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South America » Bolivia » Beni Department » Rurrenabaque November 27th 2004

We got to Rurrenabaque on the 27th November after a fantastic flight in a Cessna Grand Caravan (for the flight enthusiasts, a 12-passenger single prop aircraft). The flight was 1 hour, early in the morning, and you can see some of the pictures we took - the views were spectacular as we headed for a gap in the mountain range, and then flew over the land as it dropped down, first through cloud forest all the way to jungle and pampas below - we landed over 3200 metres lower down than we took off. And it was hot, and very very sticky when we arrived. Into the Jungle!!! After being met and meeting the group we were going with (3 swedish girls, aged 21) we all hopped into our riverboat (about 10 metres long and a ... read more
Our little Plane!
Huayna Potosi from the air
Some kind of bird

South America » Peru » Arequipa November 27th 2004

Just had to add this to the Arequipa blog...went to the url=http://www.llamatravel.com/guide/sitesection.cfm?sectionid=220®ion=Arequipa&site=45&country=PeruMuseo Santuarios Andinos and saw a frozen mummy, human sacrifice! Wow! Apparently, she is the best preserved mummy / human remains found...because she was sacrificed at the top of a volcano in the Andes that was only accessible to the Incas because a nearby volcano was erupting, which melted the ice off the top of this neighbooring volcano...the height is something amazing, somewhere around 15,000 ft...imagine climbing that with sandals and no climbing equipment!?! So, the neigbooring volcano stops erupting, and the ice and snow comes back, perfectly preserving the young Inka girl...who they call Juanita because the man who found her in the 90's on a climbing expedition's first name is John...and she is young, and bl... read more

South America » Peru » Arequipa November 26th 2004

We are in Peru! From San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, it took 20+ hours by bus. All of which was through the desert. After hundreds of miles of rock and mountains of sand, it was nice to be off a bus once again an settle into the oasis, Arequipa. We are becoming experts in bus traveling. Snacks, book trading, passport flashing, bus bingo, its an artform really. We did see the cast and crew of the Amazing Race filming on the street where are hostel is. The contestants were busy trying to find the quickest way to Buenos Aires, the camera man bought his refrigerator magnet, I was doing some holiday shopping, everyone was happy. Must see tv. The highlight of our Arequipa visit was our excursion to the Colca Canyon. Twice as deep as the ... read more

South America » Colombia November 25th 2004

Well I crossed over to Colombia just about a week ago and have spent the whole time so far just gourging myself on the exotic fruits and enjoying the thriving nightlive here in Cali, one of the biggest cities in Colombia. Colombian woman are very beautiful but I'm sad to say that I've seen more silicon over the last few days then I have throughout the rest of my sheltered life. Round here you can pick up a boob job for around $1500 and if you know someone you probably get it for under a grand, so it seems to be like a standard issue 18th birthday present or something. And up to now it's been a lot safer then everyone who hasn't been here thinks, and a lot safer then some other places I've been ... read more
Cards night - Iguana Hostel
The Paddy wagon
Random out of the centre street - Cali

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco November 25th 2004

The three days we spent in Cusco before our Inca Trail hike were relaxing. It was great to be able to stop and not have to be anywhere or do anything. I was still trying to get over a a case of Travellers Diareha which wasn't subsiding, so I went and saw a doctor to try and get something to clear it up. It took a few visits and tests to get things sorted but by Friday morning everything was feeling much better and just as well. Diarrhoea is not something you want to have while hiking on a trail without too much in the way of ammenities. We didn't manage to do much sight seeing on any of the three days before the hike. I think we spent most of the time sleeping in the ... read more
The Foyer
Banana Pancakes.

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Huayna Potosí November 22nd 2004

Monday morning we met at the offices of 'Refugio Huayna Potosi' Climbing School at 9am, paid and went to the equipment store where we picked up our Ice Axes, waterproof pants, jackets, crampons, boots and gloves. It was a totally disorganised shambles but eventually we got our gear (not in the best condition) and ourselves up to the first refuge (4400m) in the company's old Toyota Land Cruiser. Training on the Glacier After lunch we trudged up to the glacier where we were to train in using the gear. Putting the stuff on in the refuge was tiring enough, but we walked the 40 minutes up there exited about the prospect of climbing the mountain then next day. Our guide, Choco put my crampons on for me and I pottered about in them while Sarah and ... read more
Huayna Potosí From Afar
Changing a flat tyre for a bald one
Sarah & Pete on Glacier

South America » Peru » Puno November 22nd 2004

It has been quite a while since I last wrote. A lot has been happening, so there'll be a few entries in a row, sorry that they haven't been more regular. We decided that we had seen enough of Puno. The Uros Islands were nice and all, but the town and hotel left a lot to be desired. The room was on a noisy street corner and the water only worked occasionally. I had somehow managed to get myself a stomach bug, and when you throw in a bit of diareha with non-flushing toilets, things get ugly pretty quick. So on Monday we got a First Class bus (name of company, not to be confused with level of service) from Puno down to Cusco. We were collected from the hotel at about 7:15am and headed around ... read more
Heading out of Puno
Cute Llamas
Mmmm, dinner

South America » Chile November 21st 2004

From Santiago, we took a 23 hour bus ride to San Pedro de Atacama...a desert oasis in the north of Chile. The bus ride was actually very pleasant, we went Cama class, which is to say, the seats completely recline to beds, and there is meal service, movies, all the mod cons, while moving up the coast. San Pedro is in the desert, needless to say it's real dry, real hot during the day. It's a big backpacker destination, and for a small town, it seems the backpacker population may actually rival that of the local population. We stayed at Hostal Katarpe, which was lovely, quiet and calm, especially coming from crazy Santiago, and the eminent Bush-Apec protests. First thing we did was book an astronomical tour, which left at 8:30 at night, took us a ... read more

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca » Uros Island November 21st 2004

Firstly, thanks to everyone that has sent messages and left comments. Please be aware that I usually only have a small amount of time to spend on the net checking my messages, so if I don't respond right now, I will when we get stuck in another hole like Nazca and have some spare time. Saturday night, 7pm, we got into Puno, the main Peruvian port on the shore of Lake Titicaca. As soon as we got off the bus we could feel that we were at nearly 13000ft. It was a combination of the dry mouth, the foggy headache, and the amount of effort required to do anything that gave it away. That night consisted of getting a quick bite to eat at a nearby Italian Pizzeria and heading straight to bed. Sunday morning we ... read more
The Uros Banana
5 soles a drawing!!
The ride out

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz November 20th 2004

Saturday - Arrival at La Paz So, we quickly found a taxi and crossed to the touristy bit of La Paz to find a hostal we'd been recommended - El Solario on Murillo and Santa Cruz. Basic, but with in-house internet (on which I am writing now) and only 50Bs - about 3pounds20 a night, we thought it was a good base. A very nice coincidence was to bump into two people we'd met along the way, Dominic and Catherine - two friends travelling together before getting jobs. Dominic wanted to book onto the trip up Huayna Potosi too so we found a good agency and signed up to leave on Monday morning for the 3-day trip which included an afternoon of training on a glacier using the equipment - namely crampons (metal spikes for walking ... read more
View from hotel room
View from hotel room 2




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