So sad leaving La Paz

Arrived into famous Wild Rover hostel at about 8.30am. My room wasn’t ready so I went upstairs for the bread and jam breakfast 😦 I booked into the death Road for the next day and met some English girls and we decided to do the walking tour at 10.
Red cap walking tour was really good and only B20. Good way to see the city ad the markets and get the history. After the tour we went to the very old and outdated coca museum bit itvwas actually kindof interesting.

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Back to the hostel then to check in and eat, food in the hostel bar is really good! Took advantage of the happy hour for an hour then bed early for death Road the next morning!
Death Road was an early start and long day but so so worth it!! I went with Altitude and they were brilliant!! We started off cycling down snow capped mountains and ended up in roasting jungle surroundings. The road was scary and bumpy but that just added to it and we had plenty of breaks to give our arms and hands a break.

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It was an unbelievable experience and one I won’t forget in a hurry!
Back to the hostel after to celebrate.The hostel is great fun and the staff are so nice, such a good place for a solo traveller! Out for Mexican that night, La Paz isn’t great for the local food.

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Next day we went on the cable cars which were really cool and such an easy way to see the city (especially if your hungover!) and they’re dirt cheap!

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Had a stroll around the freaky witches market with all the lama carcasses hanging off the stalls.

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Back to the hostel then for more socialising, be rude not to! 😉
The next day I was very tired and fragile but I still made it to the flea market on the red cable car line. We had a stroll around its basically a big car boot sale.

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Cool to see. Didn’t last too long in the crowds,back to the hostel to pack and rest before my early Bolivia hop bus to Copacabana. Just heard about Bolivia hop feels like I’m cheating a bit but wasn’t expensive so going to see what it’s like. So sad leaving La Paz,made such good friends here was very tempted to work here. Wish I had more time 😦

Easy to settle in Sucre

We arrived to another great hostel from a recommendation late evening in the centre of Sucre. Marcella has excellent Spanish so it’s making me very lazy to practice mine :/ The hostel Kultur Berlin had patch work quilts and strong hot showers and the best breakfast I have ever seen!! It didn’t have a kitchen though, they’re hard to find in Bolivia. Even though Bolivia is very cheap I find eating out and buying snacks etc really adds up. I miss being able to cook and prepare food at the hostel.

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This hostel also had a great happy hour 2 of any drink for B15 which is about a euro! So we had a few red wines to help us sleep! 😉
Up early the next morning for a walking tour. I live doing a walking tour straight away to get my bearings. Guide was a bit minus craic but Sucre has a lot of history and it’s known as the white city because of its white buildings.

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The tour also brought us for the best ‘caldo’ empanadas in Sucre. An empanada with a meaty soup inside. Unreal!!

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After the tour we went to the famous Para-Ti choclotiers for some chocolates and coffee. Dissapointing to be fair :/ We went for a walk to the small park nearby and then found a cheap vegetarian restaurant doing a menu del Dia for B 25, under 3euro for leek soup (Bolivian soups are Amazing!) beans,rice and egg dish and a muffin.
Up early again the next morning to explore the graveyard which sounds a bit weird but was actually so interesting to see.

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Then to the markets to cheer ourselves up. Markets are huge and chaotic. Fruit,jewellery, clothes, toys,meat you name it! Fruit was a quite expensive though and the vendors wernt very friendly.

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Before our night buses we decided to get an authentic Sucre meal so we went to a recommended local restaurant.

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We got mondongo (spicy pork with a creamy corn side) and menduito ( mixed meat corn based stew). People say Bolivian food isn’t great but I like the local dishes. If you like soup and stew this is the place!

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Definitely happy I included Sucre into my plans, good to see the different sides of Bolivia. Next is La Paz…Bring on the madness!

Pretty Potosi

Arriving into Uyuni I was getting a bit worried I wasn’t going to like Bolivia. People aren’t as friendly, its a lot more chaotic and you feel straight away like you stand out as a western gringo. We hopped on a bus as fast as we could out of Uyuni to Potosi. It was a small local bus that stopped every 5 minutes! Took about 5 hours. (Buses are getting blurry now)
Thank God we had booked into a lovely,cosy hostel called Koala Den. Big comfy couches, heaters in the room and a kitchen so I could make a much needed cup of tea when we got there.
I booked into the mining tour for the next morning and got a much needed early night!
After a delicious egg and pancake breakfast we were picked up at 8 for the tour. We got to see the silver workshop, the market, the workers shops,we put on all the gear and chewed on coca leaves to help with the altitude, which we all were definitely feeling when trying to walk up hills.
Going down into the mine was really interesting. It was dark, wet, cramped, dark and the smell of the gases was strong the whole way through.

