A Travellerspoint blog

April 2010

La Paz


sunny 24 °C

After Cafayate I left for saltarafting, where I did the longest ziplines in the whole americas. (saltarafting.com) Basicily you are hanging on steel wires with a diaper construction and you slide from one side of a mountain to another very high up in the air. It was really scary at first, but at some point I couldnt wait to slide down to the next one, since my instructor enjoyed my company a bit too much ;)!
We camped out there, played some beerpong at night and the next day we left for Salta! Apperently it is a very boring city, so all we did was camp, have the last real argie bbq, human pyramids and synchronised swimming in the biggest empty pool I have ever seen.
Sad thing was that we had to leave at six in the morning for bolivia, even sadder was that it was a saturday night and there were three parties going on with very loud music causing a slight sleeping problem. And I had about 60 mosquito and sandfly bites... (Thank god for the pharmacies here, they give you everything you could ever wish for.
After crossing the border we bushcamped in the bolivian dessert, which was amazing, middle of nowhere, noone around, except for a donkey.
The next day we arrived in Uyuni, very famous for its Saltflats and for us famour for its minuteman pizzas and breakfast pancakes! I even tried lama meat, some sort of salty hare meat if you ask me, not too awesome.
The saltflats were amazing, we left in the morning to see how they make salt, bought my first alpaca jumper of some of the residents, went to a train graveyard, where Chris, Tom and me decided to jump of one of the trains,
awesome picture, landing was a bit less. The salt flats were atleast as amazing as expected, I wish I could upload some pictures, but I will try and do that tomorrow! Went to an island in the saltflats, watched the sunset, (fairytale pictures) and headed back for more awesome pizza! Stayed in an hotel and shared a room with Jenna and Katie, having finally had a normal shower and a big bed, it was quite a heavennight.
After Uyuni we left for Potosi, which is very poor and famous for its mines which we ofcourse visited the next day.
It was very interesting, very tiring and very sad, since 14 year old boys work in the most horrible conditions ever. Walking through the mines was a pain in the ass, imagine even doing hard labour there. We brought some presents, coca leaves, which i had some myself, since apperently I got a bit dehydrated and was not that far away from seeing a doctor or going to the hospital, (i didnt realise), coca leaves seem to help for altitude problems. And some soft drinks. As an intruduction they gave us some bolivian whisky, which is about 98 procent alcohol, very interesting and disgusting to drink!
After the mine visit we got back onto our truck and headed for La Paz, where I am now! Amazing city, going to see the witches market in a bit! Yesterday I mountainbiked Worlds Most Dangerous Road (and got a tshirt!) which was 40 miles (64 km), scary as hell (cliffs dropping right now next to you 400 m deep), exhausting, interesting, beautiful (jungle) and weird. You have to ride on the left side of the road thanks to the bolivian government and guess where the big cliffs are?
Two weeks ago a girl didnt see the cliff thanks to the fog and actually fell down and died. We went with the best company ever and eventhough it was shit scary I had the most amazing time and the 6 hour adraline rush made it even better ;)! Going back up with a little van was a bit scary though, a) fog b) you can actually see what you have been trying to ignore mountainbiking down!

Anyway, more updates very soon, I have no time left on the clock.

Posted by suitjamas 07:37 Archived in Bolivia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)



sunny 22 °C

My one night in Chile was really good; all the boys from the previous trip grew their beards and moustaches for six weeks and we had a proper moustache competition with five different categories of shape, thickness, sexyness, offensiveness and orginality. Pictures will follow.
Early in the morning we left Chile in Frida, our TRUCK, you may never name her bus, penalties if we do and had a very long driving day to Mendoza. At the campsite we had one of Chris (tourleader, and Nancy is aswell) famous bbq´s which was great, more than half a kilo per person. We camped out, I´m tentbuddies with Kate, an 19 year old Britisch girl, we are the youngest!
Most of the people are Britisch, exept for David (German), Aisha & Shane (Australian) and Greg and Kit (south africa).
i speak dutch to greg and kit and they speak afrikaans, which is really funny. When i get back i will be hitting you up with words like bru, milli and china.

Anyway, our day in mendoza was quite chill (excuse me for the capitals, this keyboard is crap), we walked to the center, and back, I got us lost on the way back, but in my defense, no one realised until i said anything and we did get ourselfs a nice tan/burn. in the centre we just had a walk around. At night we had our own little winetasting, about 15 different bottles and we were trying them all out, iniation to the group as well, didnt end that well for certain members of the group i am afraid, they loved the wine a little too much. The next morning we had to get up early for another truckday, eventhough it is almost a full day of driving it is absolutly wonderful, we drive through the most beautiful bits of nature, (saw alpacas in the wild, donkeys, bushes, huge cactuses, deserted villages, high mountains, the highest peek of whole america, south and north, you named and i have seen it) and we play truckgames. on tuesday it was kits birthday so we had a little party which included dancebattles, games and truckdiving, meaning you have people catching you while you dive off one of the eskies. very interesting if you are driving in the meantime. Frida is really spacious and comfortable, thank god, so it is no pain in the ass sitting there.

At night we camped out at my first bushcamp, it has been a week of many first, especially the creative toilet visits in the nature, i still try to avoid them.. bushcamping is defenitly one of my favorite things so far, it is wild camping, in the middle of nowhere, big campfire, i had cookgroup that night and we made german food. never thought i would like patatoesalade. It was raining, to putting our tent up in the pouring rain was a first as well...
i have been having absolutly an amazing time so far, I am in cafeyate now, tomorrow we are going wine touring by bikeagain, but to actual wineries and we will get tours and such. The day after Im going to salta for an hour and than to salta rafting, where i am doing nine ziplines, hanging in the air and basicly you have to google it because only pictures can explain.
i have a nazca lines flight coming up, bridgejumping (bungeejumping of a brige, but than less shocking), mountainbiking on the worlds most dangerous road, three day hike to macchu picchu, rafting in tena, and the list goes on, so much to look forward to!
I hope you are all good, Im sure i forgot to tell you half of what i have been doing....


Posted by suitjamas 12:09 Archived in Argentina Tagged bus Comments (2)


sunny 25 °C

Dear loved ones,

I AM IN SANTIAGO! My plane left for Madrid yesterday and at midnight I changed planes for Santiago. I was completely exhausted and to be honest I still am. My flight to Santiago was quite good, half empty plane, (two chairs for me..), reasonable food and barely any crying babies. I woke up to a gorgeous sunrise over the Andes and landed not so much later. Had a bit of trouble finding my bag and the queue for the border control took ages. I prepaid a taxi inside, which turned out to be an awesome idea, because when I went out I was overflooded with guys very willing to give me a ride...
Eventhough Chili got hit by the earthquake just two months ago, things look pretty normal. The airport had just some cracks and small pieces roof missing, outside most buildings where standing up, except for the poor peoples 'houses'. My hostel is quite cute and when I arrived in my dorm I met a lot of the other people I am going to be travelling with.
Went directly on a tour through Santiago, four hour walk and I havent eaten anything since seven this morning, local time half past four here, so after the pre departure meeting in half an hour I am getting some chilian pesos out and buying myself some food! Santiago is quite gorgeous, especially since the earthquake was not so long ago. Very european style in a way, had expected it to be way different.
I dont know when I will have internet next, probably within ten days, but until then,

Love xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Oh by the way, I am wearing shorts and a top! Weather is amazing.

Posted by suitjamas 13:23 Archived in Chile Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

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