Category Archives: Month By Month

May

What Happened in May? 

May was my last month in Sucre. Sad times, it was starting to feel like home. At the start of the month I embarked on an epic 2 day to the salt flats of Bolivia. Read more about it here

Apart from that it was a fairly quiet month. My good friend from back home arrived at the end of the month, so we could start our journey towards Brazil for the world cup.

 

 

 

 

Countries Visited: Bolivia

Bolivia: Sucre, Uyuni,

Total Distance Traveled: 684 Km / 425 miles

Distance Traveled by air: 0 km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled on bus: 684 Km / 425 miles

Distance Traveled by boat: 0 km / 0 miles

What I Spent

Bolivia: £495.18

Total Spent: £495.18 in 31 days = £15.97 a day

 

What I Have Been Watching: Game of Thrones season 1-3

What Have I Been Reading: “Touching The Void” by Joe Simpson

Best Part: My good friend Rob finally arriving in Sucre

Worst Part: Leaving Marion 😦

Favourite Drink: Cuba Libre

The Beer I Drank Most: Huari, Bolivia

Favourite Bar: Cafe Florin, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Club: Mitos, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Hostel: Did not stay in a hostel

My Favourite Photo: 

Volcan Tunupa

Volcan Tunupa

 

 

 

 

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April

What Happened in April? 

April has been a fairly quiet month and as a result a really cheap month. I successfully got my student visa which extended my stay for a further 2 months. And as of this day I have only had 1 lesson at the school due to the lack of available teachers and some bullshit from the school its self.

I was unsuccessful in acquiring more tickets for the world cup even though I got up at 5.30am to try when they went on sale again. Most of my time has been spent with my new friend Scott, a fellow Englishman who has been another victim of Sucre’s charm. 6 weeks and counting for him now!

Last Friday I went Mountain Biking with Marion and her brother to the village of Yotala. This time we went the extremely hard way. The initial ride out of Sucre was an easy downhill asphalt road but then the real fun started. The next 30 minutes was a grueling uphill slog on loose gravel roads ascending nearly 2000ft. But thankfully, everything that goes up must go down. Most of the rest of the day was high speed downhill and a hell of a lot of fun. The only significant uphill section we encountered we flagged down a quarry lorry to take us to the top, which was much appreciated. The final descent took us into lower green farmland, dodging chickens and cows were the only obstacles we encountered.

Once we arrived in Yotala we relaxed while we waited for the bus back to Sucre. Our relaxing was short lived due to an extremely old and drunk villager who took great pleasure in abusing us and me in particular in his native Quechua. We ignored him for the best part until he tried to touch Marion, and me and her brother stood up to warn him off. So off he stumbled in his tyre made sandals to abuse someone else.

 

 

Countries Visited: Bolivia

Bolivia: Sucre

Total Distance Traveled: 0 Km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled by air: 0 km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled on bus: 0 Km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled by boat: 0 km / 0 miles

What I Spent

Bolivia: £345.54

Total Spent: £345.54 in 30 days = £11.51 a day.

 

What I Listened To

3 Most Played Tunes: 

  1. “Not Nineteen Forever” (Acoustic Mix) by The Courteeners
  2. “Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  3. “So Here We Are” by Bloc Party

What I Have Been Watching: Breaking Bad Season 5, The Wolf Of Wallstreet

What Have I Been Reading: “The Marching Powder” by Rusty Young (Re-reading)

Best Part: Getting back out on a bike. Felt so good to be ripping up the down hill trails around Sucre.

Worst Part: Breaking my watch. I never no the time now and I’m always late for Happy Hour at Florin!

Favourite Drink: Fanta & Vodka

The Beer I Drank Most: Huari, Bolivia

Favourite Bar: Cafe Florin, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Club: Stigma, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Hostel: Did not stay in a hostel

My Favourite Photo: 

Mountain Biking to Yotala

Mountain Biking to Yotala

Whats Next? 

May will be my last month in Sucre so I am planning on spending as much time as possible with Marion before I leave for Brazil. We plan on visiting the Salar de Uyuni and staying in a small village for a few days. I will hopefully get out on the bike a few more times and we may also visit La Paz and Coroico together.

