A travel blog of a journey that I started in 2010 and I don't know when it will end ...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Puerto Villaroel, Santa Cruz, Samaipata and Trinidad

From Cochabamba to Puerto Villaroel we see a really radical change of the landscape. We pass from almost no vegetation to a tropical forest in only two hours.

The great Final we watched at Ivirgarsama, a village 20 minutes by car to Puerto Villaroel.
It was unbelievable how Barcelona take over Manchester United... great match!
Once we are the Champions of Europe, we go to Puerto and we try to get the information of the options to go up on the river till Trinidad. The river is in a really low tide and the boats that go direct to Trinidad (4-5 days) are not running. The only option is to go with a fishing boat to the half way and then take another boat to Trinidad.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cochabamba and Torotoro

At Cochabamba we arrive very early morning, at 5:30AM. We want to try to go straight to Torotoro where there is the Parque Nacional de Torotoro. We ask at the Touristic Information at the bus station that is open at this time (unbelievable). They inform us (wrongly) that there is a bus that leaves at 6AM from the other side of the town.
Taxi to there. But we don’t see any sign of any bus to Torotoro. Buses to everywhere except to where we want to go.
We finally the bus office that goes there. Is close and there is a note on the door with the new timetable, 6PM...
So we have 12 hours for Cochabamba. First of all we wait that the office open to buy the tickets and to leave the backpacks there.

So, how to get to Torotoro and where to stay? http://wikitravel.org/en/Torotoro_National_Park#Get_in  where you can find timetables of all the companies that run this route.

After this we go to the centre to have breakfast, walk, take some information of the national Park and try to get Anna Vaccine.
The Vaccine will have to wait. Only till 11AM


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sucre and surroundings

We arrive at Sucre when is already dark, we look after accommodation in the centre, we find a cheap place. It’s not perfect, but we wanted to stay only one night in Sucre and go at the surrounding areas of Sucre to do a trek of some days.



We have dinner at the Market, is a sure bet in Bolivia. A big dish of rice, fried potatoes, some meat and a bit of salad for 10 Bolivians (1€). We drink a maracuya juice that prepares a woman on the other side of the market, and the woman that serves us the food makes a loud notice to the other to have tree glasses for us.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Potosí

We arrive at the highest city in the world (4070m) after midnight. We take a taxi to the Hostal La Casona that we have been recommended. A colonial house with tree back yards and plenty of rooms. Our room for tree people cost 45 Bolivians per person with breakfast. There are more cheap options, but after the tour and the bus ride, we deserve a little bit more comfort, no?
In the morning we walk the city, its Sunday and there is a lot of activity. We saw on the street a kids from one school that are preparing a street dance for the next weekend with live music along the streets.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

4x4 Tour from Tupiza to Uyuni

We start the tour in Tupiza at 8 in the morning. In Our Land Cruise we are Ismael (the driver and theoretically the guide), Fortunata (the chef), Simon (Londoner half Spanish) with his partner Jacky (Irland), Tristan, Anna and me.
The past night has been raining a little bit, and half an hour after we start the trip start to rain lightly again. Is that lightly that end up to become snow!!!
All the peaks of the mountains are with snow at the top and the formation of El Sillar is surrounded by a very big clouds.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tupiza

