A Travellerspoint blog

A Welcome Change

Bolivia at last!

semi-overcast 19 °C

Bolivia has been a welcomed change for us, with its indigenous people in traditional clothing, fewer tourists and little evidence of the western world. The people are also mostly lovely and interested and surprisingly, speak English better than in Argentina or Chile. The showers are probably the best we have had in all of South America, despite a lot of them being right above or beside the toilet seat. Perfect temperature regulation and even spray, as Tom wanted me to write. I unfortunately spent the first week being sick due to the dodgy water here - we aren't even suppose to brush our teeth in the water! But even so, the experience of Bolivia has still been great! The indigenous women here wear these amazing bowler hats and big skirts and the mothers carry their babies in colourful wraps on their back. It's amazing watching these people just go about their daily lives in such an old fashioned or simple way.

Anyway, we arrived in Uyuni after our three day tour and spent the afternoon wandering around the small town, looking at the many stalls in the market that was there. There were lots of stalls selling pirated DVDs and it seems to be a popular thing to sell in Bolivia. Another very popular thing here is ice cream - there were more places selling ice cream than food. There were also two cute monkeys in the market, unfortunately dressed up and chained. Everyone over here is also a lot shorter than us, so we had to constantly be alert as to not penetrate our brains with one of the stalls' umbrellas. Once we got our fill of big booty and big breasted mannequins, a bag of quinoa and some grapes we headed back to the hostel. The next morning I was ill and stayed in bed for the rest of the day, resulting in a delay in our departure for Potosi. Tom spent the day caring for me and eating and playing cards with Christian.

The next morning propped full of Imodium, we boarded a decent, non pee-smelling, bus to the highest city in the world. The bus took us up winding roads for 4 and half hours passing by tiny villages. There were people living in stone houses built with the stones one might find in the backyard. We saw lots of people working in the steep fields on the mountain slopes tending cattle, llamas or growing quinoa. Very primitive environments. Potosi sits on a mountain at 4100m above the sea, a large city with a mix of both modern(ish) buildings and old colonial style ones. It's harder to breath up there and walking up any small hill made us breath a little harder. Once checked in to our nice looking but freezing hostel, food was needed. I haven't been impressed with the food here so far, apart from the yummy lama and quinoa dish we had in Uyuni. Tom is however pleasantly surprised as he was expecting worse, but then again I haven't been eating much due to being ill. I spent the rest of the day in bed again.

On our wandering through the streets of Potosi the next day, we came across a curious parade. Coming up the road were children in traditional costumes, women in colourful short costumes and heels, men in, I don't know how to describe it, and several bands playing music. This may all seem fine and dandy to you, but get this - they were all drinking beer, with several people running alongside the parade supplying them with more beer. The beer of course was their own Potosini beer, brewed in the city. So perhaps it was a beer festival you say? Well maybe, but further down the parade, floats featuring Jesus and other holy characters were making their way up. What we also witnessed after following the parade a bit, was how it stopped in front of several stations with a sort of memorial, where people would throw stuff on the holy characters and blow incense on them. Like previously mentioned, a curious parade.

The next day we prepared for the main event, the silver mining tour. Our crazy guide met us at the hostel, got us geared up in miner clothes, rubber boots and a hard hat with a lamp. We were then taken to a shop where we were presented with Bolivian dynamite, which the guide decided to put a lighter to to prove how safe it was. FUUN! He then drank, and offered us, some 96% alcohol and some Pisco (Brazilian alcohol). More fun! We didn't take any, although Christian did try the Pisco! We had to buy "gifts" for the miners here and tom bought some dynamite and I bought them some juice and beer - recommended. Then we got back on the bus and headed up the mountain to the mines. Once at the mine entrance we all huddled together in a stone hut with 3 miners while it rained and hailed outside. We waited here for what seemed like ages staring, huddled round this glass box with a Jesus statue inside it surrounded by slightly decaying flowers. There were also about 5 empty Potosina beer bottles strewn over the floor. Tom got some coca leaves off the driver to chew on as they are supposed to help with altitude sickness. The miners chew on a bag a day to keep the hunger away when down in the mines. Sometimes they are down there for upto 15 hours. Anyway, eventually (the Bolivians have no sense of urgency) we headed into the mountain. We walked and followed the tracks ducking down half way through the dark tunnels until we got to this red weird devil statue. The miners pour Potosina and coca leaves all over it before heading into the mines for good luck and safety against accidents. It's really weird. They also leave a burning cigarette in its mouth. Really odd ritual. Our crazy guide told us that there is no religion when down in the mines - just superstition. Outside, the majority are Catholic. He kept pouring beer on the devil's big red penis (see the pictures on facebook for that!) and saying good luck to Tom for that night to make babies. On that note, further we went into the mountain and had to climb down shaky ladders and squeeze through slippery tight holes. They really are not concerned with safety like we are in Europe! Eventually we made it down to where the miners were - 3 of them in this group - and they were banging away on rocks separating the silver from the rocks. We also saw lots of fools gold down there which was cool. The miners all shared a Potosina and dripped a little on the floor before drinking it - again a superstition for safety. It was one of the weirdest experiences we've ever had! Imagine a tour of some mines, and then erase that tour from your mind because it was nothing like what we experienced!

