It has been a long time since the last post and a lot has happened in the meantime. We’ve met amazing people, have been seeing unique and breathtaking wilderness and had never felt so free in our live.
Flo arrived in July in Santiago de Chile. There a “1978 Toyota Land Cruiser Fj-43 “ of his friends Steffen and Lena was ready to get picked up. A perfect car to travel the continent with. After one week of organizing and planning for the ongoing journey, Flo’s girlfriend Alexa arrived to join him for about 3 months driving along the Andes from Chile over northwest Argentina to Bolivia and finally reaching Peru.
A continent with every climate zone you can imagine. From rough pacific coasts up to mountains over 6000 meter high, huge valleys at altitudes over 3500 meter and the biggest tropical rainforests on our planet. A bio diversity which nowhere else can be found on earth and a cultural past living in the people until today.
The car gave us the ability to move freely and independently which we have appreciated since the first day. Spending many weeks in the wild gave us a new perspective and all the thoughts and sorrows of our daily lives haven’t seemed so important anymore.
Look into the colorful Andes from a different angle to see the people, the animals and the plants filling them with life.
The Mountain Passes are connecting many big cities in the Andes such as Santiago de Chile on the foot of the mountains, La Paz -Bolivia which lays about 4000m above sea level or Cusco with 3400m and its subtropical highland climate in Peru.
Quebrada de Humahuaca, Argentina
Color and light is changing constantly when moving through the mountains and the rock layers and the vegetation are forming colorful and harsh landscapes.
Valle de la Luna, Atacama Desert, Chile
Water and wind has formed the valley over millions of years. Surrounded by salt flats, deserts and some of the highest volcanoes of South America. It is one of the driest places on earth and some areas haven’t received a single drop of rain for hundreds of years.
One day you don’t see any wildlife because there is only desert and rocks surrounding you and on the other days you are high in the mountains and you keep looking far out into the high mountain valleys of Argentina, recognizing many families of Vicuñas with their shining golden fur in the late afternoon sun.
When you are that far from electricity, many kilometers from the next town, you wake up with the sunrise and go to sleep when the sun is far behind the mountains, a full moon night lights up the whole scenery with its hard shadows and contrasts. The light changes the landscape into a completely different one and it almost feels like standing in a theatre backdrop.
The Huajache also known as the Peruvian pelican is one of only two pelicans that dive from flight even with their big size to catch their prey. They live all along the South American west coast and can be found in large numbers.
The distances between towns can be huge, especially if you don’t have a car. So the most common transportation method is hitchhiking, coming together for some nice conversations along the way. In the west Bolivian mountains are a lot of agricultural work even if the soil is dry and hard to plant. The Llamas instead like the climate and are raised for wool and meat.
The Salar de Uyuni in bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat with 10,500 square kilometers and at some places about 120 meters thick. Several islands formed by corals inhabiting the lake 30.000 years ago. Surrounded by volcanoes and mountains looking like swimming landmasses around the flat.
Some of these volcanoes are still active and can still erupt at any time this lights up the night and spreads a layer of dark ash clouds over the horizon.
The view of the Milky Way is worth some freezing cold nights high up on the salt flats of Southern Bolivia.
“El paso de la cumbre” is connecting the North Bolivian highland with the Yungas and the amazon basin in the east. The road is dropping from 4700m down to 300m and is crossing all climate zones found in South America.
High drops and vertical green walls…
…and the trucks use these roads too.
The road conditions in Bolivia are changing constantly, after several dirt roads, river crossings and climate zones we had to get some things fixed before the next crossing over the Andes. Unfortunately it is hard to find good mechanics so we took care of the priority problems until we could find some skilled mechanics who could ensure us quality work.
We where crossing lake Titicaca, north of Lima to reach the border of Peru.
That day we spent the night at the shore of the lake and were lucky to see a thunderstorm coming up from the west.
After a long hustle with customs at the border and a few soles less in our pockets we were leaving the country of the Llamas and reached Peru, the country of the Alpacas.
The Alpacas are mostly kept in herds in the highlands, they’re domesticated and have a similar use as we have for sheep. We always had a smile on our face when we saw them. They seemed to be happy in this rough part of the country. Water, enough plants to eat and no fences surrounding them.
Machu Picchu Mountain took us a few hours of only stair climbing but it was worth it and at the top of the mountain we had a great view over the ruins and the valley.
Angelika and Carlos had been great hosts with a warm welcome and the attitude to share their home with traveler. Thank You!
Finally we reached the coast at the South of Lima where the Paracas National Park is located. Paracas is a huge sandy dessert connecting the ocean and the mountains. The weather formed different types of dunes and exposed a colorful diversity of rocks, gravel and sand.
On the way to Lima we stopped south of the city in a small town called “San Bartolo”. There we could recover from all the driving and sadly organize Alexa`s flight back home. We had a great time together and we want to thank you so much to have had you here!
Now we are still in “San Bartolo” and staying at Watchi ́s house, a friend and an amazing person with some interesting friends with countless stories.
We are practicing our surfing skills and getting some things fixed for the car and in between all that, we are collecting stories and spending some quality time with our friends here in Peru.