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Des & Tom´s Latino Adventures!

Up, up and Bolivia:) |

Sorry about the really embarrassing entry title dudes hehe.

Monday March 6th//
Woke up late and took the Pachamama bus into Caldera a small town nearby Bahia Inglesa. Didnt do much there just used the internet for a bit and then went to the supermarket so Sergio our driver could buy the stuff he needed for the barbeque in the evening.. yummy:)

Went back to our campsite soon after. Tom and I went t check out the swimming pool there then we went on to see these amazingly huge see saws and swings! Yea the park there seemed to be divided into two sections, one for kinds and one for.. giants hehe. I really hurt myself coming off the see saw cause tom came off and cause I was so high up I fell quite hard on my feet hehe funny tho:) After that we headed to the beach nearby to have a look. So strange as it was so different to any of the others we had seen, very barren and well not much sand, mainly shell debris. Foun some nice shells though, Tom was very helpful:) Headed back to camp, had a bit of a rest and watched Sergi prepare all these interesting things for the bbq.

In the evening the bbq was awesome. Absolutely loved it! Had waaay too much food tho, chicken wings, sausages, steaks, the list goes on hehe. Was a really nice evening as Tom and I just sipped our wine from Concha Y Toro and yea.. Kevin one of the english guys was very drunk and did an interesting pole dance literally around Sergio our driver hehe. He made an interesting birthday cake for Bruce this French guy with us (his birthday tommorrow) consisting of a chopping board and leaves and a candle in the middle hehe.. yea...

Tuesday March 7th//
Today we drove through the driest part of the Atacama desert. Was amazing with huge expanses of sand with the Andes in teh background, amazing:)

First interesting stop was this old cementary of the Oficina Alemania. Was in the middle of the desert, very intriguing. Kind of spooky as there were loads of crosses and yea.. well couldnt really tell wehre the graves were so could have been walking over loads of them!!

Next cool stop was at the Mano del Desierto i.e. The hand of the desert. Basically a cement sculpture transported into the middle of the desert as 'art' by this artist. Was impressed at first but not when I foudn out it was made of cement and transported in.. there was loads of poo and stuff behind it too so obviously not many other people were impressed either hehe...

Stopped at these cliffs which had La Portada in front of it. Very cool, the portada is this natural occuring arch in front of the cliffs.

After that we finally arrived into Antofagasta in the afternoon where we did little but have dinner and watch tv hehe.

Wednesday March 8th//
First stop today was Banquedano where we got to see this old train cementary. Very cool with load of abandoned trains one of which I climbed into hehe came out with very black feet.. hmm nice. Had the original turntable there too which was very cool.

Had lunch just before heading off to the salt flats! Stopped off at one point to see them from above, amazing views. Not quite as white as I had imagined at first anyways. Then we headed down right onto them. Found out from our guide that the salt flats are in fact salty crusts formed on top of lakes! Very cool! Stopped on the slat flat at this huge salt deposit. Not natural as it was formed by lithium miners but was impressive nonetheless, very big like a huge plateau.Had a taste of the salt, quite nice!

After that we headed to the Oasis in Peine a small town on a hill looking over the flats. Was really nice bathing in the natural pools there. Kind of slipped going in and was very embarrased as I fell flat on my bottom hehe. Tom was obviously very gentlemanly and laughed at me and didnt ask if I was ok hehe:)

We soon were off again and made our way to the Natural Reserve Los Flamencos where we saw load sof gorgeous flamingoes. Was amazing as a whole load of them flew right over our heads! Went there specifically to see the sun setting over the flats. Was amazing especially as we could see the mountains behind us change colours as the sun set!

Ended up arriving mega late into San Pedro a cool desert town. All the buildings there look like they are made of sand and mud very cool:)

Had a nice night as we went out to say goodbye to the english dudes who were leaving the next day. Had a few to many cocktails hehe but was good anyways!

Thursday March 9th//
Woke up late today an went to have lunch with Tom at this nice rustic restaurant with a fire in the middle of the whole place. A bit annoying tho were the flies who just hovered over us for our whole meal!! argh!!

After that we rented some sandboards and yes went sandboarding! Had to take a taxi out to the Cordillera del Sal first then away down the dunes we went hehe. Well we actually had to climb them first obviously (such hard work!!!) but was worth it as it was sooo much fun speeding down! Went kind of at the wrong time tho as it was mega hot and like yea had to take a rest together at one point we were so knackered from climbing the dunes hehe. Amazingly didnt fall down that much! Was easier than expected:)

Later in the evening we headed out to the Valle de la Luna i.e. Moon Valley. Very cool as we climbed up yet another dune hehe to get to this high point where we could watch the gorgeous sunset. The clouds turned into amazing shaes of purple, blue, orange...etc:) The valley itself was very cool and righty named the moon valley as the salt made everything white and there were huge craters just like you would imagine the moons surface to look like. Before that we actually had a look at the salt hills, and I mean that literally. Very cool as you could see the crystal formations! A bit scary as you coudl hear the cracking of the salt a bit too much for my liking hehe and felt like huge ass chunks of salt could fall down at anymoment and crush us!! Prade our guide assured us it was safe tho hehe.

