Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hike from the lodge

We hiked from the lodge over to a nearby lake. We were at a pretty high altitude where the sun can burn you VERY easily - hence my silly looking get up.

Nasty looking horsefly.

View down the glacier carved valley.

It really cooled off about half way through our hike, and conveniently there was a little local Peruvian woman selling nice, warm hats. We all bought some.

Rowing our way along the lake.

On the way back, we took a detour and walked through a water tunnel.

It was VERY cold, but awesome!

Sunset over the Llanganuca Lodge.

Llanganuca Lodge

After Machu Picchu, I headed north and met back up with Sophie at her friends lodge up in the mountains outside of Yungay. These are views from the drive up...

This is the lodge - just beautiful!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was a long time coming for me. I spent about 3 weeks in Cusco previously but it was closed that entire time because of mud slides that occured in the rainy season. I was able to pass back through Cusco after leaving Bolivia so that I could finally see the famous site. It was well worth it!

Right up there in the clouds!

I climbed up Waynapicchu, the tallest hill nearby Machu Picchu. It was quite a climb but from the top I got some amazing views of the ruins.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Last day in the jungle

Our last day started with a ride over to a pretty view of the sunrise.

After breakfast we had a nice visit from an alligator at our lodge!

My guide got this super close-up pic for me. The thing almost doesn't even look real here, but I promise it was!

A bird chilling out on our boats.

A dophin! There were tons of dolphins swimming in the river, the only problem was trying to catch a photo of them in the split second when they came up out of the water. Sophie managed to get this one. This must be a younger dolphin because it's still grey - the older ones were PINK!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Piranha Fishing

We went fishing for piranhas, but our guide seemed to be the only one who could catch any, and they were all TINY!

Still had sharp teeth though.

Search for Anacondas

On our second day we set out in the morning to go search for anacondas. Why anyone would WANT to do this, I'm not sure, but we did it anyway.

.......and we found one! Just a baby though.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jungle Wildlife

We got into the jungle and took a boat ride to our "lodge." We passed all kinds of wildlife along the way...


This was some strange animal and only info we got on it is that it's the largest relative in existance to a RAT. Ew. Not sure if you can tell by this pic, but this thing was big (around the size of a pig)!

Tons of alligators/caymans/whatever they were (I never could tell the difference).

Some pretty faced bird that I liked to say was a mixture of a peacock and a turkey.

Welcome to the jungle

We hadn't even made it into the jungle yet, and we were already surrounded by wildlife. Once in Rurrenabaque (the closest town to the jungle), we took a jeep ride three hours to the river. We stopped for lunch and were met by monkeys and some pig-like creature right there at our table in the restaurant!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The bus ride of all bus rides

Next on the agenda was a visit to the pampas in the Bolivian jungle. The only problem was surviving the bus ride there: 20 long hours of a bumpy, dusty, dirt road along the edge of a mountain with a 5,000 meter drop constantly to our left. The road was so narrow that if another bus or truck came by, we usually had to stop and wait or reverse along the edge of the cliff until we got to a wider spot where the other vehicle could pass. I was also surrounded by an average of 6 screaming Bolivian children, one of whom we got to witness standing on his mother's lap and peeing into a plastic bag. Needless to say, when this trip was over we flew back to La Paz.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cholita's Wrestling

Every Sunday night La Paz hosts Cholita's Wresting, a very interesting phenomenon consisting of women in traditional Bolivian dress wrestling each other. It was quite a site. Not something that I feel the need to see twice, but definitely worth the trip.

This team consisted of two women and a midget. Ha.

Sophie and I borrowing some wrestling masks to look our best.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Shopping in La Paz

Back in La Paz for the second time, I decided to do quite a bit of shopping (with it being so cheap and all...). Here I am looking at some jewelry on the street and along wandered up a little kid who liked to pose for photos!

This is in the infamous witches market which, among other things, you can find llama fetuses! These are supposed to bring good luck.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Viewpoint over Sucre

Sucre was a surprisingly clean, modern, and relaxing town in central Bolivia. I stayed there for several days just to rest up and take a break from the road. It was one of my favorite cities so far!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Potosí mines

In Potosí you can take a tour of the mines where people still work. I got to wear this super cool outfit and we actually saw some miners down there working.

Me holding some burning dynamite!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Interesting toilet

I have seen about a million toilets worth taking pictures of down here, but I think this one takes the cake. Labeled for your convenience. I just had to share.

Sunrise swim in a hot spring

On the final day of my salt flats tour, we had a nice 4am wake up to see the geysers (no photos here because they didn't turn out well since it was dark) and then take a swim in a hot spring. It was nearly freezing outside but I managed to get into my bathing suit quick enough and run into this hot water!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pink Flamingoes & Lagoons

The highlight of the second day of the salt flat tour was seeing tons of pink flamingoes chilling out in the lagoons.

View of our not always trusty jeeps from up on a hill.