyramid
Akapana pyramid at Tiwanaku
Stone faces line the walls of the semi-subterranean temple.

South America » Colombia December 2nd 2004

Well again nothing really amazing to report for over the last week, I've just been soaking up the festive atmosphere here in Medellin and enjoying the company of the very friendly locals. I was only going to stay for a couple of days but as always, have gotten a little bit comfotrtable, and just now I've stumbled across a humble little Salsa school out in a suburb called Floresta and so have signed up for a 4clase course so it looks like I'll probably be around here for a little while longer. What has stuck me the most so far about Medellin, and Colombia in General, is that the people are genuinely interested in what I'm doing and where I've come from and make a real effort to make me feel "like a son of the ... read more
Some of the Colombian coutryside as seen from the buss between Cali and Medellin
Las Gordas(the fatties)
Market workers

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires December 1st 2004

And so back to Argentina... and what can I say about it's capital, Buenos Aires?? Firstly, I should mention that the first disease that any traveller catches is exaggeration... everything becomes spectacular, awesome, etc etc... now sometimes this is actually true, but mostly the description comes in order to justify whatever time, money or hardship the writer has spent in order to visit the place in question... But... Buenos Aires IS quite simply pretty much the best city I´ve ever visited. It has the wide boulevards and grand early 19´th century architecture of Madrid or Milan, a renovated dockside that throbs with bars and restaurants a la Lisbon or Dublin, quaint bohemian neighbourhoods that attract artists, musicians and dancers, like Prague or Paris, the eclecic food and shopping of New York or London, the worlds classiest ... read more

South America » Argentina » Mendoza December 1st 2004

2 of my favourite things are spending time in mountains, whether it be hiking, biking, rafting or whatever.. and drinking wine. So given the above, it was no surprise when we ended up, after another marathon bus journey at the Western end of the argentinian plains in Mendoza. This is a farely non-descript, sleepy, leafy and pleasant town, that sits at the foot of the Andes, and in particular, the mighty Aconcagua, at 7000m, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas and Karakorum. Mendoza is also the home of the Argentinian wine industry. Unfortunately, we dont have a huge amount of time to spend in any one place now.. we have 3 weeks to cover a colossal amount of ground, so our time in Mendoza was limited. But we did manage to get into ... read more

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