October 2015 - February 2016
  • Day127

    Casablanca

    February 16, 2016 in Morocco ⋅ 🌬 14 °C

    19 hours stop over between Brazil and England. Unfortunately we didn't see anything from Morocco but at least managed to find out that the hotel is provided by the airline in case of an over 8 hours stop over, so got some free lunch and breakfast and been in another continent :)

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  • Day126

    Sao Paulo

    February 15, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    A brief visit to Brazil was interesting as even if Sao Paulo is massive (21 million people) we managed to visit some different areas. Our first story/impression: got on a crowded bus from the airport to the centre, after a while there was a loud crack like the sound of a stone hitting the windscreen, then another. The driver started to slow down but then all the locals on the bus started shouting. We were very confused until a couple of guys explained to us what was happening.

    "People are throwing stones to try to make the bus stop so they can rob us"
    "But don't worry we won't stop and this kind of thing doesn't usually happen."
    "Welcome to Brazil!"

    The first day was about being so hot for the last time in South America and attempted and failed to find the Japanese market, still had a nice day and went to the food market and some other areas.
    After 3 months in Spanish speaking countries we couldn't stop saying 'gracias' for everything and discovered how big the difference is between Spanish and Portuguese, mostly we had just no clue what was going on.
    On our last day in South America the weather decided to prepare us for England, didn't stop raining, also ironic that due to the rain there was no electricity just like at the really beginning of our trip in our first hostel in Colombia. Anyway, had a nice burger in a completely dark jazz club and talked through the last 3 months :)
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  • Day123

    Valparaíso

    February 12, 2016 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Valparaíso is famous for its colourful houses, steep hills and many funinculars going up and down and all over the place.
    We arrived here at the second attempt, having overslept the previous morning. It almost happened again after a few too many Piscolas (pisco and coke) the night before, but we managed to drag ourselves onto a bus.
    It is a port city in a bay full of huge container ships and some Chilean navy boats almost as big.
    Seeing the queues for the first funincular we came across, we opted to walk up the hill. It was tough going, especially with our hangovers, but worthwhile to see all the funny little houses and a great view of the port from the top.
    Back down the hill again and we had a wander around the centre and went tweezers shopping, don't ask. (I can explain why! Tom lost my whole toiletry bag a couple of days before :p - Vera) We also met a couple of student types whose job seemed to be to help lost looking tourists with hangovers, ideal! They directed us to 'the world's oldest funincular', not sure about that but it was certainly terrifying. At the top of that one we found more great views, lots of street art, lots of postcard sellers and Beethoven Street, complete with piano staircase.
    After a spot of tea we hopped back on the bus to Santiago.

    Unfortunately our fuzzy morning heads had meant we had managed to bring the camera without its memory card, rationing us to only a dozen or so photos for one of South America's most photogenic cities, bugger. It also means those few photos are stuck on the camera until such time as we can find a cable to fit it. Watch this space.
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  • Day121

    Los Dominicos

    February 10, 2016 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Our hosts joined us for the day and we headed off to Los Dominicos. It's called 'pueblito', little town, and still seems a bit that way despite being absorbed by the edge of Santiago's sprawl. There are some beautiful old buildings and dozens of little shops selling all kinds of strange things perfect for souvenir hunters.
    We bought a few little things including some Chilean paprika type stuff which we later mixed with salt and coated the rims of our beer glasses with, as per Cami's instructions. She assured us that it is typically Chilean, called Michelada, it's certainly strange to have spicy beer but not completely terrible!
    Another local speciality is Mote con Huesillos, which we tried later at the city's biggest park. This one really is weird, some kind of juicy stuff with a dried apricot floating around in it and a layer of wheat at the bottom which you eat with a spoon, an interesting experience.
    In the park is funincular which we (very bravely) took up the hill. It is very long and steep but the views over the city are amazing. At the top we found a huge Virgin Mary statue and lots of concrete crosses painted in bright colours.
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  • Day120