Later that day we caught a bus to Sucre, the Bolivian capital, where we have been spending the past few days, planning, exploring the city by foot and hanging out. Yesterday we went to a dinner-show with traditional Bolivian dancing which was really good - they have a lot of catchy music and great costumes. Today we went on a not -for-profit tour where the money we paid goes back into the local community. The tour started with a trip to the Cretaceous park, where they have the worlds largest paleontological site containing 5,055 dinosaur tracks from at least 8 species! They also have life size replicas of some of the dinosaurs and were they BIG!!! After the dinosaur park we hiked for over three hours down a mountain, along a river and up a mountain to the seven waterfalls, or 7 cascadas in spanish. A beautiful natural site with several waterfalls. Unfortunately it started raining just when we got there so we took cover under part of the mountain and had a picnic lunch. When the sun reappeared we climbed up a steep mountain (I nearly died) to a village where we caught the bus back. A really tiring but great day. To top it off we stopped by our favourite restaurant for our now daily, strawberry and coconut milk smoothie. It is incredibly delicious and I hope we will be able to recreate it back home. Tonight we're joining the hostel's assado (or in English, BBQ) and later we are going to a bar for some shisha with a Dutchman, a Czech and a guy from Cyprus to enjoy our final night in Sucre. I am feeling much better today (Tom thinks it was because of the hike...HA), so hopefully I won't get sick again!

Flights in bolivia are the same prices as European flights so we've decided to fly round bolivia instead of taking the long buses on crappy roads. Tomorrow we will fly to the west of Bolivia and Santa Cruz for further adventures, so don't go away because we will be back with more "tomkat adventures" shortly.

Adios amigos!

Posted by TomAndKat 15:59 Archived in Bolivia Comments (1)

San Pedro de Atacama and the Salar de Uyuni

The driest desert in world to an expanse of salt too large to comprehend

sunny 20 °C

The 17 hour bus ride North to San Pedro from La Serena was a long expanse of desert. The journey was fine, at worst a little boring (endless desert). We got to the hostel and were greeted by Christian drinking a beer and relaxing in a hammock! He'd flown up the day before so his journey was only 2 hours instead of 17. He took this opportunity to explain how awesome his journey was and how the food he got on the plane was better than in Europe. You know what we had for breakfast that morning? A chocolate coated wafer. The bugger! The next few days were going to be jam packed with activities. San Pedro is literally in the middle of the desert that we spent 17 hours entering, so we're a long way away from civilisation! The only thing to do here, and the main reason we came, is to do the desert activities.

Christian and I ventured off for sandboarding on the first full day in San Pedro, while kathrin had another "katty day" (much deserved after putting up with me for 17 hours straight). The boarding started at 9am but man the sun was strong in the desert! We only made it up the dunes (walking with boards) about 6, max 7, times before we were exhausted. It was good fun but perhaps it would be more enjoyable in a less boiling climate. The view from the top of the sand dunes was amazing though. See some pics below! Also, I got to ride the sandscooter which was really fast and you had to stand on it with a ridiculous pose...illustrated below also for your viewing pleasure.