Friday March 10th//
Today we had lunch at this cute little cafe where I had a huge as avocado and chicken sandwich really yummy! After we visited the plaza and the church there very nice:) Then we headed to the archaeological museum there which was awesome. It had cool mummies and everything!

In the afternoon we headed to Calama on a bus so that we could go and pick up toms ipod hehe. Yes finally been able to get it! Enzo the guy who organizes pachamama was really nice and sent it up by bus once it arrived in santiago.

Retrieved the ipod yay!! Then went around Calama a bit not much to see really.. well we didnt have much time to be honest. Then caught the bus back to San Pedro late in the evening. Not so great seeing as we have an early start tommorrow!

Saturday March 11th//
Got up mega early today for our Bolivian salt flat tour! Yay! First we got a bus to take us to get our exit stamp and to get to the border. Was amazing as at one point from being in the desert I felt like we had entered Switzerland or something as there was loads of greenery.. well more than the desert hehe and these snowcapped mountains in the background, absolutely stunning.

After the border we had breakfast at the companies refuge. Oh yes now we are officially in Bolivia!! Were stopped right next to the Lag Blanco which was really nice. Not very white tho hehe. But yea had to wait around for quite a while until we were all separeted into groups and piled into separate 4WD jeeps. In our jeep we had Caroline and Bianca two ladies from the Pachamama bus and this really lovely British couple called Lee and Jo.

First stop in the jeep was Laguna Verde. Definitely deserves its name as it was very very green. Aparently it has a lot of copper in it so I gues thats why it has its colour.

Next stop was at some hot springs. Was not brave enough to dip in fully myself hehe but did get the feet in! Very nice and warm. These german dudes were drinking beers in them and one even poured some int eh water!! What the hell?

Following that we stopped at another lake then some coolio geysers! They were very bubbly an hot.. was a bit scared as heard stories of tourists falling in and dying!! Argh!

Final stop was at Lago Colorado which was a very pretty red and white colour! There were loads of flamingoes n it and some llamas nearby hehe Tom loved them:)

After we arrived at our stop for the night.. was interesting.. the beds kind of had no support whatsoever hehe but yea.. and the pillows sucked. The toilets werent great especially as there were no showers.. would have been cold anyways I guess so probably better! Had lunch there anyways and then headed out for a nice walk with Tom and Jo by the lake. Was cool but turned back cause the Llamas had gone and some storm clouds were approaching so we decided to go back. Had fun back in the room as we shared with Jo and Lee and they had travel scrabble so played that (they were ridiculously good hehe), I didnt come last!! Tom did hehe:)

Had dinner later then had to go to bed quite soon after playing cards because the electricity stopped at 9pm.. hehe ever heard of generators? But yea..

Sunday March 12th//
Got up early today to continue our Bolivian tour. Was really good today. First stop was La Piedra de Arbre... I think thats how its spelt hehe. But yea it was a lava rock formation that looked like a tree! Very cool! Amazing because of the rain the day before (oh yea it rained hehe didnt mention that) there was frost in the shadows of all the other rocks and a whole hill was covered in it! IN the middle fo the desert how cool is that!:)

Stopped at many lakes today too the best being this one where the mountains in the background completely reflected in the water! If it wasnt for the mineral deposits in the lake you could have turned our photo upside down and not have known which was was up!

Stopped at another place with lava rocks formed in cool animal shapes, the best being of a bird! Think it was actually called the canyon of birds or something like that.

Had lunch in this really small town. Met this really cute funny girl there hehe her name was Amelie I think. She kept abusing us all hitting us and running about lifting up wheelbarrows etc.. hehe Had a bit of a wander around and found the local chruch, a very cute building.

Soon set off again and stopped to wait for the other jeep that was with us cause it had broken down. Was funny because this llama herder lady went past us and Bianca kept tryign to get photos of her but she waved at her really angrily hehe protesting hehe.. unfortunatley Biancas camera wouldnt turn on hehe.

Next stop was at this small town calle San Cristobal. The church there was very cool as it had a wall around it. The front had different tiers to it and there were bells all around the top. Aparently the church has a solid silver altar inside.. probably why it was locked up and we couldnt see it hehe.

Later we finally arrived in Uyuni. Went for a walk around the market. Saw a lady who looked like my mum hehe. Was kind of sick because we had to dodge toilet paper.. werent sure if thery were used but I'm sure I spotted some brown on one of them argh!! Disgusting!!

Played cards later before dinner with Jo and Lee. I had to share a room with Bianca and Caroline, was funny because Lee and Jo aske dme if I was ok with that because they are lesbian, but yea was fine:)

Locations Visited: Caldera, Antofagasta, San Pedro de Atacama, Calama, San Pedro de Atacama, Uyuni

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