And May is also the month my good friend Rob arrives. I haven’t seen him for nearly 8 months so it’s going to be awesome to catch up and share some new adventures.

 

 

6 months on the road…

6 Months On The Road

During my 6 months on the road I have visited 4 countries and traveled over half the length of the continent and back again. My plans have consistently changed, sometimes from day to day, but it has been an awesome experience. Of course it has not been all plain sailing and things have gone wrong, but good or bad, experiences are experiences.

Below are a few stats to illustrate my journey and to give others a better idea on the costs of travelling in South America for 6 months. For a more detailed account of my adventures click here.

The Route: 

 

Total Distance Traveled: 11447 Km / 7113 Miles

Total Distance by Plane: 4522 Km / 2810 Miles

Total Distance by Bus: 6819 Km / 4237 miles

Total Distance by Boat: 106 km / 66 Miles

Average Distance Per Day: 61.21 Km / 38 Miles


Expenditure 

Total Spent: £4933.67 in 187 days = £26.38 a day

Total Spent In Peru: £212.33 in 7 days = £30 a day

Total Spent in Bolivia: £2448.19 in 127 days = £19.27 a day

Total Spent in Argentina: £992.07 in 28 days = £35.43 a day

Total Spent In Chile: £1281.08 in 25 days = £51.97 a day

Average Monthly Spending: £822.27


Favorite Hostel: Hostel Lao (Mendoza, Argentina)

Favorite Photo: 

Sunset on Lak Titicaca

Sunset on Lake Titicaca

 


 

Review

My average monthly spending is well under the recommended £1000 per month so I am pretty happy. I have not really been complying to a strict budget either. I have taken various flights, luxury buses and have eaten out in restaurants on numerous occasions. Adding in the amount of partying I have been doing and its still a pretty sweet figure. I know for sure that its possible to spend a hell of a lot less. The total figure also includes a hefty whack of £214 to extend my travel insurance for a further 4 months. My spending should drop considerably for the next few months because living in Bolivia is pretty damn cheap. All that said though, the month I will spend in Brazil for the World Cup will absolutely destroy my funds and budget. Stay tuned for the end result!

March

What Happened in March? 

March has been a really good month. I have had some pretty decent nights out in Sucre with lots of fun on the way. I have been some what addicted to watching CNN on their coverage of the missing Malaysian plane and even missed out on some nights out because of it.

Marion took me mountain biking to the village of Yotala which was really nice. It felt good to be back on a bike again and being out in the country side apart from getting a puncture on the fastest downhill section. The problem was worsened by the lack of a tyre lever in the repair kit so we had to improvise getting the tyre off with some similar shaped stones.

By far the best moment of the month was briefly Dj’ing in Florin. There were 2 dj’s from La Paz playing that night but they went missing until 11pm so my friend asked if I would fill in. I only got to dj for 15 minutes but the buzz I got was amazing playing music to about 100 people.

I also met a Bolivian international footballer in Florin, named Mauricio Saucedo.

 

Countries Visited: Bolivia

Bolivia: Sucre

Total Distance Traveled: 0 Km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled by air: 0 km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled on bus: 0 Km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled by boat: 0 km / 0 miles

What I Spent

Bolivia: £642.15 in 31 days = £20.71 a day

Total Spent: £642.15 in 31 days = £20.71 a day

This figure is a bit misleading as I had to extend my travel insurance for a further 4 months with a cost of £214. But apart from this is has been a fairly cheap month.

What I Listened To

3 Most Played Tunes: 

  1. “In Search Of Sunrise 3” by Dj Tiesto
  2. “Dreaming” by Ruff Driverz
  3. “So Here We Are” by Bloc Party

What I Have Been Watching: Breaking Bad Season 4, The Walking Dead season 4

What Have I Been Reading: “The Marching Powder” by Rusty Young (Re-reading)

Best Part: Dj’ing in Florin. Its been a dream for over 10 years and although very brief it was such an amazing experience. I just hope Its possible for another experience in the near future.

