Tour of the Salt Flats of Bolivia, Day Two, Part One

On Day Two we bundled a pasty, fragile Oliver into the jeep and continued our tour. The night before was cold, Bolivia is so cold, but punctuated with delicious traditional food from Carla, our tour and cook. She spoiled us and I ate Oliver’s portions because I’m that kind of girlfriend.

It’s bad that I don’t really know the names of the places we went to. I know it was a national park, near the Salt Flats, I know it was Bolivia. The first day was all climbing and increasing altitude, mountains, snow, bricks. Day Two was deserts, different colored lakes, geysers and flamingoes. Flamingos?

Every couple of hours we were in new spectacular scenery. Bolivia had incredible landscapes, miles and miles of untouched beauty. It was a total revelation.

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Note on our tour: We took our tour with Hostal Los Salares and Moses and Carla were our driver and cook/guide respectively. The hostel is based in Tupiza, so we took the 4 day trip from Tupiza, ending in Uyuni. Our group highly recommends this tour for the landscape, really good Bolivian food and the lovely tour staff. You can book the hostel on hostelworld.com and book the tour when you arrive.

Tour of the Salt Flats of Bolivia, Day One, Part Two

More pictures from the first day of our tour. You’ll witness my untouched roots, Oliver’s altitude sickness, Darren and Dermot’s bare legs and some llamas.

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That is full on glamour above.

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No idea what this conversation could entail.

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Can you guess who was feeling the altitude in the picture above? Poor Oliver, he looks so ill.

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Above, a fair representation of our snacking habits over the 4 days.

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Note on our tour: We took our tour with Hostal Los Salares and Moses and Carla were our driver and cook/guide respectively. The hostel is based in Tupiza, so we took the 4 day trip from Tupiza, ending in Uyuni. Our group highly recommends this tour for the landscape, really good Bolivian food and the lovely tour staff. You can book the hostel on hostelworld.com and book the tour when you arrive.

Tour of the Salt Flats of Bolivia, Day One, Part One

This task is so long overdue, but after a chat with Jill yesterday I’ve decided it get over myself and just do it. Put up pictures from our 4 day tour of the Salt Flats of Bolivia. I took hundreds of pictures as we drove for hours and saw dozens of different landscapes.

We took the tour with Darren and Dermot when they got to Bolivia and it was the best! We all agreed that it was a highlight of our trip. It cost about $219 US each, a splurge in Bolivia, but genuinely a bargain to include transport, accommodation, all meals and an English speaking guide. The Salt Flats are seen on the last day, but every day was magnificent for its own reasons.

The first day I’ve broken into 2 posts, and whittled down 200 pictures to 40. They still don’t do it justice!

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Note on our tour: We took our tour with Hostal Los Salares and Moses and Carla were our driver and cook/guide respectively. The hostel is based in Tupiza, so we took the 4 day trip from Tupiza, ending in Uyuni. Our group highly recommends this tour for the landscape, really good Bolivian food and the lovely tour staff. You can book the hostel on hostelworld.com and book the tour when you arrive.

Birthdays and anniversaries…

Every year Oliver and I have the same fortnight of anniversary, his birthday, my birthday. And I quite like it because we get everything done in one go. Does that sound miserable? It’s just that I don’t like fuss and would rather my birthday didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Good job that my brother and I share a birthday so at least the fuss was easily spread out until I met Oliver. 

This year at the end of July, start of August we celebrated 4 years together, 29 years of Oliver and 27 years of me. Like everyone else I’m sure I dislike birthdays because they make you look at the bigger picture of your life. I did this often with my friend Jill at home, a once a week contemplation of what we’ve done and what’s to come and a little panic about everything we haven’t considered yet.

In the 12 months since my last birthday I’ve done so much more than I could have hoped. Visited 8 countries and countless cities that I’d always wanted to, met wonderful people from all over, eaten exotic and interesting foods and found myself living and working in a different country. Still, there’s always that birthday panic. Like what the fuck am I gonna do with my life!?

We received lovely packages from our parents with birthday gifts and cards, which made me very happy and a little bit homesick. Oliver bought me a beautiful watch and I ate Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations directly from the UK. It’s the little things.

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This birthday I bought $70 worth of cheese and gorged with Oliver. It was all I wanted to do. It’s pretty nice coming to the realisation that eating cheese and staying in is a favourite past time. I suppose that’s the 27 year old I’ve grown into! 

I took some pictures of the cheese 🙂 We got it from Spring Street Grocer in Melbourne CBD, and spent a good 15 minutes chatting to the cheese man (cheese monger?) about all his wares. He let us try lots and I felt elated. It’s the only way to describe it. Content, joyful, elated just to eat wonderful cheese and be taught all about it. I totally understand how Alex James ended up where he is. Perhaps cheese making is my future too.

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Enough cheese? One more.

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The week in food (2)

So I’m still slugging it at the gym and liking it too. I was eating pretty well for a week or two and I’m still trying but I can longer resist birthday cake at work or the odd slab of chocolate. Here are some pictures of the last week at the dinner table…

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As promised I cooked up a chicken liver storm. The top picture is a very easy curry with tikka paste, yoghurt, onion and something tomatoey, plus a load of chicken livers. A few days later I made a rather chunky chicken liver pâté with thyme and shallots, as a household we wolfed it down with butter and crackers.

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I’ve been eating fruity, fresh breakfasts like this peach and passion fruit goodness!

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I think this easy roasted cauliflower was for the chicken liver curry instead of rice. Good it was too. Big florets dusted in turmeric and salt and olive oil, roasted for 30 minutes, with a shake about half way through. It’s so good! Even better with beer in the Autumn.

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More breakfast, strawberries and chia seeds (hello Aussie food trend bandwagon!) after the gym.

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Oh, this must have been an off track day! I think I watched season 2 of The Killing, the Danish TV show, and ate pancakes that night.

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Chicken hearts, red peppers, red onions and teriyaki sauce. If you have never eaten chicken hearts, just do it! They are so cheap and are best with generous levels of salt, fried up or grilled. They’re not strongly flavored of textured, just delicious and under appreciated.

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A quick dinner for Oliver when he came home after a very long day. I’m a catch. I had a Hungry Jack’s for dinner on the tram home. Funny no picture of that 🙂

As for recipes… I tend to find things I like and get to know them. The chicken liver curry and roasted cauliflower were both from a Leon cookbook that Oliver got me one year. It had lots of store cupboard recipes, very handy. The pâté was a Jamie Oliver recipe but I couldn’t find the original online, I’m sure it was from a Christmas magazine. Oliver and I hold Jamie’s Christmas magazines so dear! They’ve fueled our past few and we intend to make them tradition. Anyway, the pâté is chopped, not blended, I remember this.