A Travellerspoint blog

February 2015

Ginger's Paradise

Beautiful Day!

sunny 80 °F


Another adventure today! Melissa and I decided to head up to Ginger’s Paradise for a day outing. We had gone there 6 months ago, and loved the beauty and yummy organic food, so we thought it would be a nice relaxing day.


We caught a taxi to Samaipata and hopped off about an hour before the city, in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. There is a really cool wooden bridge across the river that you walk on. Chris and his wife Luna, and 4 kids live there and run a type of Bed and Breakfast. They live off the land, for the most part. They have guests from around the world come and stay with them. No flush toilets here. Electricity, but used very little. They own a lot of land and grow tons of food like corn, rice, bananas, avocados, herbs, oranges, squash, and more. The walk to their house takes about 10 minutes with stunning scenery to view. (I suppose in the old days they would be called Hippies)

When we got there Chris was chopping up some cactus to dry for a client. He asked right away if we were interested in having a hallucination with the cactus. We declined. He explained how wonderful it was and how it opens up new insights. Ha!
He took us out to the “garden” to pick things for dinner. We spent an hour walking around seeing and picking dinner. An empty backpack became over 30 pounds of food. I hate ants, by the way! I stepped in another patch…and got bit again. The last time it got all infected, so hopefully this time I’ll be okay.

We came back and helped fix dinner, which consisted of pizza with everything (except for the monzerlla cheese, they do make cheese, but not that kind) from their organic garden, and a big green salad with edible flowers to make it look pretty. A cookie cake for dessert.
They do have running water in the kitchen, along with a wood stove, and ants crawling the walls.

While it was cooking we headed down to the river to swim. The current was pretty strong, but it was refreshing. There were huge beautiful butterflies and we even saw a monkey in the trees.

Back to the house for dinner. And it was yummy. There was also drinks made of fruit, and some guests had brought wine because it was Chris’ birthday. Everyone pitches in to help, and we eat outside. There were 25 coming for dinner that night.

Chris called Samaipata for us and we headed out to wait for the taxi. Perfect timing and just after we crossed the bridge it came for us. We wanted to be home by dark, but didn’t quite make it.

The ride is in a van with 9 people and crazy taxi drivers trying to pass everyone on curvy scary roads with huge trucks, motorcycles, cows, dogs, people. Sometimes we could just not look. Just as we were getting close to our stop something happened to the van and steam started coming out of the front hood. But we made it back to Santa Cruz! We were standing on the side of the road deciding whether to catch another cab home or walk when we looked down and here was this baby laying in a blanket on the ground with no one around. But then we saw the mom a little ways away. She was selling water and snack to the cars driving by. Crazy! Anyone could have picked that baby up and carried it away.

Another adventurous day in Bolivia. Never a dull day! What a beautiful world!

Posted by dianeski4 18:22 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

Extreme Adventure to Uyuni Salt Flats

Salt, driving, volcanoes, primitive living conditions, friends, beauty, llamas, flamingos,

sunny 70 °F

Day 1 Friday February 13, 2015IMG_7275.jpgIMG_7273.jpgIMG_7272.jpgIMG_7271.jpgIMG_7249.jpgD87861F30EC9051863FEE875113CA8B8.jpgIMG_7232.jpgIMG_7227.jpgIMG_7222.jpgIMG_7219.jpgIMG_7214.jpgIMG_7213.jpgIMG_7209.jpgIMG_7208.jpg11011742_1..186393839_n.jpg11000053_1..457368629_n.jpg10991214_1..959383545_n.jpg10986854_1..375097198_n.jpg10968442_1..971381572_n.jpg10491194_1..734985417_n.jpg68F86E7DE45024C28A6D8E275C8C5120.jpg14719_1010..476557384_n.jpg10997786_1..010274163_n.jpg10982466_1..951384684_n.jpg10959825_1..246291473_n.jpg10868129_1..104496831_n.jpg10302517_1..182730430_n.jpg1780903_10..507590042_n.jpg1619114_10..844932927_n.jpgIMG_7366.jpgIMG_7365.jpgIMG_7405.jpgIMG_7258.jpgIMG_7413.jpgIMG_7425.jpgIMG_7424.jpgIMG_7420.jpgIMG_7440.jpgIMG_7439.jpgIMG_7461.jpgIMG_7459.jpgIMG_7457.jpgIMG_7456.jpgIMG_7455.jpgIMG_7454.jpgIMG_7210.jpg

