Cold Town

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“Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.”
Mark Twain

My lower intestine would beg to differ.

Shortly after arriving in Potosi, the highest altitude city of its size in the world, I began to notice the problem with eating the ridiculously cheap market food and salads, washed in local water. Unfortunately though, I cannot particularly blame the food or water as I’ve also had a raging fever for the past 24 hours and a belligerent head cold to match.

I must say, although I like to visit different places and different cultures, freezing my ears off on top of a mountain is not really my cup of tea. The bright light of the salt flats has additionally resulted in thorough sun burn and sun blindness resulting in an appearance much like the emperor off Star Wars.

One little nugget of useful information I’ve managed to obtain from this is that the local Mate ‘coca’ tea is really good at taming your altitude sickness! Although to be honest I’ve been finding it hard to tell the difference between altitude sickness and virus!

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I couldn’t resist a shot of this fantastic old beatle!

Unfortunately I can’t find The Fast Show ‘Jesse’s Diet’ (yoghurt) clip on youtube which I wanted to include…those of you who have seen it will know the one I was aiming for!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/fastshow/characters/jesse.shtml

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When the Stars Go Blue/ Town Called Malice

“Make the most out of tonight and worry about it all tomorrow.”

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Salta seems, in retrospect, a complete blur. Our first night at Loki Hostel ended fairly messily due to the cheap drinks and fantastic bar staff. Our group of 35 made our way into town where we all proceeded to go slightly crazy. A couple of us joined an al fresco salsa session and I then proceeded to join a local band playing in a bar! However an overly friendly dog about the size of a great dane at one point decided my arm was a chew toy and despite my cries of “ayudarme” (help me) the locals just found it hilarious. My toe nail being split in half by the rarity of a clumsy argentinian was the last straw. I headed home at 4:00 a good few hours before the others returned!

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The drunken frivolities did not end there. Much of the group decided the best way to beat their hangover was to start drinking again as soon as they woke up. Here is the result:

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For the rest of us the day revolved around eating, sleeping and watching Django! That being said, the staff decided that evening was the opportune moment for a ‘beer pong’ tournament. That night therefore proceeded in a similar fashion to the last.

The downside became immediately apparent the next morning. Amy, Lilya and I caught the bus into Salta to explore the town in the daylight. However after numerous empanadas and a trip up a cable car to see a view of the city, the state of my head became too much to bear so I split from the group to head home, getting lost for a couple of hours in the process!

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Cheese empanadas in a little cafe near San Jose square, Salta. Yum 🙂

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View from the mountain overlooking Salta.

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Just an example of the beautiful architecture in Salta. This is the church of San Fransisco

 

Three Little Birds

“It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.”
― Dave Barry

It’s night two at our camp near the Iguazu falls. The weather has been alternating between bright blue skies and heavy rain. We’ve had our fair share of rain throughout the trip so far. It’s not much to complain about as it’s still very warm and seems to be counterbalanced by an equal or larger amount of sun…not ideal when setting up tents though!

We had to endure a 16 hour drive from Bonito yesterday. Actually the time passed incredibly quickly; a few of us took over the table at the front of the truck and got pretty competitive over card games, eventually merging into drinking games when the sun went down. Not a bad way to spend 16 hours on the road! However, It did result in slightly drunken, blind and rainy tent-pitching!

We’ve made up for yesterdays inaction by starting early with a visit to a local bird park before heading down to the falls and signing up for a spontaneous bit of white water rafting! It was in hindsight a complete scam as the rafting turned out to be 3 minutes of ‘white water’ followed by an hour of slowly drifting down a calm river. However, doing flips into the water off the ‘trampoline’ that was the inflatable raft, certainly improved the excursion. Particularly the embarrassing slips that started arising as the raft got wetter! I attempted to do a front hand spring into the water and instead spectacularly face-planted onto the raft.

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Here’s the classic toucan which we spotted frequently in the Pantanal.

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Hummingbirds are the cutest little creatures in Brazil.

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And here’s a striking Scarlet Ibis.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

IMG_0844The falls are crawling with these little Coatis! Very sweet but incredibly cheeky! One of them grabbed a mans camera out of his hand and ran off with it!

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And lastly, here’s a shot of a sneaky toucan taking a peck at my toe!!

That’s Entertainment

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I found a cord to connect my big camera to the laptop! Fantastic. Internet connection isn’t so great though so just one photo from the Sambadrome will have to do for now.

Back in Parati: Below are a couple of photos from the boat trip I was persuaded to join in on today (I was dubious about value for money). It turned out to be pretty incredible. Granted, a large proportion of the group became completely smashed as a consequence of the free caprinas on tap! We stopped off at numerous little coves and islands where everyone proceeded to bomb/dive off the top deck! I borrowed a snorkel mask off the staff and spotted a bright orange seahorse! Unfortunately nobody else was interested in snorkelling so my excitement was rather wasted. Apart from the Seahorse the marine life wasn’t very spectacular. There were a few box/puffer fish around but apart from that the fish variety was fairly standard. Other notable moments include seeing how many rungs of the ladder towards the crows nest we could climb before the captain spotted us and me attempting to climb a coconut tree and failing miserably. A great day out though. The few of us left in a reasonable state had to practically carry the others back to the camp site, stopping only for Acai on the way.

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The Island stop off where I found the seahorse!

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Here’s a separate boat that moored next to us at one of the stops. Ours was actually big than this boat, having a top deck, but very similar in appearance.

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Parati town was apparently designed so that at high tide the sea water cleans the streets! It was like a Latino Venice!