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After an afternoon of walking around the very bohemian/desert styled town of San Pedro we ended up on a "free star gazing tour". Christian had been given a piece of paper with a description of where to meet and what to bring, but we had no idea if it was even on. But surely enough "Crazy Dave", with his white cowboy hat, turned up and the three of us plus one other girl headed off for a 15 minute walk to the outskirts of San Pedro. Dave was a little odd at first and we weren't sure why, but he talked about his love for the stars and that he'd tried to get work in San Pedro but they wouldn't accept him, so he started his own free tours. We later found out that he has Asperger's syndrome which explained why he seemed a little odd (socially). He was an amazing guide though, and took us out to his makeshift wooden platforms rested on car tyres so we could lie down and watch the night sky. He used a green laser pointer to point out all the constellations, stars and planets - we saw Jupiter and Venus. He was truly passionate about the night sky and he had said that his condition makes him quite obsessed with certain topics - one being astronomy. His excitement throughout the tour was really captivating and I've never learned nor retained so much information about the night sky. We saw a good few satellites pass by and kathrin saw a shooting star. He didn't even ask for tips afterwards - it was completely free! He just did it because he loves telling people about the stars. We gave him some tips between the three of us though :) it was WELL worth it! Especially seeing as though you can pay a lot of money to do one of the official night tours in San Pedro. Good luck to you Dave!

We headed to bed early as the next day we had to rise at 4am to head to visit the geysers. Once the sun comes up the geysers don't produce any more steam; it's the cold air at night which reacts with the hot air coming out that causes the jets of steam. We had to get up there before sunrise and it was 80km away. San Pedro is 2400m above sea level and the geysers are 4300m up. So we had a very tiring, bumpy trip up into the mountains surrounded by vast landscapes of rocks, mud and more volcanoes than I've ever seen! Amazing place. The geysers were fantastic, surreal actually. We really do feel like we are on another planet. What topped it off was our swim in the hot (sometimes scalding) springs right next to the geysers.

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The next day we set off at 0730 to head to the border between Chile and Bolivia as part of our 3 day tour to the salt flats ending in Uyuni, Bolivia. We first had to go to the office that gave us the stamp to leave chile. There was a huge line when we got there and we joked that there was only 2 officers manning the desk (they really have no sense of urgency here). However there was only 1 man at the desk. ONE! And oh my god he was slow. We calculated the average time each person spent with him and it was well over 2 minutes each. We had probably 50 people in front of us when we arrived so we had a very painful few hours. In contrast, our experience at the shack in the middle of nowhere, known as the Bolivian border, was one of great speed. In an out in 30 seconds. First points for Bolivia!

Once we entered Bolivia we got off our bus and met our guide, Richard, and the jeep we'd be in for the next 3 days. Richard was a very small Bolivian man who spoke next to no English. We were 3 Brits, kathrin, Christian and I. We noticed that throughout the day Richard always parked on a hill, which we realised was because he could not start the jeep with the key. Hence the jump start on the hills. The speedometer also didn't work - it felt like it might break down any moment! Luckily it didn't, and we spent the day driving past beautiful lagoons, snowed capped mountains and got to swim in a natural hot spring (for 60p) with the most amazing view. We also visited the highest geysers in SA at 4850m above sea level. It was really difficult to breath at that height and we could only walk a short distance before becoming breathless. It was really lovely though and smelt so bad due to the sulphur!

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It was good fun in the jeep with Richard listening to tunes and flying over the rocky dirt roads. Richard is a bit of a crazy driver haha. Once we arrived at the hostel (shack in the middle of the Andes - no surprise there) we saw an amazing lagoon which had a lot of algae that glowed red and flamingos too, hundreds. A thunderstorm struck that evening and the six of us watched the lightning over a game of uno. The next morning we woke up with splitting headaches which was probably due to the high altitude and low breathing during the night. We set off early and visited some volcanic rock formations which were really cool. You could climb up onto them which gave you a great view of the surrounding area. Richard took us to several beautiful and different coloured lagoons, from crystal clear ones, to turquoise and pink ones. The pink ones were pretty spectacular not only because of the colour, but because of the many hundreds of flamingos that occupied the water. Pink with black feathers under their wings, long stick legs that make them walk like they are on stilts, and a big curved pink and black beak. It was cool just watching them, until they all started pooping in front of Katty. A disgusting squirt/jet of poo, and one of them farted in kathrin's direction twice! Once for each outstretched leg haha. The first 2 days of the trip were spent in the Andes, driving through mountain paths, visiting the lagoons, and speeding across huge plains (in the mountains flats). The Andes really are a huge mountain range. Richard, like any other South American, takes his time with most things on the trip, but once he gets out on the plains he's a speedy bastard and knew exactly what he was doing as we raced the other 2 jeeps in the convoy across the plains. Great fun! And does Richard celebrate when victory is achieved? No he does not. Celebration implies you were unsure of victory. Richard was cool, calm and collected at all times. Richard was sure...very sure. Haha.

