South America: the useless blogger catch up post.

So last time we talked, we were in Chile, having the most amazing time in Santiago, and since then I’ve been invisible. Sorry! In a non-stop series of moves we’ve been rocketing around, and two countries later I need to catch you up on everything which we’ve done.

After you are caught up, I’ve made a mid-lent new year resolution to post at least one post every two days, and with some good internet + down time in Arequipa this is the perfect chance.

Here begins the picture-spolsion, an internet favourite, the listicle!

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1: Just look at this pile of sauce sludge, meat, and bread. At Fuente Alemana in Santiago I was lucky enough to eat what is easily the best sandwich I have ever had. If you are there, my only advice is to go. Packed with locals, you will leave satisfied. Guaranteed. Unless you’re vergetarian…

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2: Just look at the colourful streets of Valparaiso. Once Chile’s main link to the outside world, Valpo now swarms with hipsters, hippies and artists alike who have painted the town red, along with just about every other shade Dulux can create.

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3: Valpo’s most famous piece of street art.

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4: Things are getting Andean here in La Serena. Famous for it’s fantastic observatories, it’s closeness to Pisco Elqui (home to distilling in Chile), and its long beach, La Serena is somewhere I have to recommend. If you are looking for a damn good hostel, drop a comment and I’ll look it up for you.

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5. There’s the pisco! Vineyards are catnip for travellers, for some reason. Maturing away on the vines are some of the sweetest grapes I’ve ever tasted, which one day will go on to form a drink I still don’t adore. It was still a cracking experience. Don’t do it in a tour, take the mini bus from La Serena for a quick and cheap way to get there.

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6: New friends! Meet Norbert. As we wandered the back roads of San Pedro de Atacama, a lonely silhouette stalked our every move. Panting like it was school cross-country day, our faithful companion followed us as we forded a river, climbed an ancient fortress, and was rewarded with ride back into town and a big drink of water. Never a truer friend. If you happen to see the world’s friendliest dog in San Pedro give him a biscuit from us. We miss you Norbert.

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7: The aforementioned climb lead to this. I’ll let the picture paint the words.

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8: A suspicious amount of salt, its almost like we were getting close to…DSC01622

9: Uyuni, and the magnificent Salar there. The world’s largest salt flat ranks alongside Machu Picchu as the MUST DO top two of South America. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I don’t think I’ll be anywhere quite as singular again.

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10: This is what looking across 12,000 square kilometres of salt looks like. Tasted the water, and I can assure you it’s verrrrrry salty.

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11: Finally, we made it to La Paz. Bolivia’s capital is singular in South America for having very little western influence. La Paz feels like it hasn’t changed in 50 years, and walking around a corner can pitch you into seeing ancient rituals to Pachamama which haven’t changed for 1000 years. Go, and let La Paz take your breath away.

That’s part one! I will write part two tomorrow, because it’s been a lot of fun working through these memories up to this stage.

Are you in Peru at the minute? Have a minute to give me any recommendations you’ve picked up along the way?

See you on the road.

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