Over the Andes

Having travelled down to the Chilean capital of Santiago (which is as far south as I’m going to on this trip), it’s now time to start heading east, and finally go over the mighty mountain range that I’ve been following ever since northern Colombia.  And what better place to do that virgin crossing (and pop my trans-Andean cherry) than in the shadow of the tallest mountain in the Americas. Continue reading

Bolivia’s Salty South-West

Southern Bolivia is not only one of the most beautiful areas of the country, it’s one of the most interesting parts of South America.  The area south of Potosí is full of sights, from Tupiza (where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid made their last stand), to Tarija (home of the world’s highest-altitude vineyards), to the empty border with Argentina (where the population density is single figures per square mile).  But the most famous part is in the far south-west, near the border with Chile, where the otherworldy landscape includes smoking volcanoes, hissing geysers, bubbling mudpools, multicoloured lakes, and huge salt flats. Continue reading