Whilst in the Atacama, we went cycling to a lake about 10 miles into the desert. Although we’d not seen any cycle helmets throughout our travels (despite seeing a lot of cyclists!) we were impressed that the hotel provided good quality cycle helmets.
Somehow the luxuries of our modern world don’t seem to enter the lives of Peruvians – but they are happy with what they’ve got. We saw people literally washing their clothes in streams and gutters, getting around by bicycle and whole families working in the fields – but they seemed happy with their lot.
In South Africa we also visited the central mountains: the Drakensburg. Despite the strong September winds (gusting 50 to 60 mph) we enjoyed a number of walks in the area.
We took the opportunity, whilst in Chile, to visit their wine region – just outside Santiago.
We took a little time at the start of our South American adventure to learn a little bit of South American Spanish (well Argentinian Spanish, at least, we hadn’t appreciated that they have their own way of saying things there!)
It’s hard enough to believe that, in Peru’s Lake Titicaca, the locals make islands from reeds, upon which they live in houses (also built from reeds, of course). But it is incredible to see a trout farm dug out of a circle in the middle of the island, to let the water in, with an underlying net, to stop the fish from escaping into the lake!
Arriving by plane in Windhoek, Namibia, we were greeted by a young man with a bright smile and our name plate.
When staying in the Atacama desert, in the North of Chile, we visited a “Salt lake” called Cejar Pond. Even more salty than the Dead Sea, it’s 10x more salty than the ocean (c. 40% saturation), giving incredible buoyancy.
We have been lucky enough not to see any crimes in South Africa, but the potential is always there at the back of your mind.
One of the mad guides we had in Chile (in Patagonia) got me to jump into the lake by the spa “for fun” (which at about 4-6C, it wasn’t really!).