A Travellerspoint blog

70. Gun Uyuni'de Birgun

semi-overcast 19 °C

IMG_1157.jpg Insan daglari colleri asinca koy-kent-kasaba hayatina yabancilasiyor, tekrardan uyum saglamasi gerekiyor.
Uyuni bir gecis noktasi. Bolivyalilara gore buyuk bir kent, bizim icin Tuz duzluklerine gunubirlik ya da uc gunluk turlari duzenliyen acentalarla dolu bir kasaba. Kalan binalar ise turistik amacli.
Konaklamak icin otel, hostel bolluguna ragmen yer bulmak guc olabiliyor. Biz, Bir hafta onceden baktigimizda tek bir otelde yer vardi. Ve Bolivya geneli icin fiyati cok pahaliydi. Bunun iki sebebi var.

Birincisi Bolivya kisi denilen yagisli mevsimdeyiz. Nitekim bu topraklarda iki mevsim var: yagisli ve kuru mevsim. Genelde Subat ayi basliyor. Sansimiza biz ziyaret ederken tuz duzlukleri iki parmak suyla kapliydi( bu sayede yansimalarla dolu fotograf oyunlarina tanik olduk:))

Genelde tuz duzluklerine gelenler yine tuzdan yapilmis otellerde konakliyorlar. Ancak bu oteller yagmurlu mevsimde kapaniyor. Gelen turistler mecburen kasabada kaliyor ve fiyatlar artiyor.

Ikinci sebep Uyuni'nin konumu. En yakin cevre il/ gezilecek-gorulecek yerler 3-5 saat otobus yolculugu uzakliginda. Tabii yagmurlu mevsimde-Bolivya'nin bu tarafinda yol olmadigi icin her yer camur- yolculuk suresi yol sartlari yuzunden iki katina cikabiliyor. Kentte bir tren istasyonu var. Ama tren gun ve saatleri nadir ve gece yarisi ya da sabaha karsi gibi garip saatlerde.
Kisacasi ulasim kisitli... Bu yuzden Uyuni'de bir gece kalmak farz.

Biz de La Paz'a gece otobusu icin biletimizi alip, Uyuni'deki tek gunumuzu geciriyoruz. Gunlerden Pazartesi ortalik sakin. Kasabanin pazarini dolasiyoruz. IMG_1158.jpg Yagmur bir anlamda bereket demek. IMG_1161.jpg IMG_1162.jpg Hersey bol, heryer rengarenk. IMG_1163.jpg

Kapinin onunde bir kalabalik yasli teyzenin yaptigi tavuklu sandvicler icin sirada. Biz de bir tane denemeye karar veriyoruz. Tadi enfes. IMG_1160.jpg Sonra Bolivya'nin yuksek rakimi icin koka torbamizi dolduruyoruz...

Gunun son surprizi, Ozer'in Patogonya'dan beri izini surdugu Emu benzeri kus...Collerde, yollarda ararken sadece trafik isaretlerinde karsimiza cikan bu kuslar (Darwin's Rhea) Uyuni'de bir kamu binasinin bahcesinde karsimiza cikiyor... IMG_1156.jpg

Bizler Uyuni'de gecirdigimiz gunden memnun, La Paz'a dogru gunes batarken yola cikiyoruz... IMG_1165.jpg

Posted by ayca ozer 07:20 Archived in Bolivia Tagged market uyuni darwin's rhea Comments (0)

Day 69 Poor Man's Dakar - Special Stage #3

semi-overcast 15 °C
View 100 days/ 100 gün on ayca ozer's travel map.

Slightly hungover, we hit the breakfast and then the road.
It had rained heavily all night, so the "roads" are muddy and slippery, it shows, as we see a bunch of trucks and cars flipped over, on the side of the road. IMG_4819.jpg
Soon enough, our jeep gets stuck in the mud, trying to avoid collision with another car. Our companion jeep maneuvers, and pulls ours out of the mud pile. We will be driving a little bit more cautiously from now on, we hope.

IMG_4817.jpg An hour later we arrive at the Train Cemetery just outside Uyuni. This where all the decommissioned trains and cars are dumped to decay, but tourism managed to turn this sight in to a junkyard playground, they make great props for all sorts of pictures. IMG_4818.jpg

Next stop is Salar de Uyuni, world's largest salt lake and possibly the largest depository of lithium. ECB355572219AC68171AAAC02CB02680.jpg Due to heavy rain in the past couple of days, the water levels are relatively high and even some parts of the lake are inaccessible, this means we can not cover the whole lake, bummer.
We cruise the shallow waters of the lake in our jeeps and reach a dry part to take a break for lunch. IMG_4814.jpg Lunch is served from the back of the jeeps and had on the hoods. People are out making all sorts of fun photos, because the 3 cm water depth provides a great visual illusion by reflecting the pretty clouds and negates the horizon. IMG_4815.jpg
Filled to the brim with sights, nature and joy for the past three days, we bid farewell to everybody, some depart back to San Pedro, some to Potosi, we on the other hand spend the night in Uyuni in search of a hot shower. IMG_4813.jpg

Posted by ayca ozer 09:33 Archived in Bolivia Tagged desert train cemetery lake mud bolivia jeep illusion uyuni salar salk lithium Comments (0)

Day 68 Poor Man's Dakar - Special Stage #2

all seasons in one day 16 °C

After a hearty breakfast, we get back on the road. IMG_0761.jpg
Our first stop is "Stone Tree", a collection of rocks sitting around the desert, that make a great setting for all sorts of photos. By now, the sun is out bright, it is almost hot. IMG_0765.jpg
Next up is Canapa Lake, where we take a walk along the shore and get back on the jeep to drive up to the higher steppe, at this point the desert officially turns in to a steppe, marked by a very distinguished border of desert sand meeting vegetation.

