September 14, 2005 GMT
Leaving Bolivia - Welcome in Argentina

Leaving Bolivia - Welcome in Argentina
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english version...deutsche version siehe unten

13.September 2005, Leaving Bolivia ? Welcome in Argentina

The first days in Chile we spent in a wonderful hostel in Arica, visited the Lauca Park with its beautiful volcanoes and wildlife, before heading thru the dry desert to Iquique where we had to buy some more slide films in the freetradezone. Excited what lays ahead of us we rode inland to famous San Pedro Atacama ? where we were hit by an incredible sandstorm; we managed to get into town and were shocked: this well known traveller - tourist hangout was a ugly little shithole in the desert they called ?oasis? ? charging minimum 20 US $ for a basic room ? camping was 12 Dollars, so we spent the night listening to the sand and wind shaking our tent. The next morning the storm got worse, no chance to get out of town with the bikes, so we left the bikes there and took a bus to Bolivia. Waiting for the midnight bus in Calama, we spent the day watching ?Madagaskar? in spanish, at midnight the bus started on an overnighttrip crossing the border on a bad dirt road to Uyuni. After 15 hours we arrived being able to feel every single bone in our bodies (at home I even hate to take the underground!) ? but it got worse. After 1 day in Uyuni we took another night bus to Sucre, a lovely colonial city 9 hours further inland in Bolivia. We enjoyed some great days in Sucre, visiting the cultural festival with its folklore concerts and met a friend there. On the busride back to Uyuni we met 4 other germans travelling the same way, so we decided to book a tour back to San Pedro over the salt lake and the Lagunas. Being squeezed into a Toyota Landcruiser with the cool driver and our female cook, we had incredible 3 days out there on the altiplano, with the highest and largest salt lake of the world, the Salar de Uyuni. With little islands covered with cactus, surrounded by this vast white nothing, it is really out of this world. Together with our driver we kicked back some beers that night, unfortunately our driver had to get up at 3 in the morning to help another group whose driver had parked his car in a sanddune 2 hours from any civilization.

On the second day we visited the Lagunas and high deserts with its flamingos, guanakos, feeding a desert fox, chasing vizcachas over the strange stone formations, all in front of the volcanoes in the backround ? it was unbelievable the lagunas shining in all different colors, green, blue, white and red. When leaving for San Pedro on the third day at 5 in the morning it was freezing minus 15 degrees Celsius up there on almost 5000 meters, but watching the sunrise behind the smelly smoke of the geysirs was making us god thank for this wonderful nature. While our cook prepared the breakfast we relxed 30 minutes at 4000m in the steaming thermals at 30 Celsius, getting out later was another story, before being able to dry our hair, it froze stiff in seconds.

We went back to San Pedro, visited the Valley of the moon, repacked our stuff on the bikes and left this ugly little tourist trap the very next morning. Over Paso Jama, the most northern pass connecting Argentina and Chile, we crossed the altiplano another time with some more salt lakes into Northern Argentina. Two neigbouring countries cannot be more different from each other than Argentina and Bolivia. Here in argentina it is springtime, the forest at 1200 meter altitude starts getting green, instead of guanakos and vicunas on brown desert the cattle is grasing on green meadows and incredible friendly people are driving reasonable new cars on european quality roads. Arriving in Salta we enjoyed our first ?asado? ? all you can eat barbecue steaks with so much great wine that you know that you will not stop until somebody (Katja probably) says so. It is incredible, great wine and even better steak till you cannot stand it any more for about 3 to 5 US Dollar, wonderful people, great countryside ? this is paradise!

check out the 3 new Galleries:
1. Bolivia
2. Altiplano Bolivia
3. Paso Jama at
http://twintraveller.meinatelier.de/
check out the website at www.twintraveller.com