Worst Part: Having to say goodbye to my good friend Sarah. Sucre will truly not be the same without her 😦

Favourite Drink: Cuba Libre

The Beer I Drank Most: Huari, Bolivia

Favourite Bar: Cafe Florin, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Club: Stigma, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Hostel: Did not stay in a hostel

My Favourite Photo: 

San Felipe Convert

San Felipe Convert

Whats Next? In April I hope to actually do some more activities and leave Sucre for a few days. High on the list is doing some mountain biking in La Paz. I also plan on going to Uyuni when Marion is working there next and during her time off visiting one of the villages around the salt flats and watching the sunset.

February

What Happened in February?

I am back in Sucre! I spent my last days in Argentina visiting as many wineries in Mendoza as possible and drinking as much wine as possible. The highlight was visiting the Nieto Senetiner winery. I choose to go for the guided tour, tasting and the lunch. It cost $AR 250 (£19) but was worth every penny. My guide was very friendly and easy on the eye, the tasting extremely generous and the lunch would of fed a small family. There was free wine throughout the meal which was some of the best iv’e tried yet. I would highly recommend it to anyone going to Mendoza to taste wine.

My time was unfortunately up in Mendoza and I would have to start the long tedious journey back to Sucre. The journey to Salta was comfortable and trouble free. But the journey from Salta to the Bolivian border was a completely different story. It started off with me running out of Argentine Pesos and not be able to pay the taxi driver for the journey to the bus station. The only currency I had was 5000 Chilean Pesos which was at least worth 7 times the amount of the taxi fair. After some negotiations the driver reluctantly accepted the money, obviously not knowing the true value.

The next problem happened about 2 hours into the journey. The bus pulled to the side of the road and we stopped abruptly. We would stay stationary here for the next 2 hours while the driver and his assistants battled to change the wheel. Once it was changed a heavy down pour lashed down on us. Some how water entered the bus causing an almost river down the aisle of the bus.

The next problem was near the end of the journey. Another road blocked, strangely in the same place as it was on the outbound journey some 6 weeks previous. Another 45 minutes of sitting at a standstill while the protesters made their supposed point.

Finally at La Quiaca I met a nice Irish couple who let me share a taxi with them to the border as I had no money what so ever. The border crossing was surprisingly easy and we breezed through in less than 10 minutes, but unfortunately the Irish guy lost his Mobile phone at some point so they decided to head back into Argentina to try and locate it.

The direct bus to Sucre I had hoped to catch had already left, so I had to go to Potosi and catch another bus at 6am to Sucre. The bus to Potosi was horrendous. probably one of my worst bus journeys in all my travelling. I was the only tourist, the bus stunk of body odor and coca leaves and there would be probably more room in a coffin than on this bus. I am not a tall guy, but there lack of leg room caused me to have my legs in the aisle for the whole 8 hours. We arrived in Potosi (quoted as the highest city in the world) at 4 am so it was a cold breathless 2 hour wait for the connection to Sucre.

Since I have been back in Sucre I have enjoyed chilling out and catching up with my friends, and more importantly spending time with Marion. I was luckily enough to experience Carnival here in Sucre, Carnival in Bolivia means lots of drunken street parades and more importantly, water fights. At times it was like a war zone in the main plaza. People of all ages tooled up with huge water pistols and bags of water bombs. I am not going to lie, it was great fun at first but over the week it became extremely annoying as you could n’t even walk to the shop without getting bombarded. The balcony of my apartment faces on to one of the busiest streets in Sucre and all the parades came past it resulting in a great point to launch water bombs at the unsuspecting party goers down below. Unfortunately though these same people liked the idea of war and rained a relentless bombardment of balloons upon my balcony causing the paper thin windows to smash showing my balcony with broken glass. I learnt the hard way, a water war is still war and casualties are inevitable!

School children help out in getting the girls wet

School children help out in getting the girls wet

One good thing this month. I successfully secured 2 tickets for Costa Rica vs England at the World Cup. I am hoping to be fortunate to add more when the next sales period starts in March.

