Bri & Jo's excellent adventure 2006/7

See Virtual Tours of Chile

Dear All A quick note to let you know Jo and I got engaged at Machu Picchu, Peru on 19 September.

After four fantastic days trekking the Inca Trail we weren´t at our most radiant, rather pungeant, but that´s been the norm over the past twelve months! Bri

Dear All MEXICO We enjoyed Mexico very much. Despite warnings everywhere about crime and smog in Mexico City we found culture, entertainment, beautiful architecture and helpful people upon our arrival and throughout our stay.

We saw plenty of Mayan, Toltec and Aztec ruins. From the sheer scale of Teotihuacan to the beautiful jungle setting of Palenque which took us back to Ta Prohm in Cambodia. Our favouite street food was corn on the cob with chilli and lime juice. We chilled out at an excellent hostal overlooking the square in the laid back town of Merida. Each morning we listened to the police band from our balcony whilst supping proper coffee. On to idyllic Tulum via the ruins of Uxmal and Chitchen Itza. The softest white sand and the smallest cabana ever! We weren´t long in Playa del Carmen which was package holiday hell.

TRINIDAD Unfortunately we brought a friend with us from Mexico who confined us to close proximity to the loo for the duration of our stay! We did venture out and sample a fresh chilled coconut and see Brian Lara´s home. Back in cricket mad India, Brian Lara became my second name.

CHILE We found Santiago to be a dirty, polluted place with little to offer, but a fantastic snowcapped Andean backdrop. In La Serena we went stargazing. It´s the home of some of the world´s largest observatories with 330 perfectly clear nights a year. We picked one of the other 10%!!

The remote border town of San Pedro de Atacama was our favourite place, real wild west stuff. We stayed in the adobe built ´House of the Rising Sun´ and enjoyed BBQ´s and singing around the campfire each evening. 90p for a litre of very drinkable Chilean red helped move things along nicely! Jo had her first random meeting with a friend here too.

BOLIVIA An amazing 3 days in a 4x4 through some of the driest land on earth. Our first day took us up to 4880m and we spent the night in an unheated hut at -15°C. As neither of us had sleeping bags, we wore virtually everything we owned! Multi-coloured lakes, pink flamingoes, steaming geysers, Dali landscapes and dazzling white salt flats were just some of the highlights.
Our second night was in an hotel made entirely from salt, including the beds, tables and chairs. We broke down twice which gave me the opportunity to learn the Spanish for "flat tyre" and "frozen radiator"!!! We arrived in Uyuni and Potosi at festival time. Lots of dancing, sparkly costumes, brass bands and llama and alpaca meat to keep you going.

In Sucre, the legal capital, we made a bargain purchase of 50 oranges for 42p due to a slight communication error! Our vitamin C levels are sky high!! My Spanish improved greatly at the police station in Cochabamba when I had to report my bag stolen. It seems to happen to everyone who visits South America, but I have every confidence in the legal system here! Jo enjoyed La Paz for its cheap shopping. My highlight was mountain biking down "the world´s most dangerous road". It´s a gravel track wide enough for one truck and drops 3600m in 64km.

We´re now in Peru, beside Lake Titicaca having completed our last land border crossing without drama. Only 3 weeks left! Take care Bri & Jo