Valparaíso: the city of street art
It’s the 16th of December. I’ve just spent two straight days on a bus, listening to almost all of Dracula, unabridged. If I leave now and catch a flight from Santiago to Brazil I could be on my original flight and back in London tomorrow. We’ve just arrived at our hostel in Valparaíso, the city by the sea. The flight’s still cheap on Skyscanner....Comments 0
San Pedro de Atacama: exploits in the Chilean desert
Another long bus journey takes me to my next destination in Chile. I’ve vowed not to take another night bus on this trip if I can help it, after some of the more horrific journeys of Bolivia. So I idle the day looking out on to the passing barren landscape in a mild stupor, audiobook in my ears. I’m interrupted only when we cross...
Iquique: a Chilean writing retreat
It is a sad and bewildering bus journey that takes me away from Bolivia and on to the Chilean coast. I say an early morning goodbye to Adam who flies home that day and board my 5.30am bus bound for Arica – a surfing town in the north of Chile. Exhausted and rather deflated by Adam’s departure I sleep my way through most of...
Coroico and the world’s most dangerous road
The world’s most dangerous road, Camino de las Yungas or ‘Death Road’ as it’s affectionately nicknamed, is a big attraction for backpackers travelling through La Paz. Bolivia’s known for its perilous roads and high number of car accidents, and this particular route, connecting the city to sleepy village Coroico, around three hours away, was deemed so dangerous they were moved to build a new...
Locked in Loki: My first week in La Paz
It’s the bus journey where I start to feel it. I always know I’m in a bad state when I reach for my iPod and one of my greatest comforts: Stephen Fry reading me one of the Harry Potter series. It’s usually a later one, although the first couple sometimes still get an airing. This time I chose Half-Blood Prince. It’s similar to the few...
Into Bolivia: Lake Titicaca and Isla del Sol
Those last few days in Cusco passed quickly in the blur of trekking recovery, spent walking in the pleasant sunshine of its streets and squares, playing cards in its restaurants and deciphering a wide selection of Spanish-dubbed films for my mum from the wide screen in our hotel room. This was also the week I decided to make big on my plan to extend...
Salkantay: Trekking to Machu Picchu
Trekking is one of those bittersweet activities I spend almost as much time dreading as I do enjoying. That small but persistent part of myself that would prefer to spend most days with my duvet over my face, half-listening to some Netflix series, questions why I’d put myself through such a thing. The sheer effort of it, imagining it, exhausts me. But coming to...
Chicuchas Wasi: Fighting for Girls’ Education in Peru
My final Global Giving project, and what’s brought me to the bustling high altitude town of Cusco for so long is a girls’ primary school nearby. Chicuchas Wasi was started by Rae Lewis, who I had the pleasure to touch base with first in California. She told me the story of how the school began when she was travelling in Peru. Moved by what...
Hostel Hopping in Cusco
I have a habit in this blog of dwelling particularly on the many and gruelling journeys between my destinations; the hours in airports sleeping on my rucksack and the long transport delays you come to expect from Latin America. Perhaps this is because these challenging experiences place me into a heightened and particularly perceptive state where all that passes is memorable and eminently reportable....
Taxi rides in Bogota: a brief stop in Colombia’s capital
I say farewell to the US with another long bus journey back to LA and one more rather jaded day in suspense of my onward flight and what awaits me in Colombia. My third couchsurfing host takes me to an open mic night straight after I arrive in the city, where I originally planned to perform some poetry, but I’m a little relieved that...