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Next stop was an area of volcanic formations at the bottom of an active volcano which was smoking away in the distance. A thunder storm surrounded the nearby mountains (still about 6-7miles away judging by the thunder-lightning time split) so we sat on the rocks watching the storm. The girls (Katty, Kirsty and Jennifer) all tried to get lighting camera shots but to no avail. It was pretty funny to watch though - kathrin getting so mad when she missed each shot. It's impossible to snap lightning which is there and gone before you can even register it, let alone press the shutter button. I attempted to explain this but they were having none of it haha.

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Onwards then for a 2 hour journey to reach our "salt hotel" - a hotel, made of salt. We passed by a lot of flat "wetlands" which had a load of these foot high fir tree-like plants which Richard told us were quinoa plantations. Never knew where quinoa came from! Eventually we got to our "salt hotel" for the night. Now, for some reason, unknown to us, we seemed to envision this salt hotel as the Taj Mahal of salt. Considering the fact we are in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, we shouldn't have been disappointed when we arrived at yet another shack with a metal roof and just the inside walls and floor lined with salt. Not the salt palace we had in mind, but it is Bolivia. Not sure why we all had such high expectations really. Anyway, after some soup in which you could count the vegetable pieces on one hand, our group settled in and we played backpackers (our travel card game) until the wine made us sleepy. Jordan (the other guy in the group) actually bought his most expensive Twix in his life that day. €1.30. I think that store was purely aimed at tourists.

We set off early to reach "cactus mountain" on our third and final day of the trip. This was a big hill full of giant cacti where Kathrin and Kirsty both pricked themselves. Hilarious. We reached the Salar (salt flat) just after noon. This is the largest salt flat in the world and it looked it too. The road ended in what looked like the middle of a sea and then we drove through some water for about 1km before ending up on the drier salt flat. At 7 metres thick of salt and 10,500 square kilometres in area, it really was a huge flat, white expanse of white haha. Really difficult to comprehend the size and when you stand outside the jeep and look around you feel like you are in the sky. Truly amazing and probably the most incredible thing we've seen so far. We drove for about 45 minutes and got roughly what seemed to be half way across the flats. We took a load of photos and then arrived at THE salt palace in the middle of the flats. This was what we'd envisioned we would've stayed in the night before. We had lunch there which was really good - FLAMINGO!! Very tasty!

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We arrived in Uyuni late afternoon and visited the train cemetery to finish the tour. It collection of abandoned rusty trains that we previously used as transport for the mining industry in the area. We said short farewells to the Jordan, Kirsty and Jennifer as they headed straight to Sucre, the Bolivian Capital. We hope to join them again after Potosi, the highest city in the world.

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Walking through the markets in Uyuni we felt like giants, knocking into all the market stall roofs. Bolivians are tiny! I was the tallest person and could see right down to the end of the market. The Bolivian women here all dress traditionally with really colourful clothing, dark hair tied in two pleats and bowler hats. Really interesting to see. We spent last night in Uyuni but kathrin woke up after a night of vomiting and stomach cramps. She's been in bed all day unfortunately so we and Christian will spend another night here. We think it is because she did not boil the water enough to make herself coffee last night. It was the only drink or food Christian and I didn't have. Poor girl! Great start to Bolivia, and one that we tried desperately to avoid. Hope it passes soon!

Posted by TomAndKat 17:06 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

😎North Bound😎

Pucon, Valpariso and La Serena

sunny 22 °C

Our final days in Pucon were spent in a great lakefront hostel called Chili Kiwi (run by a guy from New Zealand, duh). We splurged a bit and got ourselves a private room as we needed some time without people, haha! It was so great being able to shower again and get clean. Real clean! We hadn't been properly clean in over a week - gross you say? AGREED!! The bed was also a sight for sore eyes, soft mattress and pillows... Aahh heaven! 
After scrubbing ourselves and throwing all our clothes in the wash, we hung out in the garden marveling at the beautiful lake and the Villarica volcano. Tom has been obsessing over this horrible sounding bird that kept bothering us up at the Eco house. It's difficult to describe the sound but imagine a person screaming at the top of their lungs. Well, this bird sits at the top of the tree and screams over and over and over again and to Tom's despair it had followed us here. Someone threw a bottle at it one of the mornings whilst we were having breakfast. It wasn't phased by it!

