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

Why not to run in Flip Flops!

As dictated by Zoe…

We were sitting in a restaurant going to have dinner, supper, whatever you call it. Because it was so cold Mummy was going to run back to the house to get our jackets but when she had gone about 5 meters from the restaurant she fell over and got a giant cut in her knee.

Mo in emergency room

Mum in hospital

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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

Rio Napo – Diary Day 5 Nuevo Vencedores

Ben is still sick and pretty weak and exhausted! The girls aren’t terribly great either! Martin and I feel shattered, he is suffering too and we’ve had a sleepless, stressful night! We agree pretty early with Gerson and the crew that we should stay put today and spend another night here.

Its still quite early and we see about 7 or 8 teenage girls and kids are gathered at our doorway (there’s no actual door). They’re just concerned, but it give’s very little privacy. Not wishing to appear rude, I move one of the tents across the room and try to make a cool, comfy place for Ben to lie behind and be sick without an audience! The are there on and off through the day and later on, Zoe and Lara sit with them and make more bracelets.

Village Girls with our girls making bracelets

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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

Get Jealous

I happened upon the blog of another family gap year on the travel blogging site Get Jealous today. The Bremners have an 8 and a 9 year old, are starting in Africa and will be heading to South America as well. Very impressed with their morning PE, looks a lot more strenuous than our aqua-gymnastics earlier today.

I have been wowed with Mo keeping up her running, barefoot on the beach most of the time. I am thinking I need to use or lose my running shoes (luxury item!). That said I beat Mo in our Heart Olympics on the beach this afternoon much to Mo’s surprise, I’ll probably need a week to recover. Our running track was pretty cool with MMBZL branding even if the construction was accidental.

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Get Jealous, what a great name for a web site! I may have to read to get some ideas?!?

First Casualty

And the winner is…

Lara

A few weeks into our family gap year she has managed to break:

  • A shelf climbing on it
  • A toilet seat by jumping off it
  • An iPad by dropping it off the bed – luckily just a small crack on the edge of the screen and still usable

Dad managed to fix everything apart from the iPad with a spoon and swiss army knife.

Lara swinging on lamp post

Metal Tree Climbing

She has also had a few scrapes: More

Jungle Survival Training

Ben and Ant

Ant hunter

Update – Video added at end.

Keeping Ben, Zoe and Lara alive, fit and healthy is our top priority. As kids they are inquisitive, independent and prone to getting distracted by anything that looks fun or interesting. Within minutes of our arrival on Ilha Grande Ben had caught the biggest ant you never wanted to see. I am pretty sure Ben hasn’t been bitten by ants as he was super confident. I then imagined him playing with a local spider which may not be as harmless as our homegrown Daddy Long Legs More

Does anyone like needles?

Guinea Pigs. The two adult Guinea Pigs that li...

Martin is a Guinea Pig

Two months to go and we are ticking off some of the must do things on the list for our family gap year. Top was getting the right vaccinations so we stay healthy and it turns out that even though we already make pretty good pin cushions we need a few more.

Maybe we were ‘sold’ but the description of getting rabies

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95 days and counting…

The countdown to departure day (d-day) on my iPhone is now under 100! 95 days today, to be precise.

We now have a to let sign outside our house and we’ve started the long process of decluttering! This is a big deal for us,  More

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