Monday, April 27, 2009
If you have to ask you don´t need to know.
Monday, April 20, 2009
As I may have mentioned to one or two of you camping out in my hammoch in the jungle is one of the things I have been angling for on this trip, and as I am not sure when I might actually get the chance to do that, when I found myself with a bit of time in the high deserts of the Andes I figured it would be a shame to waste the opportunity.
The day before I had scoped out the area that I would be staying in, nicely out of sight of the village, some scrubby type bushes that could be used to make a fire and a stunning view of a volcano to wake up to in the morning. With the evening half planned I set about planning what to do with the daytime before that. Speaking to some of the others that I had met, there was quite a good tour that went up to the mountains, let you float in the salt lagoons, jump in to fresh water pools and then was rounded off with a free pisco sour as you watched sunset. Those of you that I have been wild camping with before will appreciate that last sentance but at the time I merrily assumed that everything would be fine.
It gets dark quickly in this part of the world and for whatever reason the moon rises late. By the time I had packed a few bits and bobs night really was in full swing and I was struggling to see where I was going. I left the main part of the village and trekked through the outskirts, wandering how the hell I was going to find where I had been the day before as I had just walked out over the desert, no paths, when there was a load barking of about three dogs off to my left. Normally I´m fine with dogs but there was something unnerving about not being able to see where they were, if they were rushing in for the kill or behind a fence in someones house. With the word rabies niggling at the back of my mind I decided that descretion was the better part of valour and beat a hasty retreat.
No problem, thinks I, there´s a road going the other way out of the village I´ll go that way instead. Unfortunately I hadn´t checked out that way before, and as I think it is part of a national park with no camping and a gringo with camping gear late at night is a bit suspicious at the best of times tried to head out avoiding the main, only, road. Not quite sure where I ended up but going on the tracks it was a fairly major thoroughfair for all the bikes you could hire. After a bit of star gazing, and to be fair I think that it was the most stars I have ever seen, decided that I was on to a bad thing and ambled back to the hostel.
Maybe I shouldn´t have been such a pussy about the dogs. Maybe I shouldn´t have assumed that people would have stopped me camping and used either the main road or my torch more. However one lesson that I should have already learnt: making camp after dark is always going to be a bitch.
There are some things I really don´t miss about home.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I am currently in Salta, in the north of Argentina, and after a few slowish days at the previous two towns that I stayed in, Cordaba and Jujuy, I decided that I´d book myself on a not inexpensive tour that went via all of the main areas that I wanted to see round here.
- Time: See all sights in one day
- Money: lots (well 60 quid, but that is a lot round here)
- Convenience: picked up from hostel, didn´t need to arrange anything
- Flexibility: Very little, the tour was already 15hrs long, and that was if we sticked to the plan.
In this particular case convenience and time won out for me, getting everything done in a day meant more time to spend elsewhere, however in an ideal world I keep thinking how nice it would be to have infinite time to do these things. There were probably the best part of a dozen times where I thought to myself, or someone else on the tour said out loud, wouldn´t it be great to stop some where for a photo, or I´d spot an ideal campsite for the night. Coming down towards Purmamarca, famous for it seven coloured mountain (see below), there was a beautiful view of the moutain as we came down the road through the valley, ideal to stop off for a few minutes in the serene dusk. 2 minutes after I thought this we turned in to the town itself to be faced with 4 other tour groups and an army of stalls intent on selling us various lama based products. Don´t get me wrong, it was a really good tour and I enjoyed doing it this way, I think I am just playing that old game of the grass always being greener on the other side.
The best way of doing this area if you can, I´m told, is to find three like minded people and hire a car for two or three days. Alas not having 3 people to hand, having left my drivers liscence at home and having an ongoing desire to head up to Bolivia this didn´t really work in my case - will just have to tack it on the bottom of the ever growing list of things I am going to have to do the next time I come back to South America...
Friday, April 10, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Last night was my last night in the sprawling metropolis that is Buenos Aires and myself and a few of the others from the hostel we were in went out to a place called club 69 for a final boogie and a drink. Welcomed in to the club by transvestites in full get up, why not? Girl on movable stage including pole in the middle of the dance floor, sure. In fact why not break up the evening of mostly electro every hour or so with, first, a troup of, really quite good breakdancers, and then some sort of transvestite-ish berlesque-ish show. I´ve been here long enough now for all this to seem kinda normal in a funny sort of way.