Later on in the day we discovered that Joe and Debra (friends we had made on the winery tour in Mendoza) were in town and at our hostel! So after a yummy burger and beer at our frequented restaurant, Latitude 39, we spent the evening with them. They left for Valparaiso the next day and we'll be seeing them again there. The best part of the evening however, was the hour we spent in our room. Let me stop your line of thought before you make me blush! We spent an hour playing with a beautiful grey kitten we found outside the hostel. He has apparently been hanging around and we were loving his company! Best night EVER!

The next day Tom went off for a second day of kayaking; he has completely fallen in love with the sport and I expect he/we will be doing more of it before this trip is over! Meantime, I enjoyed a well deserved Kathrine day. I read, I shopped, I went out for a mocha, I window shopped some more and I went to watch Tom start his kayaking day on the lake. It was a great day, finished off by home cooked dinner and wine. Finished off for me that is - I was in need of beauty sleep. Tom, however, needed to get his freak on in town. Partying until 5.30 in the morning with his kayak instructor!! Crazypants! 

A few hours after Tom came to bed we had to check out. However we were allowed to stay on the premises until our bus left. So once Tom recovered a bit, we went for coffee and a brownie. So good! Was a beautiful sunny morning, beautiful surroundings and great hour of people watching. We also had a final visit to the local grocery store wich has the hilarious name "El tit", and of course is something we have joked about and reffered to as "The Boob" our entire stay (yes we are childish at times!). Upon returning to the hostel we found Katie, one of the girls from the Eco project. She had finished her role there and was spending a few nights in the same hostel. So we cooked and chilled with her for the afternoon before finally departing Pucon for our 2400 kilometre journey to the North of Chile.

Although the week at the Eco project wasn't exactly what we had expected or wanted, it still was a great experience. We now have a few valuable home building skills for the future! We also really enjoyed the beautiful nature and the cool bustling town of Pucon, and we are both happy we made the detour. However, we wish we could have stayed longer as there was tons more activities to do and the town was finally calming down a bit due to the summer holidays coming to an end for the people of Chile. Apparently the population of Pucon is normally 20,000 but during the summer season it hits 140,000!!! Most of you probably know or heard that the volcano erupted 2 days after we left; slightly disappointing as it would have been an exciting thing to witness! However I'm know our parents are very pleased we left before that. 

Next up was the amazing city of Valparaiso, a highly recommended and loved place by everyone we have met. It didn't dissapoint. Valparaiso has been my second favourite stop on this journey so far. It has been a fantastic city to visit, I have loved every moment of it. From waiting outside our hostel with an intense affection-craving ginger cat, to the heaps and heaps of beautiful street art. My eyes have never feasted on so many beautiful murals, constantly discovering new ones even in the streets we had visited several times. Every time we walked up the steps to our street we would see new art we hadn't noticed before. The houses are also all painted in different colors, which makes looking at the hills and neighborhoods from afar a colorful experience. Our hostel was in the heart of Valparaiso with truly beautiful surroundings. Narrow cobbled pedestrian streets, alleyways and STEPS - sooo many steps.

To get to know the city, we thought it would be a good idea to do a "free walking tour" (not really free though, based on tips..) and as we couldn't officially check in until 1pm we headed straight to the 10am on the day of our arrival. The tour sucked pretty bad, which you don't really expect with a tour based on tips as you'd think they'd want to make the extra special effort to make us enjoy the time! At one stage we actually passed Joe and Debra on another tour going in the opposite direction. We should have mingled in with theirs but we chickened out and carried on. Aside from the sucky tour leader, with little and sucky info, it was a great introduction to city. The best part was being taken to this little door in one of the alleyways where this guy comes out and sells you empanadas and the traditional chocolate biscuits thing called alfajores (so yuuuum). Safe to say we returned there several more times during our stay.

We happened to stumble upon a red bull sponsored downhill bike race which was pretty cool. The streets were blocked off and the track had 3 jumps - was quite exciting! Super busy though, took ages to get anywhere. The race passed several houses and it was interesting to see all the opportunistic people who took advantage of this. There were people charging people to use their private toilets, people selling home made food or food from their garden bbq, people who bought beer from the supermarket and sold it to the people watching for double the price, people selling sodas, fruit, juices, mojitos, everything and anything really! Quite clever really.

