I have loved sharing my weekly blog posts about my backpacking adventure around South America. It was truly an incredible trip with so many amazing experiences.
However, I tried to keep the best until last; here I have collated all the funny, terrifying and absolutely bonkers moments during the 3 weeks.
C H I L E
Sandstorm in San Pedro de Atacama: Having to go against the sandstorm to make it back to our accommodation. It didn’t matter the sunglasses, the neckerchief around my entire face, my hat and all the layers, I was absolutely covered in sand! Make-up wipes came to the rescue to remove the sand from inside ears and nostrils! Yuck! Definitely not cut out for desert life.
C H I L E – B O L I V I A B O R D E R
One guy came in on a passport that needed to pay a 150$ visa. He did not have 150$ on him and the closest ATM was all the way back in San Pedro. Solution? Haggling. 50$, some Bolivianos and a frozen chicken (donated by a driver)….he got through!
S U C R E , B O L I V I A
We arrived by bus to ‘Bolivia’s beautiful capital.’ We haggled for a 50p shared taxi-ride to our hotel. We got in, it all looked okay, our companions were two Swiss guys who had quit their jobs that they hated to travel the world – they were teachers (ha…ha…ha…wah). Then, we discovered that the driver’s dashboard was not on the side of the steering wheel…aND it didn’t even work. The driver was just driving blindly not knowing how fast he was going. We survived though! #bargain
In the Plaza de Armas, I loved the little, 8 year old entrepreneur who was trying very hard to get our custom with his shoe-shining business. He told me that my trainers were filthy and I should be ashamed of walking in them. Well we had just left the desert so, he wasn’t wrong. But his leather shoe-shine kit wasn’t going to help me much!
C U S C O , P E R U
We spent our final day in Cusco buying everything in the amazing markets – which I absolutely adore by the way. Somehow we both ended up buying massive floor rugs and managed to actually get them to fit in our already full-to-the-brim backpacks #skills
L I M A , P E R U
Walking along the coastal path in Miraflores, a group of screaming teenage girls ran after us. They thought J. was Ed Sheeran because of his red hair. They begged for photos, even after me explaining that this was NOT Ed Sheeran. There was a full on fashion shoot going on before I dragged him away. I was so tempted to ask for 5 soles for the photos, like how the ladies with the llamas do when tourists take photos of them in Cusco…
And the best of all…
Rocking up to the business-class check-in desk (#freeupgrade) to fly back to London in our scruffy backpacks and equally scruffy outfits, while everyone else was queuing looking at us like ???How are they in business class??? Even we didn’t know, but it was the best flight ever. I slept a solid eight hours!
So that’s it for my second trip to South America. It is an incredible continent to travel around and I cannot recommend it highly enough. You can spend weeks, months, years and only scratch the surface. I cannot wait to return hopefully in the not-so-distant future to explore destinations like Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Ecuador. After all, it’s all good Spanish and Portuguese-speaking practice too!
What’s your favourite place/where do you want to go most in South America? Let me know in the comments!