deutsch_____________deutsch___________deutsch________________deutsch___________

13.September 2005, Wir verlassen Bolivien - Willkommen in Argentinien

Die ersten Tage in Chile verbrachten wir in einem wundervollen Hostel in Arica, besuchten den Lauca Park mit seinen unglaublichen Vulkanen, seiner faszinierenden Tierwelt bevor es quer durch die Wueste in Richtung Iquique ging, wo wir unseren Vorrat an Diafilmen unbedingt auffrischen mussten. Begeisert ueber das was vor uns liegt fuhren wir Inland in Richtung des bekannten San Pedro Atacama ? wo uns ein Sandsturm fast von unsren Bikes wehte. Wir schafften es bis ins Dorf und waren schockiert. Dieses bekannte Touristen und Travellerdorf war nicht mehr als ein haessliches Drecksnest in der Mitte der Wueste, was einige Leute Oase nannten. Ein sehr einfaches Zimmer kostete minimum 20 US $, das zelten immerhin 12 $, so verbrachten wir die Nacht damit den Sand an unser Zelt prasseln zu hoeren. Am naechsten Morgen hatte der Sturm an Staerke gewonnen, so das es unmoeglich war den Ort mit dem Motorrad zu verlassen, wir entschieden uns die Bikes hierzulassen und per Bus nach Bolivien zu fahren. Waehrend wir in Calama auf den Nachtbus warteten, schauten wir im Kino ?Madagaskar ? auf Spanisch und waren begeistert wie gut unser Spanisch geworden war (ich habe sogar gelacht!).
Um Mitternacht ging es in einem etwas aelteren Bus ueber eine kleine Dirtroad ueber die Grenze nach Uyuni, wo wir nach kurzweiligen 15 Stunden wach im ruettelnden Bus liegend ankamen. Nach 1 Tag in Uyuni entschieden wir uns den Nachtbus weiter nach Sucre, einer huebschen Kolonialstadt 9 Stunden entfernt ueber eine weitere Schotterstrasse entfernt, zu fahren. Wir genossen einige Tage in dieser schoenen Stadt, besuchten das Kulturfestival mit seinen Folklorekonzerten ubd trafeb eine Bekannte. Auf der fuerchterlichen Busfahrt zurueck nach Uyuni mit dem obligatorischen Platten trafen wir 4 andere Deutsche und entschieden zusammen eine Tour zurueck nach San Pedro ueber die Salzseen und Lagunen zu buchen. Wir quetschten uns 6 plus dem coolen Fahrer und einer Koechin in einen Toyota Landcruiser und ab ging es auf den hoechsten und groessten Salzsee der Welt.

Der Salar de Uyuni mit seinen kleinen Kakteenbedeckten Inseln, umgeben von diesem weissen riesigen Nichts wirkte auf uns wie aus einer anderen Welt. Wir hatten unglaublich viel Spass. Zusammen mit unserem Fahrer vernichteten wir gleich am ersten Abend die Biervorraete fuer 2 Tage, leider musste der arme Kerl um 3 Uhr wieder aufstehen, um einer anderen Tourgruppe zu helfen, dessen Fahrer seinen Landcruiser in einer Duene geparkt hatte ? 2 Std. Von jeder anderen Zivilisation entfernt. Am 2. Tag ging es zu den Lagunen und Wuesten mit den Flamingos und Guanakos, wir fuetterten einen Wuestenfuchs, jagden die Vizcachas ueber die Felsen und das alles vor dem Hintergrund dieser Vulkanlandschaft, der farbigen Lagunen, die in den Farben gruen, weiss, blau und rot leuchteten. Als wir am 3. Tag um 5 Uhr morgens nach San Pedro aufbrachen war es gemuetliche minus 15 Grad , aber der Sonnenaufgang hinter dem schwefeligen Rauch der Geysire entschaedigte fuer alles und lies uns Gott fuer diese unglaubliche Natur danken. Waehrend unsere Koechin das Fruehstueck bereitete, relaxten wir ein wenig in den heissen Thermen bei angenehmen 30 Grad auf 4000 metern Hoehe ? die Thermen hinterher verlassen war allerdings ein anderes Thema, die Haare waren gefroren, bevor wir sie trocknen konnten. Wir fuhren zurureck nach San Pedro, besuchten noch das Tal des Mondes, packten unsere Bikes und verliessen am naechsten Morgen diese Touristenfalle. Ueber den Paso Jama kreuzten wir ein weiteres Mal den Altiplano mit weiteren Salzseen und verliessen Chile in Richtung der Nordwest Argentinien.

Zwei Nachbarlaender wie sie unterschiedlicher nicht sein koennten: Bolivien und Argentinien. Hier in Argentinien beginnt der Fruehling und der Laubwald wird langsam wieder gruen. Statt Guanakos und Llamas auf brauner Steppe oder Wueste grasen hier die Rinder auf gruenen Wiesen, unglaublich freundliche Menschen fahren einigermassen neue Autos auf Strassen europaeischer Qualitaet. In Salta angekommen genossen wir unser erstes ?Asado?, ein ?all you can eat? Grillfest mit so viel Wein, dass man weiss, das man nicht aufhoert, bis es einem jemand verbietet (Katja vermutlich). Es ist unglaublich, guter Wein und noch besseres Steak bis man nicht mehr Piep sagen kann und das alles fuer 3 bis 5 US Dollar plus sehr freundliche Menschen, schoene Landschaft ? ich glaube das hier ist das Paradies!

check out the 3 new Galleries:
1. Bolivia
2. Altiplano Bolivia
3. Paso Jama at
http://twintraveller.meinatelier.de/

check out the website at www.twintraveller.com

Posted by Martin Wickert at 05:06 PM GMT
 



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