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…

Machu Picchu Accomplished

Fortunately we booked our Machu Picchu tickets for the weekend, during which the strikers took a brief reprieve from their mayhem-making. (Our visit was amazing and we’ll document it in full within the next week.) We exited our train in Ollantaytambo this morning only to be greeted by a small legion of riot police. Apparently…

We are just about there….

This is just a quick realtime update. We are minutes away from Machu Picchu. We passed piles of rocks and broken glass on the road but arrived problem free. We still might get stuck here, but I can think of worse places to be stuck.

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.…

This Is Madness, South America — Will We Make It Home?

Peru is exploding in civil unrest and we’re smack dab in the middle of it. The protestors we passed in Juliaca laid siege to the airport and set cars and trucks on fire. Arequipa, the perfect little town I wanted to get back to, is completely blockaded. People have been stranded in the bus station…

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…