So after a brief stop in Salta and Cordoba, one crazy day which Argentina beat Brazil in the Olympic futbal match, we arrived in Buenos Aires. The week spent there was one of the highlitghts of the trip. We lucked out with perfect weather, a fun hostel and great new friends. And I got to meet my first AMer Leandro Pedrouzo! He was a grand host, took us on a mini tour of Palermo and to a fantastic grilled pizza place. And gave us valuable insight on the city. Gracias Leandro! We got to watch La Boca futbol team play and enjoyed some great Carne Asado. Good times.
Monday, August 18, 2008
We ended up in San Pedro Chile a few days because we thought it would save us some time, it turned out in the end it did, but we almost got stuck and had to hitch out to Argentina. It was a good adventure and after almost missing a few buses (one was pulling out with all of our stuff on it) we finally made it to Salta....Its been a juggling act so far!
I celebrated my 29th birthday on the spectacular Sal De Uyuni. But pictures do not do it justice. The sense of endless space, the stars at night and the silence was uncanny. We spent 3 hot days followed by frigid nights, without changing clothes or showering, passing endless desert, train graveyards, volcanos, gysers, green red and blue lagunas filled with pink flamingos, and amazing rock formations.
After a confusing bus ride, where the bus actually kicked us off and took a boat across the lake, and we followed in a dingy, we arrived in La Paz, Bolivia. Upon arrival we found out that we were stuck there for three days. It was elections and EVERYTHING was closed. So we made the best of it, met some new friends and visited the infamous San Pedro prison. Driving into La Paz was amazing. This giant city looked like it was built in a huge creator. And being the highest capital in the world, it left us breathless.
After Cuzco we headed down to Puno and spent 3 days at lake Titicaca. We stood on the floating reed islands and slept on Arminati island with a local family. There was no electricity and it was absolutely freezing but the people were so nice and the lake was an experience not to be missed. One night we enjoyed a candle lit fiesta where locals danced around a few hours and dressed us up in ponchos.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
We started out four day trek at 3900 meters and hiked up to Mt. Salkantay at 4625 meters the first day. 50k in 3 days. Quite a workout at this altitude. Then descended into the valley ´cloud forest´and river hopped. On the second day we entered the jungle, the third day up a mountain to see Machu Picchu from distance and the last day we found ourselves on the legendary city of the clouds. A breathtaking trek made fun and educational due to our superb guide ´Big Willie.´
We arrived in Arequipa Peru and headed out to Colca Canyon for two days. Elevations of 5000 meters plus and altitude sickness hit hard. But we got to see one of the deepest canyons in the world. At some points it dropped 2k behind us! Huge condors circled overhead and the vistas were stunning.