My Journeys

South America, 2019

My recent trip to five South American countries. Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Two places I also visited were the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island. The journey started in London. My first flight, 11 in total, was to Madrid. 2h transfer and I was on the airplane to Quito, Ecuador. All in one day due to time zone. Overall, In five weeks I visited five countries, had 11 flights, 9 bus rides, of which 5 were overnight ones, and 8 boat rides. Again, there was a reason I picked those particular countries, as I admit South America offers so many wonderful places one would need 5 months, not weeks to explore half it. The main focus was on the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island. Mainland drew my attention with places like Machu Picchu near Cusco, Peru, Equadorian Line near Quito, Ecuador, Lake Titicaca bordering Peru and Bolivia. Bolivia…yes, I confess, it was my favourite country out of five I had visited. Total adventure meeting wonderful people, visiting off beaten spots and more spontaneous and relaxed atmosphere. Regions such as Valegrande, La Higuera, Sucre may not have offered too many tourist attractions but if you into Latin history it could be really exciting walk into the museum/laundry where the body of Che Guevara was laid to display for International media in October 1967, or staying overnight in Casa del Telegrsfista, the Intelligence Exchange Hideout of Che, turned into a privately owned Lodge. One might share the political affiliations but after having read Che books and watched documentaries, here I was, on-site and spoke to locals who actually witness Che’s capture. Once in Bolivia, I headed to Uyuni…like most travellers, to see the famous Salt Lake. Chile and Santiago was my main interest and of course, Easter Island. Again, we all heard and read about the mistic big monuments and probably watched the movie Rapa Nui.

ECUADOR

Quito – Mitad del Mundo

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Ecuadorian Line, geographically exciting spot on Earth.  The place is a big tourist attraction with lots of venues selling trinkets and food. Everyone would love to stride on both sides on the S and N hemisphere, including me.

Quito – Teleferico

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That’s me imitating, well me in my teens, I guess. I had this picture in my mind and almost elbow my way to the swing and asked a tourist to shoot.

Quito – Virgin Mary Statue

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It is quite impressive, not only the size but to actually walk up the hill in order to climb other stairs to the Virgin’s feet. There are of course tour rides taking tourists up to the entrance from the city centre but since I already walked all the way from my hostel, 7km, I may as well cover additional 1km, right?

GALAPAGOS

San Cristobal

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Seals Island, I would say.

Santa Cruz

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A little iguanas congregation.

Isabela

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Encounter of Tortoise Kind

PERU

Lima

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Town Square in Lima with local selling snacks in one hand and carrying a smartphone in the other.

Cusco

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Chilling out with my KFC take away in City Square.

Ollantaytambo

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One of the hills I climbed nearby, starting from  the ruins

Aguas Calientes

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That was super cool. This dance demonstration involved locals who were all Spanish, except for some tourists like me who returned from Machu Picchu Site. What made her think I was the talented guy, at some point one of the female dancers asked me to join…and I did. So there was like six guys being asked and one Westerner.

Here is some Peruvian dance way of men making advances to women.

Machu Picchu

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Wonderful architectural and engineering marvel, stunning views and…crowds of tourists. I visited it purely for its name, Machu Picchu. Nothing else.

Puno

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Floating Islands and its tribal way of life and doing business.

BOLIVIA

Copacabana – Isla del Sol

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One hour boat ride to walk across this beautiful island which sits at around 4000m

La Paz

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La Paz is not only the highest altitude capital of the world, but it is also truly distinctive. My interest was directed at this building, a city=type prison with its own community inside.

Vallegrande – Ruta del Che

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Laundry where Che Guvera’s body was put on display 52 years ago.

La Higuera – Town

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This peaceful and quiet village has been turned into a living shire.

La Higuera – Capture Site of Che Guevara

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Deep in the forest lies this historic valley. The last stand of opposition before CIA and Bolivian Army wounded and captured Che Guevara before escorting him to La Higuera for execution.

La Higuera – Senior Florencio Aquilares

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Senior Florencio witnessed it all. He spoke about it to my Spanish fella and showed a small gun he once protected his family with.

La Higuera – Casa del Telegrafista

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Newly refurbished this little accommodation gem once served different purposes.

Uyuni -Town

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Colourful Architecture and dusted roads make Uyuni even more special.

Uyuni – Salt Lake

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The front of any tour to the Lake. Photo spot and further down the Saltie Restaurant.

CHILE

Antofagasta

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Military Base. One of the many in this region.

Santiago

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A nice viewing point in Santiago with this rock having Charles Darwin quote inscribed.

Easter Island

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The grass was green, the Moais were grey.

Easter Island

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Local guide and some kind of security guy. He discouraged me from wanting to circumnavigate the crater. I humbly obliged and make another friend.

ARGENTINA

The route via the Andes

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Zig Zag route to theArgenitinaiborder. Truly picturesque area.

Buenos Aires

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Nothing unusual on Buenos Aires streets.

 

 

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