Our Monthly Wrap #11: 27 April 2015 – 26 May 2015

Incredibly, with 11 months down, the countdown to a whole year on the road truly begins… and if this (like most other months) one is usual, it will seem to fly by!

This month saw us accelerate a little, at the cost of time in Bolivia & northern Chile.

But we had our reasons…

Running into friends at random, 7 months since our last encounter in Guatemala!

Running into friends at random, 7 months since our last encounter in Guatemala!

Countries Visited:                           3             (Peru, Bolivia, Chile)

With the 1st 3 days our last in Peru, the rest of the month was almost divided evenly between the very different Andean neighbours of Bolivia & Chile.

Essentially an example of the haves, & the have nots…

Cheapest Bed(s):                            Unknown Hostel, Isla del Sol, Bolivia $50.00 Bolivianos ($9.23AU)

Seriously, we don’t even know if it had a name… but it had the most incredible views!

We met a guy on the boat, negotiated a price, and it ultimately proved our cheapest stay in all of Bolivia!

Views to rival the Mediterranean... just not so sure about the white towel table cloth & our red wine!

Views to rival the Mediterranean… just not so confident for the white towel table cloth & our red wine!

Most Expensive Bed(s):                Palafito Waiwen, Castro, Chile $24,000.00 Pesos ($50.46AU)

The flip side saw our most expensive pad for the month, also our most expensive night(s) since we left the US.

It was also however up there as a candidate for the best hostel of our trip!

Highlight:                                          Salar de Uyuni

Normally I reserve copious amounts of salt for the consumption of my hot chips (fries) or on potato crisps.

This place however, this is different.

A vast, seemingly empty expanse. A literal sea of salt, like any true ocean broken by the odd island.

Simply stunning in its raw, possibly deadly (I’d hate to be lost in its midst) beauty.

With images like this, I don't feel I need words...

With images like this, I don’t feel I need words…

Lowlight:                                           Not being able to dive with the Moai off Isla de Pascua (Easter Island)

This month, this was a tough decision.

After all, it’s not every day you get denied the chance to see dinosaur footprints, simply because you aren’t wearing shoes (fear not, we’re not destitute, we just had flip-flops on), despite there being no information advising us of this rule.

However, when after 3 days of trying, the conditions for diving off Easter Island were just too rough, I had to give this the nod.

Diving with a (possibly fake) Moai off Easter Island (Image courtesy of easterislandtraveling.com)

Diving with a (possibly fake) Moai off Easter Island (Image courtesy of easterislandtraveling.com)

Favourite New Food:                     Bolivian Sonso

To be honest, I only think this is the correct name.

But when we were presented with the chance to grab a couple of these (from an old mountain railway station between Sucre & Potosi in Bolivia), curiosity got the better of me.

Deep fried mashed potato, & a dollop of a spicy salsa.

Pretty damn good we thought!

A delicious travel snack!

A delicious travel snack!

Best Beer:                                         Kunstmann Cerveza Miel, Chile

Slim pickings on the beer front this month (Bolivia’s beers were woeful & with the colder weather, we’ve had a lot more wine), so this Honey flavoured number from Chile gets the nod.

Most impressive Church:              Iglesia de Nercon, Nercon, Chile

This month was frustrating, as many of the better churches we visited were either not open, or expected an exorbitant entrance fee before entrance.

Sadly this was another that fell into the closed category, however it was beautiful (you don’t get a UNESCO listing for nothing), just one of 16 such examples on the Chilean island of Chiloé.

One of Chiloe's many UNESCO World Heritage listed churches, the Iglesia de Nercon

One of Chiloe’s many UNESCO World Heritage listed churches, the Iglesia de Nercon

Bucket List Items:                           1             Easter Island

Incredibly enough (it was a complete accident), these 2 colossus statues (Moai) are the exact same 2 that were featured on our ‘Bucket List‘ from oh so long ago (but not for long, as I like to update with our own images as we tick them off)!

It’s damn remote, it’s reasonably expensive, but boy, is it amazing!

Fulfilling childhood dreams...

Fulfilling childhood dreams…

New Bucket List Items:                  1             Dive with the submerged Moai around Easter Island

See this one above…

Highest Elevation:                          4,900m                Uyuni Circuit, Bolivia

Okay, so as far as I know, there’s not really any such place…

However, as part of our 3 day adventure (which began in the Salar de Uyuni), we apparently hit this lofty height somewhere on day 2 (or was it 3) as we bounced our way through the border lands of Bolivia & Chile.

Days in thongs (flip flops):           10

Not a huge month of appearances for our favoured footwear, but given that we spent about 2 & a half weeks at over 2400 metres (as well, winter is fast approaching), not the most horrible of outcomes.

UNESCO Sites:                                 7             (Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa (Redux), Tiwanaku: Spiritual & Political Centre of the Tiwanaku Culture, Historic City of Sucre, City of Potosi, Rapa Nui National Park, Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaiso, Churches of Chiloé)

A couple of these stunning locations have already been featured in other highlights sections this month.

Just illustrates how luck we’ve been!

Number of towns:                         17

Number of beds:                            13

Nights in transit:                             3             (3 buses)

All nights in transit proved to be buses this month, with one proving the longest journey of the trip to date (24 hours from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago)!


  • In Bolivia’s capital, Sucre, we’ve seen the most aggressive beggars of anywhere in the world! Quite prepared to grab passers by on the arm & even yell at them!
  • Peru & Bolivia is in fact not the only place we’ve witnessed it, but we have little time for travellers from other countries trying to sell us their wares/services made to finance their travels. If we want to purchase woven wristbands, postcards or pay to listen to music as we eat, we’d much rather to contribute to the local economy!
  • Bolivia is comfortably in front, with the dubious honour of providing the worst beers of the trip thus far…
  • The abbreviated Bolivian currency can let me pretend I’m back in Australia before we adopted the Australian Dollar… here, I can get a good feed for just a few BOB (that’s right, Bolivian Boliviano’s)
  • We have encountered so many French travellers in Chile, probably about 80% of the non-Spanish accents we have heard have been French!
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6 Responses to Our Monthly Wrap #11: 27 April 2015 – 26 May 2015

  1. thatsbalogna says:

    Good post man, almost makes me wish we were still on the road. Agree that Kunstman was one of the best beers of our trip. I liked the unfiltered one. Pretty sure it is Chilean though, not Peruvian. Keep up the good travels!

  2. David says:

    Well, I’m simply stunned. The Kunstmann Miel topped our list too…of the worst beers in South America! To each his own I guess!

  3. Joella J says:

    Oh it’s that time again when I come along and say “no way have you been travelling for x months..!” but seriously- no way have you been travelling for 11 months already! I am sure these months are going faster and faster! And I only have 2 weeks left of my 2 years in Beijing as well! Anyway, just getting caught up on your adventures- Easter Island! Amazing! Truly the stuff of childhood dreams for sure! Sorry you only got 10 days in flipflops though- I’m happy to report it’s well and truly flip flop weather in Beijing.

    • Chris says:

      I keep thinking the same thing… but I’m not going to argue with the calender! I guess a surefire truth is that the bank balance now reflects that a little more as well… 😉

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