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Unfortunately because it was Sunday the workers wernt working I would have liked to have experienced that. The tour guide was a former mine worker so he had great stories and information.
After the tour I went for some authentic ‘sopa de mani ‘ with a girl I met on the tour. It was a bit dissapointing but cost about 20cent!

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We went for a walk around and explored Potosi and luckily I was pleasantly surprised. Pretty little plaza, colonial buildings, cobbled streets…Bolivia is growing on me 🙂

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Back to get an 4hour bus to Sucre. Looking forward to seeing more of Bolivia.

4 Days in Uyuni

I spent so long writing this post and then it just disappeared! So I will try and recap but after La Paz my memory is fading!
We set off at 8am in our jeep. Me in the front and 3 French girls and the guide. We did 10hours driving the 1st day through amazing scenery, mountains, lama fields.

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We stopped in a ghost town for a delicious lunch and we eventually arrived at our hostel. It was extremely cold and basic which we had been warned about. We had a huge dinner and lots of tea and biscuits before bed. Thank God I rented a sleeping bag, it was well needed!
The next morning we were up early to start our tour of the lagoons. This day was a lot more stops at beautiful lagoons. Laguna Verde was stunning!

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Our guide told us about each lagoon and every place we stopped so we knew the history of each place. We got to swim in hot springs before lunch and use natural shampoo from the lagoon.

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We finished this day at Lagoon Colorada which is a red lagoon with hundreds of flamingos on it. I loved the flamingos and you see lots on this trip.Back to another basic hostel but this one had a hot stove lighting for a few hours at least. Ofcourse I burnt my only jacket off the stove and I’m still wearing it! #desperatetimes (Sorry Mammy!)

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The third day was another early start. We saw the Dali rock formations, more amazing scenery, lagoons and had lunch right beside more bright pink flamingos.

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After a few boring stops at a mummy museum and old trains we drove ny sunset to our salt hostel, where the walls and floors were made of salt. Again very basic but we were well fed as usual but at this stage we were all feeling the tiredness.
Up the last morning at 5 to make the sunrise on the Saltflats. It was so worth it!! We really needed the pick me up at this stage and we definitely got it. The colours of the sky against the endless white of the salt was out of this world! I’m so lucky to have experienced it.

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We had breakfast at the Base of the Inca hill in the middle of the flats, followed by hours of taking funny pictures on the flats. Our guide was great for ideas!

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After some short stops at The Salt Hotel, markets and train cemetary we were dropped off in dusty Uyuni, tired, cold and in desperate need of a shower!

Tupiza stopover

Arrived into Tupiza after crossing the Bolivian border very easily thank god, as I had heard some serious horror stories. Tupiza is a busy little town witharkets,shops, lots of raw meat and dusty roads.

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Unfortunately the main thing that stick out to me was the immediate feeling of unfriendliness and unwelcomeness to ‘gringos’. First time iv really experienced this.

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I was staying in a guesthouse as accommodation was hard to find so I had my own room which was a welcome change but a little bit weird weird and lonely at the same time.

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The search for an English speaking tour to the salt flats was veruvhard to find and stressful so I decided to take another night to find a tour I’d be happier with. The forced rest day was nice I got to catch up on some skyping and sleep and found a tour I was relatively happy buy suspicious about. Had to buy a coat,hat, gloves and toilet paper which were more expensive than expected and I booked into my tour for 7.30 the next morning 🙂 Wish me luck!

Not sold on Salta

Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed my time in Salta, it just wasn’t what I expected. The buildings and main square are as beautiful as I had been told and expected. What I didn’t expect was how busy and loud it was. It was hard to even get a picture of some of the gorgeous streets because there was constant traffic whizzing past!

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My hostel was really central so I dropped my bags and went for a wander and to enquire about tours to Cafayette. Unfortunately it was siesta so I couldn’t go into any of the buildings and a lot of places were closed, not that it stopped the traffic! I went to the AMM from a recommendation really interesting and then I went on the cable car up to the highest point in Salta.

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It was easily quiet,I even had a cable car to myself that blew aimlessly in the wind! Fab view from the top though and I had a lovely sunny day.

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I decided to walk back down, it’s a nice,easy walk. That night I had decided was going to try locro, a traditional Argentinian pork stew. I also had a tamale, another traditional Argentinian snack.

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Tamale was fairly tasteless but I fell in love with the locro! Red wine went down well with it too….when in Argentina 🙂
Up early for my Cafayette tour the next morning. This was such a highlight of my trip so far. The coloured mountains, Devil’s Throat and dry waterfall we saw on the drive there were out of this world! We all just sat on the bus open mouthed in silence for a good hour on the drive.

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Photos don’t do them justice!

