Salta to Atacama Desert – South America Part 2

Sand-boaring with a view – Valle de la Muerte, Chile.

 

After spending a few days seeing the city of Buenos Aires, it was time to start the adventure of travelling from Buenos Aires to La Paz, Boliva. We decided to travel this part of our trip with a tour and went with G adventures. We met our fantastic group in Buenos Aires and flew straight from there to Salta, Argentina.

Salta was definitely a change of scenery from Buenos Aires. We left the big, wet and cool city to a warm, drier and smaller city. Arriving in Salta we caught the back end of celebrations for their Independence day. What we did see were a lot bbq’s on the side of the road.

In Salta we hiked up to the top of Cerro San Bernardo and enjoyed the beautiful views of Salta city while the sun went down. Horse riding felt like the thing to do while in Salta, so we headed out to a ranch enjoyed our second breakfast for the day. Then it was off riding for the rest of the morning and soaking the rural scenery.  After our horse trek, we were treated to a proper  Argentinian bbq feast. The food and wine was unlimited and amazing! I mentioned in my last post and I’ll say it again, Argentinians know how to do steak.

Later on we went out for round two of steak! Argentinians like to eat late, so by around 9 pm it was time to eat and and embrace the food coma all over again. This time we were treated to a show for entertainment, with singing and traditional dancing.

 

The view of Salta City, from the top of Cerro San Bernardo.

 

After Salta we headed into the Andes to the Atacama Desert in Chile. During the Argentina/ Chilean boarder crossing we experienced altitude of up to 4400m. Thankfully we didn’t stay at this altitude for too long, the old body was not ready for that level of extremeness quite yet.

The Atacama Desert is one of the driest areas in the world, we arrived at San Pedro de Atacama a small town in the desert. It is surrounded with dramatic landscapes that include desert, salt flats, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs.

Wandering around this cute little place and you will notice that it is the tourist go to place. There is plenty to do here and we were lucky enough to fit in a few activities. Sand-boarding in the Death Valley aka Valle de la Muerte, was the first activity we embarked on. We were surrounded by rugged rock formations and plenty of sand dunes. At the top of the sand dunes, we had spectacular views of the valley and of a number of volcanoes in distance.

 

Sand boarding like a pro, Valle de la Muerte, Chile.

 

The sand-boarding was hard work, but a lot of fun. This meant our next stop was to the Termas Puritama aka the Puritama Hot Springs. A fantastic way to ease those sore muscles in a nice hot spring. The hot springs are located at the bottom of a canyon and are all in there natural pool formations. A stream flows down in between the pools, making it a beautiful setting for a relaxing soak. After a lovely relaxing time at the hot springs, it was time for the next activity.

The Atacama Desert is high, dry, unpolluted and has the clearest night skies on Earth. We thought we would make the most of this and go on a Astronomic tour. Viewing the southern skies through the telescope we were able to see the milky way, Jupiter’s Moons, the sombrero galaxy and learn all about the southern skies. It’s amazing how bright the stars are away from all the city lights. The tour was finished off with hot chocolates all round and then it was off to enjoy the night with the usual late night dinner and a few drinks.

After all that fun in the Atacama Desert it was time to move onto our next destination….

BOLIVA!!!

But that’s for another day, I’ll love and leave with a few of my holiday snaps.

 

Lennae xxx

 

Cerro San Bernardo, Salta, Argentina.

 

My lovely tour guide.

 

Horse trek, Salta.

 

Walking down Cerro San Bernardo, Salta.

 

Driving through the Andes up to the Argentina/ Chile border crossing.

 

Paso de Jama, Argentina/ Chile Boarder crossing. Altitude – 4200m.

 

On route to San Pedro de Atacama Desert.

 

Termas Puritama Hot Springs.


Hola Buenos Aires! – South America Part 1

The Obelisk, Buenos Aires.

 

Hola my friends, how are you all? I hope all is well! I have been a little delayed with getting back to my world of blogging, but am now back to catch up and fill you in on all my on goings!

I have loads to catch up on and fill you all in on. The most important thing I want to share with you all now, is my awesome adventure to South America!

As some of you may know travelling to South America has been a goal of my ever since I became unwell with ME/CFS. The fact that I was able to get to this point and visit was huge!!!  I will be writing about my adventure over a few posts, so let’s get started and onto the good stuff……

After a 12 hour flight, from Sydney to Santiago, then a 3 hour delay at the Santiago airport and getting to know it (spoiler alert it’s not that big), then our connecting flight of 2 hours to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We had finally arrived at our Destination! Welcome to BUENOS AIRES BABY!

Feeling very tired, foggy minded and only just managing to keep our eyes open, we jumped into a taxi and headed to our hotel in downtown Buenos Aires. The drive was an experience, but we were yet to learn that was nothing compared to the Bolivian drivers in La Paz.

