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.

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…

Spicing Things Up in Chile

Our adventure crossing the big, bad, desolate Andes ended when we were deposited on the outskirts of San Pedro de Atacama. After deleting Chile from our itinerary due to expense, we were wooed back by this burgeoning yet still rustic town. Situated in the notoriously arid Atacama desert, San Pedro is surrounded in all directions…

Crossing the Top of the World

Our bus from Salta would take us around 15,000 feet, higher than any mountain in the lower 48 states, before we settled back down to the town of San Pedro at a much more reasonable 8,000 feet…. Anne asked the stranger if he would change with her so she could sit by Kieran but the passanger initially refused, however for the good of all on the plane he eventually gave Kieran the Aisle across from his mom…. These large cafes can be found throughout the world, they all have giant plastic tables, a generous number of wait staff and kitchens made for supplying large amounts of food rapidly to all their guests almost simultanously. The lack of oxygen left most of the party with very little appitite and we ate their high altitude food quickly and went out to look at the dry and barren landscape.