Flat Stanley Lost in the Desert

10/2/13. We’ve been in San Pedro for a few days! We’re stranded!! It’s a small town with everything built of mud and straw bricks, some buildings are painted white and its very dusty!

San Pedro is not meant for rain!

We were going to go and see some geysers high up in the mountains near the Bolivia border, float and swim in hot pools and salty lagoons, then take a bus into northern Argentina but then, on the first afternoon, it started to rain. There was lightening and the loudest thunder we ever heard! We were in our apartment at the hostel and water started to pour under the door!

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The magical Salar de Uyuni

Everything you read about the Uyuni Salt Flats in the high Altiplano of Bolivia makes you desperate to see it but a little fearful that it maybe can’t live up to its reputation.

We’d hoped for a three day trip which would take us across the salt flats into Chile but tour companies weren’t running them due to the rains. The one day trip is said by some to make for a very second rate experience to the three day expedition!

The kids on the jeep - Salar de Uyuni

The kids on the jeep – Salar de Uyuni

Zoe wakes in our Salt hotel feeling really breathless and has some oxygen More

Flat Stanley’s Andes Adventure

Flat Stanley has travelled with me in South America for eight months now…..

We said goodbye to Miss Jane, Mrs M and Miss Place at the end of year 2, last July, spent our summer hopping around in Brazil , journeyed the length of the Amazon to Columbia, Peru and the Napo River to Ecuador!

We took a bus way up into the Andes Mountains to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, where we learned Spanish and then flew out to the Galápagos Islands.

Quito and Waterfall near Otavalo, Ecuador

You might remember these photos in Quito and at a waterfall near Otavalo, Ecuador

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Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley Adventure

Machu Picchu was always a planned highlight of our round the world family gap year – although Martin suggested at one point we skip it and come back when the kids are bigger? No way! – OK so it’s crowded, but you have to go!

New Year's  2012 Machu Picchu

New Year’s 2012 Machu Picchu

Probably the first highlight that comes to most people’s minds when they think of visiting South America. It was certainly on my long term bucket list along with the Galapagos islands. But we didn’t have much planned in advance, we hadn’t even heard of the Sacred Valley More

Happy New Year from an Old Inca City in Peru!

Greetings to friends and family everywhere from me and my family in Peru!

Arriving in the clouds at dawn to Machu Picchu - New Year's Eve 2012

Arriving in the clouds at dawn to Machu Picchu – New Year’s Eve 2012

I am posting this e-card to all of you (sorry its a bit late!)…… More

My Galapagos Family and Other Animals

We have been living in the Galápagos for a month. We lived in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in San Cristobal Island, which has a lovely harbour and promenade called the Malecon where we would see hundreds of sea-lions, pelicans, boobies, crabs and iguanas every day.

Spot the sealion, iguana and crab happy together at the harbour in San Cristobal

Spot the sea-lion, iguana and crab basking together  at the harbour in San Cristobal

Amazing creatures in San Crsitobal - a baby sealion, giant tortoise, blue footed boobie and iguana

Amazing creatures in San Cristobal – a baby sea-lion, giant tortoise, blue footed boobie and iguana

I went to the Alejandro Alvear school. I made some good friends there… More

El Ceibo Tree House

Tree house + Kids = Happiness (and peace for parents?). We had been told about one in the small village of El Progresso only 5km from San Cristobal so we decided to go for lunch. A $2 taxi ride later we were there and in the time it took me to pay the driver Ben, Zoe and Lara had disappeared up the suspended wooden bridge to explore the 300 year old tree, the largest on the island.

Tree house, cool!

Having built more than a few such bridges in my time I was interested in the construction which I studied on my way up to make sure our intrepid explorers were safe. I am glad that they are 1) Sure of foot and 2) Weigh a lot less than I do! More

My World School – four months in, at school in the Galapagos!

My Mum’s cousin Val is the head teacher at a school back home. She’s read some of our blogs and showed some of our photos to all the children in assembly.

They sent us some questions and these were mine :

Zoe – What do you do when you get bored? What games do you play? We are all jealous that you don’t have to go to school. How is World School school going? Have you been on any more adventures like your jungle journey to the beach?

We decided to use the questions to do our next blogs!

When I get bored, I have a Kindle so sometimes I read. I really like to draw or make stuff and now I have just got some new paints. We have pencils and paper. In Quito we got some scissors, sellotape and glue and more drawing paper!

Reading on a long bus trip – once I thought I lost mine on a bus which was awful but we found it  safely put away in Dad’s bag!

I have beads and elastic too and we make necklaces and bracelets – sometimes for ourselves but often as presents. we got more beads in Otavalo,where we visited a massive craft market. Its a place where lots of people wear traditional clothes.The men even have long black plaits!  I have got quite good at plaiting! We play on iPhone apps too, or play travel games like Rumicub, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo and sometimes cards.

This traditional lady in Otavalo was as interested in us as we were in her and she wanted to touch our hair!

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Rio Napo – Diary Days 6-7 Rumi Tumi and Ango Terra

We pack up early and leave, hoping to gain back some lost time and distance on the river.

Beautiful sunrise at Nuevo Vencedores

Amazing Amazon – Diary Days 12-14 In and Out the Jungle

Its our third day in the jungle. Sami has inspected Lara’s foot which is looking a lot better and he says he’ll treat it with jungle medicine. He collects a large seed bobbing in the water which he opens and scrapes the green, wet, highly pungent centre onto her foot. He says this ‘Fava’ (we later discover means ‘bean’) will kill any worm in her foot!!

Jungle Medicine

Sami puts the ‘Fava’ on Lara’s foot

We head off after breakfast and all of us feel just too hot!! The kids moan and no one is too bothered to concentrate on spotting monkey or sloths! More

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