It was a good thing I had done a trial walk to the bus station from my hostel – the bus station was not in fact the dusty parking lot the bus had dropped us in arriving in San Pedro de Atacama. Noooo it was much much further away. Always a good thing to realise before toting a 17.5kg pack, a daypack and a full water bottle (What? Those things are heavy!).
The bus was meant to leave San Pedro de Atacama at 9:30am. As 10:30am neared, and factoring in a 10-11 hour bus ride, I was pretty sure I would be trying to navigate my way around Salta (sans the correct currency) about midnight… Read more
After a harrowing 8 hour bus trip from Sucre to Uyuni, I was relieved just to be off the bus and on firm ground again. Our bus driver literally raced another bus the entire trip, jockeying for position and momentarily overtaking before screeching to a stop to pick up passengers and then we rocketed off again. Read more
Nuestra Señora de La Paz, more commonly known as La Paz (the peace) is the highest capital in the world at 3,600m above sea level. Obviously it also claims to have the highest Irish pub, golf course, soccer stadium, hospital and pretty much everything else. However Potosi, the mining town some 9 hours away by bus is actually the world’s highest city at 4090m. Read more
Lake Titicaca is shared by Peru and Bolivia, and at 3,812m above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world and the largest lake in South America. According to Andean legend, Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun, with Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna both accessible from the Bolivian side of the lake. For me though, staying overnight with a local family on Amantani Island in the middle of the lake was definitely a highlight. Read more
Ecuador is home to some of the highest volcanoes and mountain peaks in the world. Quito is the second highest capital in the world, and around 2850m above sea level it does take some acclimatizing to. Flying from Houston (at around sea level) to Quito means I have experienced an elevation change of almost 3km in only 5 hours. Therefore I have had to do some adjusting to the altitude here. Read more