We spent a day with Joe and Debrah trying to go sand boarding (yet another obsession of toms..) and I am surprised we survived the bus journey there. The bus drivers over here are absolutely mental crazy people! They drive like they are on a race track and they have a guy hanging out the door yelling to inform potential passengers of where the bus is going. They honk at everything and everyone and they don't care about bus stops. Tom said he felt like he was on a roller coaster and I agree - one I don't ever want to get on again! The funny thing is though, that every bus is equipped with either a sign saying "maximum velocidad 50kmh" or a screen and a sound that informs passengers of the speed of the bus and when it is surpassed..but WHY??? I have no clue.. We did however survive it, only to face the dissapointing fact that the end of the local school holidays were upon us and this meant no sand boarding, much to Tom's dissapointment. We ended up spending the day on a windy beach with powerful waves instead. Tom and Joe braved the freezing waters, only to surface after about 5-10 mins of being thrashed around like rag dolls in the waves. We then went home, only to discover another familiar face. Christian who we had met in Tango hostel in Córdoba had just checked in to our hostel. These coincidences are so much fun and it's always nice to see a familiar (to an extent) face from time to time. He is travelling North too but taking the plane instead of the bus.

We of course visited some art museums, and due to Tom's Canadian student ID and my youth card (randomly accepted as a student ID) we got to enter for 500 pesos (5kr/50p) instead of 4000 (40kr/£4)!! Awesome! Although the museums were cool enough, the free art outside was so much better. Like, SO much. I wish I could take it all home. It's very inspirational and breath taking at times!

We also stumbled upon the museum of natural history on our way to buy bus tickets. It was free (yeeey) and revamped in 2014. It was a cool experience with lots of information in Spanish.. We wish we could have read the info, but enjoyed looking at all the stuffed and preserved animals (like giant birds and Siamese calf infants). On the way to the bus station we also passed a park with tons of elderly men playing cards in some sort of tournament (or just for fun..) and the streets were full of stalls selling school supplies and offering bookbinding services. It's so interesting getting glimpses like this into to the real life of people in other countries. These stalls weren't for tourists and neither was the card tournament - it's geniune local ways of life.

Our last day we had a fantastic dinner with Christian and a lovely Aussie girl at a restaurant around the corner. Here we tried (I was force fed) ceviche, a traditional South American dish. Raw white fish marinated in some sort of sauce and served with roasted corn kernals as well as giant corn! It was actually really tasty! I am learning to love a lot more food now, I am obsessed with avocado and tomatoes as well. The main course for me was an amazing leg of lamb on a bed of some sort of sweetcorn mush, so tasty! Tom stole half of it. He had a giant juicy steak and we shared some wine. I seem to be popular with the Chilean men (hahahahahah). The man at the table next to us at the restaurant, although sitting with his wife/lover/girlfriend, gave me a glass of his wine (and evtually the rest (half) of the bottle to our table), called me beautiful several times and stared and kissed me on the cheek twice! But hey, free wine am I right? Haha lol. Tom went out again that night (I have become a bit of an old lady), so the next morning I went to a cafe on my own where the chef kept smiling and waving at me, haha so funny! No free coffee though...

Tom obsesses about a lot of things as you all know. He now is obsessed with the Chilean Cheerios. They are apparently the best, and I quote "they hold their crunch until the last bite which is what you really want in a cheerio". Or something like that. I think I might need another "me" day soon...
We spent our last hours before our nightbus onwards, taking in some final gorgeous views of the city, and along the way, beautiful street art.

The nightbus to La Serena only took 7 hours and we arrived at 5.30 in the morning. Because the reception at our hostel didn't open until 7 we hung out at a cafe at the bus station. La Serena was always just a stopover, a break before another bus to San Pedro. We did a little shopping here as the weather in Bolivia requires long pants. We did however still spend the afternoon on the beach reading and playing cards, joined by a three legged dog who we gave water to. It was a beautiful day which ended with a lovely sunset over the ocean. Today started off well with a run on the beach where we saw a dead washed up sea lion and witnessed the morning routine of all the stray dogs in town: running after all the joggers.

We checked out this morning and have spent the best part of this afternoon messing about online with researching hostels and buses for the next few days. We're planning to travel through San Pedro de Atacama (a town in the middle of the desert with lots of desert activities) and then to make the crossing over the Chilean-Bolivian border to Uyuni. It's proving to be hard to find reliable information that doesn't date back to the last decade haha. Might try and get some more info from the hostels in San Pedro. We talk about it as if it's close by... But we are now 7 hours north of Valparaiso and it's another 17 hours to San Pedro. You can see why we stopped off for a day at the beach!

Posted by TomAndKat 10:59 Archived in Chile Tagged pucón valparaiso la_serena Comments (2)

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