DAY 28Apr 22 2019
San Pedro de Atacama
We don’t think we were really ready to face the altitude. We left Atacama (around 2,500m) early in the morning and were at the border with Bolívia (around 4,300m) at about 10am. Tam fainted before reaching the border — apparently the Chachacoma tea is also prescribed to hypertensive people and hers was probably super low because of it. She eventually felt better and started to enjoy the beautiful sceneries!
We saw the White and Green Lagoons, which are located at the bottom of Licancabur Volcano. Our driver — Quinto — took us through the Dali Desert to the thermal water pools, where we could relax on warm waters. After that we saw the Geysers (at about 4,800m), which smelled like Rotorua! We weren’t able to see them at its most active time, which was a shame. It was still pretty cool though.
Had lunch at the Refugio with our group. Nine young people from U.S.A. (Sam), Germany (Stephy and Solomon), Austria (Hannah and Axel) and U.K. (Sarah and Sam). After lunch we went to Laguna de Colores to spot beautiful flamingos. Tam walked too much and felt sick in the afternoon. She only joined the group again later after dinner. Her energy seemed to be back and was up in the cold to watch the most amazing sky we have ever seen. We spotted some shooting stars and watched the moon rise behind the mountains.
Despite the painful headaches and nausea, it was a truly amazing experience we would recommend everyone!
DAY 29Apr 23 2019
Everyone woke up with funny stories of how terrible their night was! We were all happy that it could only get better from here and excited to see more of Uyuni!
Quinto took us through the Liloli Desert to see a set of rock formations, a result of wind erosion. We continued through to the High Plains lagoons — Honda, Chiarkota and Cañapa! We saw many Picuñas and Llamas. We continued through Chiguana Salt Flat and then to Pueblo de San Juan. We stayed there for the night at the Salt Hostel, which was super cute. The interior walls were totally made of salt. We finally had warm showers, our own rooms and felt way better with more energy! The managers even served us red wine for dinner — and Ash had a glass :)
We were all exhausted but also excited to have a proper night sleep! Tomorrow we start early at about 5.00am to watch sunrise at the largest salt flats on Earth!
DAY 30Apr 24 2019
We all woke up super early for the big day! And we had the most amazing mirrored effect at the Uyuni Salt Flats! We had so much fun taking pictures together and amazed with how gorgeous this experience was!
On the way to Incahuasi Island, we realised how enormous the salt flats were! Seriously felt like it didn’t end...! The island had these massive, tall cactuses we have never seen before... in the middle of the salt flats! How is that possible we have no idea!
We tried to take some cool funny photos — which was proven harder than expected — and moved on to the salt museum, Colchani pueblo and ended at Uyuni!
Tonight our night bus will take us to the city of La Paz!
DAY 31Apr 25 2019
After taking Cruz del Norte bus, we finally arrived to La Paz safe and sound. Although, one of the passengers got their laptop stolen. The French girl was actually sleeping with her bag right next to her. We couldn’t figure out how they stole it. Tam slept with both day packs right next to her — thankfully nothing was taken!
We arrived at 5.30am and were exhausted. Tam’s lost her apetite again, the headaches are back and she’s not able to breath properly. We took the day to recover and rest.
Altitude is a bitch! Sorry our language!
DAY 32Apr 26 2019
This morning we met Sam and Sarah, the British couple we met at Uyuni, for a walking tour around town. We learned a fair bit about the history of the city, the famous prison and tried some new foods. La Paz is more interesting than we expected. Feels like a big massive market with all the cholitas selling all sort of things.
Our next destination is Rurrenabaque, the Bolivian Amazon. There’s two ways of getting there — by plane or by bus. Initially we thought we’d take a bus. However, we realised that the route is via Death Road. There’s many accidents and also situations when people get stranded for days because of the weather. We arranged the trip in the afternoon and can’t wait for some nice warm weather far away from the altiplano.
DAY 33Apr 27 2019
La Paz isn’t a pretty city. Actually, I think it’s safe to say that it is ugly. But it does have its character — cholitas on the streets selling all sorts of things, makes it a massive market. The small, steep streets, which make everyone tired. Unthought buildings that are almost never painted — and when the front is, the side is left unpainted.
We explored the city via cable car — the highest in the world. We think it’s an awesome way to have an idea of the size and nature of La Paz.
We had very low expectations. However, we did find it quite interesting and believe it is worth a [short] visit.
DAY 34Apr 28 2019
First day was amazing and we saw a lot of animals straight away. We have a small group and an awesome guide [Oscar], which makes it even better. Oona and Malva, two young ladies from Sweden, and another couple — Raphael (French Colombian) and Katty (Ukraine). Our cute, romantic cabin is right in front of the Yacuma river. It’s warm, the sun is shining and we are at sea level. We couldn’t be happier!!!
DAY 35Apr 29 2019
Today we woke up very early for sunrise at the Yacuma to look for Caimans. We couldn’t spot any and were bitten by dozens of mozzies instead. After breakfast we put on our best outfits and went out to look for Anaconda. We walked for hours in the swamp but unfortunately found none. We were supposed to go swimming with the pink dolphins in the afternoon but Malva is very sick. We arranged for her and Oona to go to Rurre to get treatment at the hospital. She’s very dehydrated and we are afraid she will get worse. Later we went fishing for pirañas instead. It was Tam’s first time fishing and guess what? She caught one!! There isn’t heaps of meat but it’s super tasty!
DAY 36Apr 30 2019
Early start to swim with the pink dolphins! We saw quite a few of them and one came close to Ash and poked his foot. It was super fan. Later we caught up with Malva and Oona to fly back to La Paz. We really wanted to stay longer but next adventure is calling. Malva was looking much better but still needs care back in the city. We met Oona for dinner later at night. Tomorrow we have a bus to catch to Copacabana!
DAY 37May 01 2019
We decided to try to catch the microbus to the cemetery with our big backpacks! It was fun! They we caught a bigger bus to Copacabana! It was alright. Road was still a bit scary but super beautiful. Copacabana is a cute little town on the Titicaca Lake. We wondered around, organised the next day trip to Isla del Sol and booked tickets to Cusco!
DAY 38May 02 2019
Everyone told us we MUST visit this cute island that is so rich with Inca history and ruins. Unfortunately, there is a disputed going on between the north and the south parts of this island, which means we could only visit the south. The views are indeed gorgeous and it was nice to see the ruins, but we overall felt that everyone was disappointed. In fact, we met some people that didn’t even noticed the ruins! I hope the disputes are resolved soon so more people can enjoy the best of the island. Tonight we leave to Cusco in Peru 🇵🇪