Luckily, we arrived during the evening, so as soon as we arrived at our hotel it was heads to pillows. Due to travelling through 12 time zones in the opposite direction, our body clocks were all over the place, this lead to a lot of ridiculous early rises over the next few days.

The weather was mostly wet and rainy and it was the middle of Winter. Thankfully we invested in some waterproof windbreakers and made good use of them, by hitting the city and exploring the streets of Buenos Aires.

Some of the attractions and areas we explored were;

The colourful suburb of La Boca, worth a visit to enjoy the atmosphere and markets. If you’re a football fan this is definitely the place for you with this suburb being the home ground to the famous Boca Juniors.

Plaza de Mayo, the government square, usually there are protest’s etc. It appeared we had missed the on going’s, however when we visited, the riot squad were still lingering around.

La Recoleta Cemetery, the famous cemetery where the rich and famous are buried. This cemetery is located in the suburb of Recoleta, it is a lovely suburb to visit and looks a lot like New York city in the movies. The tombstones at the cemetery are out of this world!

Palacio Barolo, it has beautiful views of the city. It has a lighthouse on top of the building that is worth climbing up the tiny staircase and into as the city views are amazing. During this visit we enjoyed a tour of the building and this is where I started to really learn about the Spanish and their inquisition.

Puente de la Mujer Bridge, enjoy a walk along the river set among some lovely restaurants.

Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world. The road has 7 lanes running on each side, whilst also having trams and buses run through the middle.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, the beautiful book shop that once was a theatre. Having lunch at the cafe on stage was a lovely treat, while admiring the beautiful store.

Floralis Generica and the Obelisk are also must see attractions.

One of my favourite things about Buenos Aires was the cafe culture. I don’t usually drink coffee, but I found myself indulging in coffee and enjoying the cafe culture the city bought. I have heard people say Buenos Aires is the Europe of South America and I can now see why.

Buenos Aires, you were a real treat, you were friendly and chilled out, you were patient with us while we struggled with our Spanish! You were the best start for the beginning of our South American adventure. You also introduced us to Dulce de leche aka caramel sauce (which goes on everything),  Maté Tea aka yerba and proved that Argentinians know how to do amazing Steaks.

Until next time, Adiós Buenos Aires and Adiós my friends! I need to get writing about the next part of my South American adventure!

Ps: Here’s a couple of snaps below.

Lennae xxx

 

La Boca.

 

Puente De La Mujer

El Ateneo Grand Splendid.

Plaza de mayo.

View from the top of Palacio Barolo.


South Coast Getaway

Culburra Beach

Culburra Beach

Over the Christmas holiday break, I was fortunate enough to spend some lovely time on the South Coast of NSW, in a small coastal town called Culburra beach. Culburra is located 18 km to the East of Nowra, in the Shoalhaven area or for all you Sydney-siders or those of you that aren’t very familiar with Australia it is 182 km’s south of Sydney.

Fortunately for us we travelled down a few days before Christmas and when we arrived we felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. The beaches were practically deserted, the streets were empty and all you could hear were birds  chirping and the ocean waves gently crashing. The supermarket and cafes were fairly empty, even come Christmas Eve. We left a few days after Christmas and that’s when Culburra started to experience the migration of Sydney-siders invading this secluded piece of paradise.

We shared this beautiful place with some of our family, including my in-laws from New Zealand. It was lovely to share this beautiful part of the world with them. We enjoyed many walks along the beach and in the national parks. We are very spoilt for choice with beaches and national parks to explore.  On one of our walks, the Abrahams Bosom track in Currarong we came across a snake just chilling in the middle of the walking track. Thankfully, a couple of people had just walked past Mr Snake and helped him peacefully make his own way back off the track.

We ventured down to the surrounding coastal towns including Currarong, Orient point and down to Jervis bay. We shopped in Huskisson and the other local shopping hubs including Berry and Nowra. Visited Hyam’s beach which has claimed to have the whitest sand in the world (according to the guinness book of records). It also has another claim to fame for all you Kim Kardashian fans, she did a photo shoot there when she visited Australia a few years ago.

During our stay down the coast we also got to witness the famous Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Binoculars were needed of course and I have to confess we were only able to see one boat, the rest were too far out to sea.

Overall it was a lovely getaway filled with new and happy memories.

Have you been on a getaway currently? I would love to hear about!

I’ll love and leave you with a few happy snaps!

Lennae xxx

Looking over Hyam's beach.

Looking over Hyam’s beach.

Merimbula wreck, Currarong.

Merimbula wreck, Currarong.

Honeysuckle beach, Currarong.

Honeysuckle beach, Currarong.

 

Fam Bam!

Fam Bam!

Snow enjoying Culburra Beach.

Snow enjoying Culburra Beach.