We left the school a couple hours early on Friday so we could catch a flight to Sucre. Melissa Getulio, Cari, Rachel and I were off for an unforgettable adventure, We had arranged a tour in Santa Cruz that cost us about 500$ each. So we met up in Sucre with a tour agency that picked us up at the airport. We were taken downtown and had some time to walk around and get some dinner. It was Carnival time in Bolivia so there was lots of bands and people dancing in the street and throwing water balloons, spraying water guns, and foam everywhere. We spent time dodging it, but then bought some balloons of our own to join in. People were selling them on the street. A bag for a Boliviano.
We were taken to the bus terminal for a 9 pm departure. First and last bus ride for me in Bolivia. It was rough. Luckily a lady was selling blankets and I bought one for about 5 dollars. It saved my life because if was freezing on the bus.
There was a group of guys that wouldn’t stop talking. We thought about saying something, but Getulio said they were on Coke and drinking.
About 2 in the morning the bus stopped and the driver called out Bano. I guess I was expecting a different kind of rest stop, but we got off and we were In the middle of nowhere! Literally nowhere. You just took your toilet paper and squatted on the ground and that was that. Hmmmm.

We got in Uyuni about 4 in the morning and were picked up and taken to a hotel. I was going to have my own room, but when they took me there it had been slept in. The next room had someone sleeping in it. So they kicked the guy out and gave me the room. This was starting out to be crazy.

Day 2. We were up and moving out by 9. Drove out to the train cemetery. We had a 8 passenger 4X4 and a driver. He would put all our stuff on top of the van every morning, and was in charge of feeding us. We also had a woman and her 5 year daughter from Canada that joined us for the duration of the tour. Then headed for the Salt Flats. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salar_de_Uyuni
Over 4,000 square miles. Breathtaking. We spent several hours there and took lots of photos. They only let 5 cars drive across a day and we got to! It took 2 hours to get across. I can’t even describe how beautiful it was.
We drove to a salt hotel for the night. In the middle of nowhere. With llamas wandering around the villiage. The floors were covered with salt. Dinner was served. We had llama for lunch. Can’t remember what we had for dinner. We played some Phase 10 and Uno to pass the time. Not internet. Shared bathrooms. Lightening storm but no rain.

Day 3.
Lots of driving to see Volcan Ollaguee. Lots of lagoons and flamigos. We stopped for a lunch of chicken, veggies and noodles, with apples and a candy bar for dessert. Lots of vicuna’s. A cousin of the llama. We drove for 9 hours on bumpy dirt roads in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. At one point we were only 5 miles from Chile. Very tiring. And except for the flamigos and vicunas it looked like Utah terrain.
We spent the night in literally the middle of nowhere! Said that enough?
Electricity for only 3 hours. 2 bathrooms and no shower for 30 people. We had 7 in a room. Dinner was spaghetti and soup. Getting pretty rough.

Day 4 Tuesday.

Up at 4:45 am….Ugh. Quick breakfast and on the road for 13 hours. We drove to gysers and hot springs. It was really, really cold, but worth it to see the mini Yellowstone. We were able to soak in the natural hot spring with a bunch of other people. That day we saw more lagoons and flamingos, rock formations, more dirt roads, more dirt bumpy roads, bathrooms on the side of the roads, lunch in a very small town. It was a can of tuna fish, some cut up tomatoes and cucumbers, canned corn, and some oranges. Not the best meal of the trip.
The driver told us to head down to the plaza to see the celebration of Carnival. Earlier we had watched the parade go by. One of the leaders put a rope around me and tried to pull me into the group. I danced for a minute and then came out of the group. We walked down to the small plaza and noticed a group of young kids with spray foam, water, and balloons. It felt like they were a pack of wolves and we started to leave. They chased us and we ran back to the car. I was totally covered in foam and water on my back. You would think they would understand that we were foreigners and leave us alone, but they didn’t. It was all in fun, but I gave the driver a piece of my mind. He just laughed.

We spent a little time in Potosi on the way back to Sucre. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potos%C3%AD One of the highest cities in the world by elevation. We had been suffering from some effects from the altitude like headaches and difficulty breathing. Some very interesting history here. Wish we had time to see a bit more. Another bit of time spent dodging water balloons.

We got back to Sucre and said goodbye to our fun tour guide. We were driven to the airport where we had several hours to kill. We played some more Phase 10 sitting in the airport.

Interesting airport. Where we watched people have water balloon fights in the terminal, stray dogs walking around, and kids swimming in the fountain out front.

What a wonderful trip we had. It was really difficult, but unforgettable. If anyone of my family or friends came to visit and wanted me to go on the trip with them I would say no, but it was worth going on once.

Posted by dianeski4 19:23 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

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