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We then did a wine tour where I discovered Torrentes wine -unreal!! Then onto Cafayette, which really took my breath away. Don’t even know why really I think it’s what I imagined Salta to be. Pretty buildings, nice people, artisan shops and quiet streets!

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Got to to taste the famous torrentes and Malbec ice-cream known in this area. Courses had to get both!

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After a nice power nap on the bus back I was dying to see a pena, Salta is known for them. But just my luck next day was election day so all bars were closing early. Luckily or unlucky for me I ended up going to an authentic Argentinian houseparty complete with live music and endless wine and fernet.
Up in a haze the next morning for a bus to Ticara, on the way to Bolivia.
P.S
I also gave Humitas a go, another Argentinian snack. Crushed corn mixed with cheese. Very tasty! Too tasty!

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Cordoba- Unexpected historical gem

I have to say Cordoba really surprised me. People had told me.it was worth a visit but others had said it wasn’t anything special, so curiousity got the better of me.
Got a 9 hour overnight bus from Mendoza. I made sure I had researched my hostel well this time and I wasn’t disappointed! Few minutes from.the bus station and I arrived to a friendly face offering me breakfast and loading information and suggestions. He offered me a walking tour for the next morning for 8euros which I happily accepted.
I had arranged to meet the English girls to go to the Che Guevara museum in a nearby town and also all the museums in Cordoba are free on a Wednesday so we dropped into a few. The Che museum was well worth the trip,really well done and each room tells a story of a part of his life and the museum is based in his own home house.

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We all really enjoyed it and would definately recommend. Cooked dinner that night and met the girls for a bit of a pub crawl to see what the infamous Cordoba nightlife was like. With lots of recommendations from my hostel we headed for Belgrano Street. Bar after bar was quirkier and cooler than the last. You could definately tell it’s a student city and very ‘hip to the groove’ 🙂 Drinks were very expensive though as delicious as they were!

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Up the next morning for my one on one walking tour with Lele. I can’t compliment it enough, he clearly loves history and Cordoba, it was infectious. The history of Cordoba and Argentina is so interesting and you can see a lot of the evidence of it in Cordoba.

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I spent the afternoon wandering around and went to the park as we got a freak scorcher of a day! I’m not complaining 🙂 Cooked dinner and Lele gave me loads of advice on what to do in Salta and tips on crossing to Bolivia. (Not as easy as I thought:/) Another 12 hour night bus then to Salta. I really don’t mind the night buses they are so comfortable and a free glass of vino isn’t any harm either!

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P.S Tried my 1st alfahor in Cordoba. It’s like 2 biscuits stuck together with dolce de leche in the middle, then covered with chocolate! Bit on the heavy side for me, but supposedly Cordoba has the best.

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Cordoba- Unexpected historical gem

I have to say Cordoba really surprised me. People had told me.it was worth a visit but others had said it wasn’t anything special, so curiousity got the better of me.
Got a 9 hour overnight bus from Mendoza. I made sure I had researched my hostel well this time and I wasn’t disappointed! Few minutes from.the bus station and I arrived to a friendly face offering me breakfast and loading information and suggestions. He offered me a walking tour for the next morning for 8euros which I happily accepted.
I had arranged to meet the English girls to go to the Che Guevara museum in a nearby town and also all the museums in Cordoba are free on a Wednesday so we dropped into a few. The Che museum was well worth the trip,really well done and each room tells a story of a part of his life and the museum is based in his own home house.

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We all really enjoyed it and would definately recommend. Cooked dinner that night and met the girls for a bit of a pub crawl to see what the infamous Cordoba nightlife was like. With lots of recommendations from my hostel we headed for Belgrano Street. Bar after bar was quirkier and cooler than the last. You could definately tell it’s a student city and very ‘hip to the groove’ 🙂 Drinks were very expensive though as delicious as they were!

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Up the next morning for my one on one walking tour with Lele. I can’t compliment it enough, he clearly loves history and Cordoba, it was infectious. The history of Cordoba and Argentina is so interesting and you can see a lot of the evidence of it in Cordoba.

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I spent the afternoon wandering around and went to the park as we got a freak scorcher of a day! I’m not complaining 🙂 Cooked dinner and Lele gave me loads of advice on what to do in Salta and tips on crossing to Bolivia. (Not as easy as I thought:/) Another 12 hour night bus then to Salta. I really don’t mind the night buses they are so comfortable and a free glass of vino isn’t any harm either!

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P.S Tried my 1st alfahor in Cordoba. It’s like 2 biscuits stuck together with dolce de leche in the middle, then covered with chocolate! Bit on the heavy side for me, but supposedly Cordoba has the best.

