Titicaca or Bust

We breathed a collective sigh of relief as we crossed the border into Peru, hoping that our final country would offer relief from the problems that had plagued us in Senor Morales’ socialist mountain dominion. For the first few days we lived in idyllic ignorance and soaked up the flavors of Puno, the gritty city…

Escaping Bolivia or Busses, Busses, Busses

Our escape plan consisted of us getting a bus to Chile from Ururu, then getting another to Arica, Chile, hopping on another to Tacna, Peru, then yet another to Arequipa, Peru, then another to Puno, Peru, and finally ending this terrible journey in Cusco, Peru…. We had heard Chile had some of the world’s best buses, this bus was more like a Greyhound from the 50’s that had at one time or another been abandoned in the middle of the desert only to be found again, and put back into service. Fortunately we managed to sleep through the majority of this bus ride and awoke to the sight of the Arica bus station in front of us. From here we attempted to find a ticket to Tacna, which we found a difficult task…. This was one of the oddest border crossings we encountered, it involved being dropped off by a taxi on one side, waiting in a long line and then getting stamped out of Chile, getting back in the taxi and waiting in another line until we got stamped into Peru.

Stuck in Uyuni

After a long, long three days of traveling through the Andes and the Salar, we arrived at a small office that belonged to our tour agency, Estrella del Sur. Everyone else from our tour was planning to go to Potosi and Sucre, but there were no buses going to those places that late in the…

My dirty little secret!

At 16, one of my prize possessions was my dark room. Well, it was really my mom’s laundry room that I commandeered with my trays, canisters and chemicals. I never was very good at taking and creating my own pictures but that never lessened my enjoyment of seeing something I created emerge on a paper.…

Trial by Ice…and Salt

The salt flats of Bolivia are world-renowned and nary a traveler to this part of the world can resist the urge to visit them. Assuming you don’t want to risk certain death by driving yourself through this forbidding terrain, there are two options for doing so: 1) a quick half-day trip from the southern Bolivian…

You’ll Never Believe the Day We Had

I’m interrupting the flow of posts again…we’ve got three in the pipeline about Bolivia and Peru…because I just have to tell you about our day. Last week we fled Bolivia because of strikes, road blockades, and dynamite/rock hucking by angry miners, teachers, students, and anyone else with access to projectiles. Our ultimate destination was Peru,…

Safe and Sound in Peru

After three days of bus travel and one rejuvenative night in the fabulous city of Arequipa (we’re headed back there next week), we finally arrived at the shores of Lake Titicaca in Puno, Peru. We heard that President Morales brought in the army to break the blockades a few days ago, so hopefully travelers in Bolivia are once again moving freely throughout the country. Though Bolivia is not without its charm and natural wonders, the sheer instability of its political system and the ever fragile balance between order and chaos make it a difficult place to visit for those on any kind of schedule.