We drive by a couple of lagunas and the Chiguana Salt Lake with flamingos, the weather is close to freezing by now. IMG_0766.jpg
It starts raining, and in an instant, the steppe in front of us, seems to be flooded for miles, as its surface is as shiny as a mirror on this overcast day now. 5 minutes later we realize that, flooding is actually hail sticking on the surface, not the reflection of clouds on the imaginary flood water, desert mirages are not over yet.
Further down the road, at the Valles de Rocas, in freezing rain, we climb the strange rock formations that resemble Cappadoccia and an Andean condor!

At the village of San Juan, a largish village where a bunch of jeeps on desert trips stop by for lunch, so do we. After lunch we head out to the house-cum-hotel where we will be staying the night, and where we have to play rock-paper-scissors to take turns to get in the two minute hot shower, at least there is some hot water.
Store next door has got a decent selection of liquor so we put it in to good use, and by the end of the lama steak dinner, everybody is lit up, ready for an extended magic show. IMG_0768.jpg

Posted by ayca ozer 13:47 Archived in Bolivia Tagged desert show shower jeep magic flamingo laguna uyuni dakar Comments (0)

Day 67 Poor Man's Dakar - Special Stage #1

sunny 10 °C

Read so much about it, heard so much about it, and it is finally the day for The Poor Man's Dakar, a 3 day jeep trip in to Bolivia, thru the desert, the pampa, the mountains and everything in between.
Bummed for missing the chance to see the real Dakar while in Chile, we hope to get a feel for it on this trip.
So we get up early and walk down to the agency where we are supposed to wait for the pick up at 8:00 AM. There is no bus in sight but a fellow traveller Dan is there, as punctual as a German should be. We start chatting to break the ice, and after about 45 minutes finally the bus shows up packed with 9 other fellow passengers, we are the last 3 to get on it. By now there is no ice left anywhere in sight, everybody except us, got to know each other pretty well it seems.
We drive for five minutes and we are at the Chilean customs. The place is packed with other jeep tourists, we are the last bus to get there. Customs cleared we get back on the bus for the Bolivia border, an hour drive up to the mountains, this is where we get off the bus and will get on the two jeeps for the trip, 6 passengers on each one.
Once again, the Bolivia passport control is packed with other jeep tourists, so first thing first, open buffet breakfast is served in an abandoned stone house, which might have been the former customs office, who knows.
After breakfast, we clear the customs, the officer in charge goes thru his visa waiver list and grants us Turks 30 days in Bolivia.
Our driver Beimar, a small stocky Boliviano, who speaks little English but never misses a chance to joke around, loads all the bags on top of the jeep and orders us to board the vehicle, we are already behind schedule.
In 10 minutes, we are at the National Park entrance, we pay our fees and in 2 minutes we are at our first stop, Laguna Bianca. IMG_9680.jpg
Then off to a hill by Laguna Verde, where the wind is so strong, it is the only help we have to climb back up the hill to the jeep after visiting the shore.
Next up is the "Dali Desert", a strange set of rocks adorn the slopes of the desert, a surreal and a magical sight definitely.
Another 30 minutes of drive and we are at the Termas de Polques hot spring. Since we had our share of thermal waters two days before and knowing that there won't be any showers to rinse off the salt later at the refuge, we decide not to take a dip, but we observe the others dipping.
Later at about 4500 meters above sea level, we visit the Sol de Manana geysers with the usual foul sulphur smell. We then cross a pass at 5100 meters above sea level, for an instant, we are higher than anybody back home.
A little after noon, we reach the refuge, a basic shelter structure with a mess hall, toilets and a couple of dorm rooms, this is where we will be spending the night.
Lunch is served, and we're told we need to finish all food or there won't be any afternoon excursions! At this point we are so overwhelmed by what we have seen so far, we do our best to chow down as much as possible, but there are still some leftovers, unfortunately...
Despite our misbehaving, after lunch we are taken to Laguna Colorada, a reddish salt lake, home to many flamingos. As it is customary and with flamingoes too far away to really observe, our crew put together their own rendition of a flamingo flock.
Back at the refuge we are treated to coffee and tea, while a group of kids show up in the mess hall to perform what seems to be the "Bolivia's Got Talent".
Pasta dinner and some scored local wine from the local shop, we are treated to a magic show by our friend Dan, who apparently is a well known magician in his homeland, Germany.
With the solar powered electricity batteries exhausted just like all of us, we switch it off in our freezing dorm rooms.

