18 Mar 2013 10:25, 1 year, 4 months ago

Our expedition team in the Bolivian Mountains

An epic tale of extreme trekking and mountaineering in Bolivia, this time a joint effort from Nick McNiff and trusty leader Rowan Newman - thaks guys!

Pico Tarija

NICK: Our journey continued with a foul fish-smelling night bus into La Paz. The early morning arrival to the hostel reunited us with Nick and Rowan (we were lost without them). After hot showers we spent the night running errands for the upcoming trek and Death Road biking, a busy day made better by lunch at a traditional english pub. Friday night transformed into a fun night at the hostel with dancing and pulling people´s hair.

All you can eat pancakes were our saturday wake up call before taking advantage of the llama and jewellery tack in the city. A relaxing day came to a close early as we packed and went to bed early in preparation for the Bolivian mountain adventure the next morning.

Read more...

11 Mar 2013 17:43, 1 year, 4 months ago

Updates from South America

Our Rio & VM conjoined family are off trekking in the Bolivian Andes, in the Condoriri area and are off the grid for a few days, but managed to send us a quick tale of their latest shenanigans just before they left - thanks guys!

 

"Following a hard few days of trekking, we rewarded ourselves with a delicious French meal and a few drinks on the town... John, one of the more experienced members of our group, had to be put to bed, and another woke up lonely in an empty club at 5 in the morning.

Feeling a little worse for wear, we had the next day to relax in Arequipa and buy some souvenirs before catching the night bus to Chile. Unfortunately we woke up in the bus terminal to one less rucksack than we´d started with, meaning that Nick and Rowan would have to head back to Lima to get Nick an emergency passport in order for him to make it to Bolivia with us. We sadly parted ways at the bus terminal and the rest of the group headed to Chile, where we spent a long time waiting in the Arica bus terminal whilst Pete frantically tried to change our bus times. We finally arrived in San Pedro after a midnight drug search on the bus (luckily no-one was found out) in order to go horse-riding in the Atacama Desert and after a couple of hours riding we came back to the hostel for pizzas and Pisco for Emily´s 19th birthday.

After our short but sweet stay in Chile we crossed the border to Bolivia and began our 3 day expedition to the Salt Flats, stopping to see flamingos, tree rocks and pink lakes. We split into two groups for the jeeps and due to some illness in the group, the Death Bus was born. On Day 3 we arrived at the Salt Flats and took hundreds of perspective pictures to send home before cracking open the cider and enjoying our last lunch prepared by our drivers".

 

Keep an eye out in a few days for some more news and hopefully some mouthwatering pictures from the gang's latest trek...

4 Mar 2013 11:17, 1 year, 4 months ago

"We did not choose the mountain life, the mountain life chose us"

Wednesday, February 20 - EXPED BEGINS!

The Brazil group arrived in Lima late that night, checked into the hostel and prepared to meet the Villa Maria group the next day - despite being a man down, spirits were high and the excitement was brewing. Meanwhile on the other side of Lima, the final night party got underway, with secret santa gifts, heart shaped rice and a video to commemorate the fun times we'd had there.

Thursday, February 21
The two groups fused like marmalade on toast, and went for a tour around the Villa Maria project. Brazil team set off to Miraflores, closely followed by the VM group after saying some emotional goodbyes to the volunteers. Had a communal barbecue in the evening, with a briefing on the 6 weeks ahead, leaving us all ‘hungry for the power.'

Read more...

8 Feb 2013 11:19, 1 year, 5 months ago

Things you collect while travelling - a carnival costume?!

Quest Carnival Outfit

We've all collected a few bizarre souvenirs while travelling, this has got to be pretty high on the "what were you thinking" list! Our Brazil Gap Team are partway through their project phase at the moment however everyone in Brazil takes a few days off for Carnival (this weekend). The Mangueira district in Rio where our team is working has one of the most prestigious samba schools in Rio, and our team is part of their group competing in the parade - all wearing the above costume!

We're all a little envious back here in the office to be honest, how on earth are they going to get them home though!!!

Click here to find out how to join our Rio Carnival Team in 2014

22 Jan 2013 17:45, 1 year, 6 months ago

Brazil Team Island Tour

An update has been promised in the next couple of days (they're obviously working very hard on their Portuguese lessons) but in the meantime here's a glimpse of the paradise which the team enjoyed last weekend, on Ilha Grande - could be worse...

Click here to find out how to join our Brazil Gap Expedition in 2014