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Peru and Bolivia Part2

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Its been 2 weeks since our last blog, so loads to cover :)

After Machu Picchu we travelled to Nasca to see the Nasca lines in the desert. We boarded a small plane to view the lines from the air. They are pretty impressive and a mystery why anyone would draw huge pictures in the sand which are up to 30 ft in height and which people can only truly appreciate from the air. Most people believe that the lines were drawn by the Nasca people in water worshipping rituals as it only rains in Nasca for 31 minutes each year.

From Nasca we travelled back to Arequipa as we wanted to go white water rafting in Rio Chilli. The company provided us with wetsuits and outer wet gear, which was definitely needed as the water was freezing. The river was mostly level II and III rapids, with 2 level IV rapids to keep us on our toes. Despite the frost bitten feet it was a very enjoyable afternoon !

As we travelled back into Bolivia we got hit with some bad luck regarding buses/trains, over a space of 4 days, 2 buses were delayed by 4 hours (one of which was clamped in the bus station !)  and 1 train didn`t run. When i was moaning about this to Daddy, all i got was "well you cant expect very week to be good" sympathy huh !

We finally arrived into Uyuni where we planned on booking a 3 day trip into Salar de Uyuni. Uyuni is the coldest place I`ve ever been. Our first night there i wore 3 tops to bed, as well as tights, hat and gloves, all inside my sleeping bag and with 4 blankets on top of me and it was still cold !

We finally set off on our 3 day trip into Salar de Uyuni on Friday last. The Salar is the world`s largest salt flat. 30,000 years ago there was a salt-lake in Salar, and when it dried up it left the salt deserts. The first day took us through the salt flats themselves, they are blindingly white and stretch for as far as the eye can see. This is the point where all the tourists take their perspective-skewed photos, you`ll know what i mean when you see the photos attached. Right in the middle of the salt flats is a coral reef island called Isla Pescado, which would have been once under water. The island is now home to thousands of cacti, one of which was 1,200 years old !

Day 2 was just as amazing, instead of blinding white salt, we saw pink mountains with white snow caps and blue lagoons with pink flamingos at 4,000m (12,000 ft). We also spotted a volcano which was blowing smoke into the clear blue sky as we wandered over rocks caked with hardened lava. Towards the end of the day, we drove through desert, with nothing to see for miles but sand and mountains.

Day 3 had us up at 5am to see the sun rising over the geysers. It was so cold we jumped out of the jeep for a photo and promptly jumped back in again. Then it was onto breakfast by the hot springs where the brave stripped off and jumped into the 30 C thermal springs that run into the lagoon. The 3 day trip was rounded off with Laguna Verde a blue/green lagoon which changes colour depending on the time of the day. The setting of this lagoon is spectacular. The blue/green of the water contrasts with the pink volcano behind it. Our 3 day trip brought us through salt flats, volcano valleys, desert and lagoons. Definitely a must-see for anyone travelling to Bolivia.

I am glad to report that we are now back to warmer climates and have descended to an altitude of 2,400m. Our next blog will come all the way from Argentina

Bye for now
Mel and Laura


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Peru and Bolivia Part 2

Nasca, Arequipa, Uyuni, Peru,Bolivia