It seems that so much has happened since my last blog!! I am now in La Paz. I spent my last day in Argentina getting up before dawn and hiking the hill that looks over Purmamarca to watch the sun rise over the seven coloured hill. It was simply spectacular!! The photos dont really do it justice but here is a few anyway!
That morning I left Argentina to head over the Chile. After an incredible bus ride over the boarder I ended up in San Pedro de Atacama. Its a dusty town filled with tourists so I decided to get out quick and booked a tour to the Uyuni salt flats leaving the next day.
The tour was FANTASTIC (and yes it does deserve the capital letters)!! It is honestly some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen! I did a three day 4×4 trip from Chile into Uyuni. The salt flats were actually saved for the last day while the first two days were filled with the blue lake and the coloured lake where pink flamingos live! I had a great group of two Belgian girls, a Swiss couple and a French Canadian. We also had a great guide, Daniel and we spent the three days pumping music and taking seriously way too many photos!! On the salt flats you can take photos that cause optical illusions so we had plenty of fun with that!!
When we arrived in Uyuni the others went back to Chile and I organised a bus to take me up to La Paz. The only bus I could get was a local bus which stopped about 25 times and had the smallest seats of all time! Twelve hours later I arrived in La Paz. Straight up I met a fabulous taxi driver. Taxi crime is rampant in La Paz and I was a little nervous when I got off the bus tired and disorientated. But Romano looked after me! He has given me his office, cell and home phone number and promised to come and pick me up whenever I want 24 hours a day! Sweet! He even invited me to have dinner with his family (he says his wife is a very good cook!). I have booked into a very foreigner hostel where everyone speaks English but the showers are hot and have awesome pressure and I have WIFI. I am so happy I chose the four bed dorm though where I have met a really nice couple from Scotland. Tonight we are going to go out for a curry because apparently there is an English curry restaurant here (pretty rare in South America). I got a peak at the 8 bed dorm and it was an absolute disaster!! La Paz has a bit of a reputation for attracting party crowd who come for weeks to take cheap drugs and speak English as loudly as they can in all parts of the city! So I was super relieved that I had chosen the four bed which is a really nice room in the top of the hostel (more quiet). Today I am going to spend the day chilling out and maybe having a sleep and then checking out the nearby city before curry tonight! Mmmmm!
Regarding the situation in Bolivia: Dont stress! It has been so over done predominantly by US press. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs hasnt even put a warning out on La Paz. Everyone I have met has had only fantastic experiences and the general idea is just stay away from protests! I was relieved to meet an Australian in Uyuni who told me all of that because the whole group on the tour to Uyuni were going back to Chile because they were too frightened to go into Bolivia. I thought I was being an idiot but it is really all calm and nothing has happened to any foreigners.
So here I am in La Paz. Dont know how long I am going to stay. Probably a couple of days before I head up to Cococabana and lake Titicaca on the way into Peru!
posted Monday October 2008