 

Countries Visited: Argentina, Bolivia

Argentina: Mendoza, Salta, La Quiaca

Bolivia: Villazon, Potosi, Sucre

Total Distance Traveled: 1621 Km / 1007 miles

Distance Traveled by air: 0 km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled on bus: 1621 Km / 1007 miles

Distance Traveled by boat: 0 km / 0 miles

What I Spent

Argentina: £149.74 in 6 days = £24.95 a day

Bolivia: £384.75 in 22 days = £17.48 a day

Total Spent: £534.49 in 28 days = £19.08 a day

What I Listened To

3 Most Played Tunes: 

  1. “Two Fingers” by Jake Bugg
  2. “Hopeless Wanderer” by Mumford & Sons
  3. “So Here We Are” by Bloc Party

What I Have Been Watching: Breaking Bad Season 1-3, The Walking Dead season 4

What Have I Been Reading: “The Motor Cycle Diaries” by Che Guevara

Best Part: Discovering I had successfully secured World Cup tickets for Costa Rica vs England.

Worst Part: The worst part this month was an incident I am deeply ashamed of. While walking to the park to see a parade during carnival I was shot at near point blank range in the eye by a young child and his huge water cannon. I lost my temper and launched a water balloon at full pelt directly hitting him in the back. This resulted with him bursting into tears, his mother in complete shock and various abuse from bystanders. A true low moment in my travels and I am deeply sorry. It was a hell of a shot though!

Favourite Drink: Vino Tinto

The Beer I Drank Most: Huari, Bolivia

Favourite Bar: Cafe Florin, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Club: Stigma, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Hostel: Hostel Lao (Mendoza, Argentina)

My Favourite Photo: 

Whats Next? I have started taking Spanish lessons again with the view of at least having a half decent conversation with the locals. I hope to go to the Salar de Uyuni while there is still water there and also plan on a trip to La Paz to do some mountain biking.

January

What Happened in January?

January has been by far my busiest month in terms of distance traveled and the activities I have done. I also knew that this would be my most expensive month to date, and as the figures below show I was correct.

I cycled 64km around Lake Llanquihue in the Chilean lakes district. I explored the beautiful Island of Chiloe seeing Penguins and Blue Whales. I trekked in Torres del Paine national park in Chilean Patagonia. I visitied Perito Moreno glacier in Argentine Patagonia and probably the most epic thing I did was climb the active Villarrica volcano in Pucon, Chile.


Countries Visited: Argentina, Chile

Argentina: Mendoza, El Calafate, San Martin de los Andes, Bariloche

Chile: Santiago, Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Ancud, Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, Pucon

Total Distance Traveled: 6019 km / 3740 miles

Distance Traveled by air: 3530 Km / 2194 Miles

Distance Traveled on bus: 2476km / 1538 miles

Distance Traveled by boat: 13km / 8 miles

What I Spent

Argentina: £330.11 in 6 days = £55.01

Chile: £1281.08 in 25 days = £51.24 a day

Total Spent: £1611.19 in 31 days = £51.97 a day

As you can see this has been an extremely expensive month for me, totally blowing my budget of £1000 a month. But I did do a lot of activities and I knew Argentina and Chile were going to be expensive, so it was n’t a major shock. This also included 3 flights which saved me a considerable amount of time to get down to Patagonia. Thankfully I will be back in Bolivia next month and my spending will hopefully drop dramatically.

What I Listened To

3 Most Played Tunes: 

  1. “Little Lion Man” by Mumford & Sons
  2. “Good People” by Jack Johnson
  3. “Little Talks” by Of Monsters & Men

What I Have Been Watching: Prisoners, Getaway

What Have I Been Reading: “The Motor Cycle Diaries” by Che Guevara

Best Part: Finally getting to the summit of Volcan Villarrica, nearly 6 years after my first attempt. Stunning views and awesome fun tobogganing back down the ice and snow.

Worst Part: By far the worst thing to happen this month was getting flooded out while hiking the W trek in Torres del Paine national park. It was my main reason for going to Patagonia and my terk was halted abruptly by the pond sized flood in my tent. Read about it here.

Favourite Drink: Vino Tinto

The Beer I Drank Most: Quilmers (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Favourite Bar: Liverpool Pub (Mendoza, Argentina)

Favourite Club: I never actually went to any clubs!