After crossing the border to Bolivia walking, we arrive at Villazón where we exchange money and look after transportation to Tupiza. There is a radical change with the people on the streets, shops and prices.
We find a mini bus for 15 Bolivianos (1,5€) for a trip of one hour and a half.
And we descent from 3400m of Villazón to 2950 of Tupiza through valleys much more greens every time and more agriculture.
At Tupiza we find cheap and good accommodation very fast (25b, around 2,5€ for bed) next to an agency that we will finally take the tour to Uyuni with them.
We go to discover this small city. First of all, we withdraw money from the bank because there are no ATM’s. We walk through the black market where you can find everything that you can imagine. We also visit the main market and we are also asking some agencies about what they offer and prices. Generally they all offer the same with very similar price.
When we go back at the accommodation, we contract the tour with the agency “El Grano de Oro” for 1100 Bolivians plus tree hours of horse ride for free near Tupiza.
We have dinner at the hostel and straight to the bed.
In the Morning we do the tree hours horse ride through Puerta del Diablo (Devil Gate), the Valle de los Machos and el Cañon del Inca. The guide (about 15 years old) leave the horses to their way, and we end up going very fast through the landscapes very similar to the ones we’ve seen in the movies of far west. Very Impressive experience and very hard physical exercise.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Quebrada de Hurmamarca

The bus from San Pedro de Atacama leaves me at Purmamarca, the first village of the Quebrada de Humahuaca. The bus journey has been spectacular crossing the Andes through points higher than 5000m, crossing the Salar Grande and going down through a snake road. Next to me seats Julie (South Africa) and we talk and talk.

Purmamarca is a small village with adobe houses just at the bottom of the Cerro de los Siete Colores.
I have to meet here with Anna where the buses stop. She is coming from Salvador de Jujuy.

We stay in a dorm of one camping, and we go to eat a pizza.
Walking along the village we see a bar with live musical, traditional music from the area. We drink a beer listening the local trio.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

San Pedro de Atacama

I arrive at San Pedro d’Atacama at noon. The sun is strong and I go to look for the accommodation that I booked, Backpackers Hostel. I have been recommended by the hostel in Pisco Elquí and at the blog of Francesc, Rutabaobab . A tiny hostel very comfy and familiar where you can organize tours cheaper than at the travel agencies in the village.


There I meet Daniella (Holland) and w ego for a walk around the small village, we have a coffee and fish for lunch at one of the many restaurants in the adobe buildings. She joins me to watch the match Barça 1 – Moudrid 1 that gives Barça access to the final of the Champions League!
Next morning I go to visit Tatio Geysers. They pick me up at 4:30 from the hostel to arrive there at 6:30 at the valley of Tatio to see the moment of maximum activity of this geothermic field at 4321m. You can feel the -10ºC. Luckily once the sun appears, the temperature goes up fast.




After go through the Altiplano watching fauna and flora we go to Machuca village a 4200m, and then we go to the valley of Cactus on the way to San Pedro de Atacama.
At the afternoon another tour! I want to make the day worth it. This one with Daniella and we visit the Valle de la muerte, the quebrada de Ckari and the Valley of the Moon before go to watch the sunset at the lookout of the desert and with the Valley of the Moon at our foods. What can I say...fantastic!



When we go back at Atacama, Daniella meets one friend and we go all together to have dinner... I have beef!
I sleep till late and after lunch I go on another tour, this one is to Laguna Cejar, lagoons with water tree times more salty than the ocean and that’s why you float in it! They have 35 meters depth, but you don’t go down... great! And when I go out I have all my skin white of salt. After this we visit the Ojos del Salar, two holes fills up of fresh water in the middle of the dessert. I have a swim to take out the salt of my body. To end this tour we visit the Salar of Tebinquiche, where a part of the salar you have a great perspective of the Andes and the desert. There we watch the sunset with a glass of Pisco Sour.





I have dinner with Daniella and her friend again to say goodbye because I go to Argentina and they are going to Peru.
Yes Yes, Argentina again! I was interested to do a 3 day tour on 4x4 to Bolivia visiting the Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa and the Salar of Uyuni, but I prefer to go to the north of Argentina to visit the Quebrada de Humahuaca and got in to Bolivia from there. The tour I wanted to do it from Bolivia, much cheaper and more natural things to see.
So, next morning I take a bus to Purmamarca crossing the Andes again.

I really enjoyed those days in San Pedro de Atacama, a little bit too many tours, but for me worth it.

Some photos (or fotos.elviatgedelsergi.com )

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Versió catalana
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