Posted by ayca ozer 06:23 Archived in Bolivia Tagged desert border geysers jeep verde laguna solar dakar customs talent refuge bianca colorada Comments (0)

66. Gun Siesta ve Fiesta birarada Sili Mutfagi Atolyesi

sunny 31 °C
View 100 days/ 100 gün on ayca ozer's travel map.

San Pedro de Atamada'daki 5 gunun ilk dordune dort tur sigdirinca bunlarin cogunlugu da min 4000 m yukseklikte olunca, insan bir sonraki macera icin guc toplamak, ara vermek ve dinlenmek istiyor.

Ara vermek icin henuz cicegi burnunda Sili Yemekleri Pisirne Kursunu seciyorum... Malumunuz 60 kusur gundur Ozer'le dipdibeyiz. Bir nevi mola veriyoruz. Tadina bayildigi Sili salatasini ogrenecegim hevesiyle beni kursa seve seve gonderiyor.

Kurs baslayali sekiz ders olmus. Hakkindaki yegane bilgiyi saga sola yapistirilmis brosur ve internette bulmak mumkun. Programa gore bir sabah bir de aksam dersi var. Min. 4 saatte tastamam menuler vaadediyorlar. Emaillesme sonucunda sabah dersine kaydoluyorum. 11:00'de ders baslayacak.

Tekrardan ogrenci olmanin hevesiyle yola koyuluyorum. Gelin gorun ki kursun girisimcisi Rodrigo bana binanin uzerinde henuz ne numara ne de tabela olmadigini soylemeyi unutmus, deli gibi issiz ve kavurucu Atacama sokaklarinda dolaniyorum. Birkac kisiye sorup basarisiz olduktan sonra dovmeleri tum vucudunu kaplayan korkutucu Sili'li genc Ingilizce biliyor da, benim icin Rodrigo'ya telefon ediyor. Sonunda onunden 3 kere gectigim evin onunde beni kurs sahibi karsiliyor.
Iceri girdigimde kursiyerler Sili'li ahcimiz Daniel ile pisco sourlarini yapmaya baslamislar bile. Terli ve bitkin halimle herkesi selamliyor, onlugumu giyip sapkami takip limonlari sikmaya basladim. IMG_0729.jpg Saat 11:30 oldugunda Pisco Sour etkisini gostermis, ben (Avusturalyali, Hollandali, iskoc, Kanadali ve iki Irlandali'dan olusan) grupla kaynasmistim.

Pisco sour tatli eksi bir icki. Peru da, Sili de benim milli ickim diye tutturuyormus. La Serena cevresinde bolca pisco tarlasi vardi, piscodan elde edilen alkollu ickinin tadi brandy ile tekila arasinda, gerisi seker, limon suyu ya da lime.
Limedan da pisco sour yapmayi ogrenip sonunda ilk yemek tarifine basladik. Daha once bahsettigim -Ozer'in favorisi Sili salatasi ya da sofraya oturur oturmaz kuver olarak ekmegin yaninda gelen domates-sogan ve kisnisli yanci.
Sonra sirasiyla karatahtada yer alanlar yemekleri yapmayi ogrenmeye basladik. Herkes cakir keyif, elde turlu tutlu bicaklar. Hocanin bize verdigi sebzeleri ve eti dogramaya calisiyoruz.
Pismemis baliktan yapilan ceviche ve sotelenmis et ve tavugun uzerine misirdan yapilmis sos ve haslanmis yumurtanin eklenmesiyle olusan ana yemekte bir problem yasamadik. IMG_0731.jpg Ama ne zaman sira bir nevi hamur isi olan empanada'nin yapimina geldi.. Iste o zaman grup koptu. Bkz. Firin tepsisindeki mamuller. IMG_0732.jpg Turkuz ya, serde hamur isi var :))) oklava elime gecince bir guzel empanada hamuru actim.. Ne yazik ki hamur gerekenden ince olmus, icini doldurunca sagindan solundan dokulmeye basladi :)) toparlamak guc oldu :)) hangisi benimki tahmin edebildiniz mi ?!?

Arkada calan sahane muzik, pisco sourlarin uzerine beyaz sarap ve topluca yaptigimiz girgirla gule oynaya gecen dort saatin farkina varmamisiz.
Sansimiza aksam dersi yoktu. Ama kursiyerlerin cogunlugu saat 16:00'daki 'Ay vadisi' turunu yakalayacaklari icin hemen sofraya oturduk. Ben gonullu olup cevicheleri tum grup icin servise hazirladim.. Sonra kirmizi sarap esliginde afiyetle yedik.
Tura katilmayan ben ve Iskoc Carol herkes icin tatlilari yapmaya gonullu olduk :)) IMG_0737.jpg Otele donusumun uzayacagi belli olunca Ozer'i de tatli yemege davet ettim.
Ozer gelince siesta tadindaki San Pedro Atacama'nin en keyifli ve en uzun gunu fiesta'ya donustu... IMG_0735.jpg

Posted by ayca ozer 08:42 Archived in Chile Tagged pisco workshop ceviche sour cusine chilian Comments (0)

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