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Learned a lesson in Mendoza

Arrived in Mendoza off a very luxurious Cama Suite bus. Which meant full bed, free wine, champagne and fed twice, fairly edible food 🙂 Only 10euro more expensive than the downgrade.

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I was so excited for Mendoza, had heard great things and everyone I met seemed to love it there. Maybe my hopes were a bit built up but when I got there I was a bit underwhelmed by a much busier and bigger town than I expected. Nice tree lined streets but wide footpaths, busy roads, expensive shops.
My biggest disappointment here by far was the hostel and unfortunately it effected my whole time in Mendoza. Thank God a few English girls I knew from B.A. were staying with me the 2nd night or I would have lost it altogether. Staff were so uninterested and unhelpful, gave us wrong information so we missed trips and were late for trips, nobody staying in the hostel, so no atmosphere and the breakfast was bread and jam not like what was advertised.

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The only saving grace was that the trips I went on were expensive but really good. The 1st day I just explored and went to the park and met up with an Irish couple I met in Iguazu for a few bottles of cheap, delicious Malbec. (approx 4 euro a bottle in the shops) Can’t beat the wine here!
Following day I went on a sunset horseriding tour in the mountains surrounding Mendoza. It was amazing!
The views were unbelievable. At the end of the horseride you go to the gauchos ranch for wine by a fire and a bbq of lots of meat, grilled veg and salad. It was delicious! We also got to try fernet, the traditional Argentinian drink. Wouldn’t be a fan!

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That was just my first plate!

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The next morning I was picked up early for the winery cycling tour that Mendoza is so famous for. There was about 14 of us on bikes, we visited 3 wineries with lots of tastings and a craft beer pub at the end where we got beer and empanadas.

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We got got a gorgeous day for it and the winery tours were actually really interesting. Definately know my stuff about red wine now! 😉

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Cycling around the winery area of Maipu a bit tipsy and chatting to the group definately makes it a worth while tour.

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Tipsy cycling selfie…probably not the best idea!
After a seriously fun day I was ready to move on, I was tempted to save time and money and go straight to Salta but decided to take the risk and take the overnight bus to Cordoba, curiousity got the better of me!  #FOMO
P.S. My lesson learned was to choose the hostel wisely il need to research them a lot more from now on and not take any chances!

Be ready for B.A!

I’m sitting on the night bus to Mendoza from Buenos Aires and I am willing it to turn around! Really didn’t want to leave, but it’s probably better for my liver and bank account that I do!
I stayed in The Millhouse hostel which has definately been the best so far. Staff are so helpful and friendly, really clean, parties organised everynight, great social atmosphere and central to everything plus hot showers, a major luxury.
I arrived around 2pm and by 2.30 I was already booked into the hostel bbq and free tango lesson. There are 2 Millhouse hostels so parties are alternated between the 2 so you meet so many people. There was a quiz and party after the BBQ,  very proud to say I was on the winning team. Free cocktail and t-shirt 🙂 #proud

The next day a few of us from the hostel made our own way by local bus to La Boca,an old area of B.A. where Tango started. Really cool area full of colourful buildings but quite touristy and definately not somewhere you would go at night.

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Walked around the central area that evening before meeting a couple I had met in Iguazu, for my 1st Argentinian steak experience. They had recommended La Cabresa in San Palermo. 130pesos which is the equivalent of 13euro for a huge steak and copious amount of sides and the red wine was unreal and only 3euros a bottle!

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And yes I ate it all!!! No regrets it was all amazing!! More Millhouse partying after this and went to the famous CLUB 69 for the half hourly drag and burlesque shows. Worth a look!
I spent four nights in B.A. delighted I chose it as my place to settle a bit. Following days I did the San Telmo walking tour run by the hostel. It was so good and interesting. I had no idea there’s so much history around the city.

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I went to the Tango show night also organised by the hostel. Fantastic night and once again great food and wine! It lashed rain one day so we went to the Eva Peron museum,which I really enjoyed. Sante Fe Street, Tortoni cafe, Gallery library. So much to do and see.
Had another recommended steak experience which is 40% off between 7 and 8 in La Cabrera. Everyone raves about it. Was good but a bit underwhelmed.

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This was not mine!! Full T-bone!
Cycling tour today of the North side which includes Ritiro, San Palermo and the famous Ricoleta graveyard. Excellent tour even with a serious

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!Made it even harder to leave for my bus when I got back.
On my Cama suite bus now getting free food,wine and champers! Should help me nod off 🙂

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P.S. Dollars are so worth bringing,after a bit of haggling on Florida Street with the ‘camio’ lads I got 14.5 pessos to the dollar compared to the bank rate of 9!
P.S.S. Make sure you try the helado. They are known for it here. #creamyheaven

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