Favourite Hostel: 13 Lunas Hostel (Ancud, Chiloe. Chile)

My Favourite Photo: 

Panorama from Volcan Villarrica

Panorama from Volcan Villarrica

Whats Next? I have just arrived back in Mendoza where I intend on catching up with my friends here and I will be definitely drinking some more good wine. I will retrace my steps for the long trip back to Sucre, Bolivia and hope to arrive there for next weekend.

December

What Happened in December

December was the month I finally got back on the road. I left the comfort of Sucre after over 2 months. I will admit I found hard getting on night buses and having to sleep in dorms again. But it was all well worth it to spend Christmas and New Year in with my friends in sunny Mendoza.

A highlight of December was going camping in the country side surrounding Sucre. It was certainly experience I won’t forget in a hurry. It started with a 4 hour bumpy drive in the back of a lorry crammed in with at least 25 locals and their produce. I had to stand up and hold on tight for the whole journey. Next it was 3 hour hike with all the camping gear up through the mountains until we finally reached the village of Marawa. It was a great experience though, and the recent bad weather even disappeared. Luckily the next day there was a direct bus back to Sucre and we also got to meet the mayor of Sucre who was visiting the village.

I was also lucky enough to go hiking in Aconcagua National Park in Mendoza to trek to the lookout point for Mt. Aconcagua. Aconcagua is 6960m (22837ft) high and is the tallest mountain outside of the Himalayas and the tallest mountain in the Americas. It was a truly magnificent sight to see the shear size of the peak. I hiked here with an Argentine who had scaled the mountain last January. I think climbing this beast will be added to my Bucket List.

One thing that really surprised me is how expensive Argentina is now. Things have gone up in price considerably since I was there last year. Most of my monthly spending went on the 2 weeks I was in Argentina. I miss Bolivia already! For a more in depth look at my journey check out my post 3 days, 3 buses, 2000 km.

Countries visited: Bolivia, Argentina

Bolivia-  Sucre, Villazon

Argentina– La Quiaca, Salta, Mendoza

Total Distance Traveled: 2263km / 1406 miles

Distance Traveled by air: 0Km / 0 Miles

Distance Traveled on bus: 2263km / 1406 miles

Distance Traveled by boat: 0km / 0 miles

What I Spent

Bolivia: £175.80 in 15 days= £11.72 a day

Argentina: £512.22 in 16 days= £32.01 a day

Total Spent: £688.02 in 31days= £22.19 a day

As you can see Argentina has been by far the most expensive country so far. I was shocked to find out how expensive it had got since I visited last year. Then I again I did do a few tours and did n’t hold back on enjoying myself while I was there. This is also another reason why I want to go back to Bolivia.

What I Listened To

3 Most Played Tunes: 

  1. “Days” by The Drums
  2. “Black Gold” by The Foals
  3. “Only Love” by Ben Howard

What I Have Been Watching: The Walking Dead Seasons 4

What Have I Been Reading: “The Motor Cycle Diaries” by Che Guevara

Best Part: Meeting my good friends Francisco and Mauricio in Mendoza. We shared some good times and many beers around the pool.

Worst Part: Having to leave Sucre and Marion behind.

Favourite Drink: Vino Tinto

The Beer I Drank Most: Schneider (Mendoza, Argentina)

Favourite Bar: Cafe Florin (Sucre, Bolivia)

Favourite Club: Por Aca (Mendoza, Argentina)

Favourite Hostel: Hostel Lao, (Mendoza, Argentina)

My Favourite Photo: 

Mt. Aconcagua

Mt. Aconcagua

Whats Next? 

I will travel to Santiago Chile on New Years day and spend a few days here. On Friday 3rd of January I will fly to Puerto Montt in the south of Chile where I will spend some time exploring the beautiful Chilean lake district. After a couple of weeks down there I plan of flying to Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia where I hope to hike the W trek in Torres del Paine national park.

You may wonder what happened to my plans of working in the hostel in Puerto Varas. Well it turns out the contact person I had was very unprofessional, messed me about and never booked the placement I wanted. I was informed of this just last week and was told the person in question was no longer part of their team. They have tried to find me alternative placements, but quite frankly I am fed up with the whole scenario and have requested a full refund.