    Santiago

    February 9, 2016 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Got back to Chile to our friends Cami and Cristian from couchsurfing, we stayed with them the following 3 days. Santiago is the most European style city we've visited in South America, the cars stop at the zebra and there are actual bus stops instead of just waving them off! It also has a really nice atmosphere, lots of green spaces and areas with lots of outdoor bars. Visited the centre, the Palace, some touristy shopping streets with restaurants, the arts and crafts market and a park which was on the top of a little hill. On the top there was a church and a viewpoint with lots of interesting plants and rocks, it was cool! At the end of our long day we had homemade traditional food and some friends of our friends were waiting for us.Read more

  • Day118

    Las Heras

    February 7, 2016 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Decided to go for one of the activities offered by the hostel, "sunset horse back riding". Got in a van around 4 to get out from the city. Las Heras is approx. 30 mins out of Mendoza with a lovely little family run farm. After some refreshments was time to get on the horses. Tom was so scared but as the horse leader guy didn't notice it he got the biggest horse (which was also constantly pooing.) Finally we left for our 12 km horse riding, surrounded by mountains, fields and cactuses. By the end we were in so much pain in the legs and bottom that we were happy to get off although it wasn't as scary or difficult as we thought. A fantastic BBQ was also part of the package, with loads of real Argentinian beef, all you can eat and drink, so we left with massive bellys and a bit tipsy after all the wine.Read more

  • Day117

    Mendoza

    February 6, 2016 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Argentina is our 6th country to visit in South America, unfortunately just for a really short time as we need to get back to Chile to catch our flight. Mendoza is a great city with a nice atmosphere. Shops and restaurants all around, big parks and trees by the pavement which makes is greener than other cities which we've visited. The closest park to us turns to be a market in the evenings with traditional stuff, mostly mate cups. Also visited the local central market for food. The hostel is cool, great breakfast (pancakes!) and free vino in the evenings.Read more

  • Day113

    La Serena

    February 2, 2016 in Chile ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Managed to get to La Serena after our bus problem. It is a nice, laid back little city close to the beach. By this time we were a bit exhausted of buses so we decided to just chill out here for 3 days, doing no too much. We had a really nice hostel so it was easy to be lazy. We spent some time wandering around in the city and going to the beach. There were lots of Chilean tourists in town too and plenty happening in the main square. There was a craft market with lots of hand made stuff, chocolates and juices, some concerts and outdoor theatres, and a clown who managed to get a whole crowd of Chilean children laughing at Tom's bald head.
    On the 4th day we got on a bus to go to Valparaíso to catch our bus from there to Mendoza after a night. Crossing the border took ages but the sceneries were amazing, had to cross the Andes for Argentina.
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  • Day109

    San Pedro de Atacama

    January 29, 2016 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

    Crossed the border and got to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. Lovely little touristy town but so overpriced. Lots of tours are advertised but after seeing so much decided not go for any of them as they were pretty similar to the one which we've just done. So we were just relaxing, window shopping in the craft markets, trying not to get too sunburnt and bought our bus tickets for our next stop.
    And here it comes our first problem of the tour with a bus. Thought we bought direct tickets to La Sarena, well, no! We were suppose to change but no one told us where so we stayed on the bus and went to the main terminal, there they told us go back to the small one quickly by taxi. We did but the bus was gone so we got stuck in whatever the name of this city for a night. Today we tried to reclaim our money but they refused it. So annoying!
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  • Day108

    Sol de Mañana

    January 28, 2016 in Bolivia ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

    Woke up at 4 am for the last adventurous day of the tour. It was still semi dark when we arrived to the geysers, absolutely surreal, never seen something like this before but left quickly to get to the thermal pool before all the other cars. The temperature of the water was just fantastic after being soo cold in the morning. The pool was small but got there first so it was just for 6 of us at the beginning. Later we stopped at Salvador Dali desert, apparently he was inspired there and painted it so its named after him. The last stops were Laguna Verde (green) and Laguna Blanca (white), the green lagoon is not green at this time of the year so it was a bit disappointing but took some great pictures at the white one with great reflection on the water. Got to the border by 9-10 where we changed bus for Chile.Read more