Capture the Colour: A Photo Essay in Colours

When I was asked to take part in TravelSupermarket’s Capture the Colour competition, I knew it was exactly the competition for me. Not only do I get to share 5 of my favourite images from my travels, it also inspired me to get creative. The idea was to choose 5 photos, each one representing a colour – Blue, Green, Yellow, White and Red. Nominated by Mallory On Travel made my task that little bit more daunting, since his photos are out of this world. Long-term readers of Starry-Eyed Travels will be all to well-aware of my love affair with South America (yes, here we go again) and as my South America archives have such a dazzling array of colours, it seemed like the logical place to start. It’s funny: I had literally thousands of photos to choose from, but these five, chosen for their colour, more or less sum up South America to me. There is an accidental focus on Peru, but that’s where I spent the most time, and there is a mixture of wide open landscapes, vibrant cities, nature and people. So, in a rainbow nutshell, here is the essence of a continent.   Blue The Atacama Desert in Chile was a life-changing place for me; I will never, ever forget it. I never knew such spectacular landscapes could exist on earth. Every day there was enchanting, but the salt lakes were a complete surprise: warm, inviting pools of water – in the middle of a desert. It was just before the sun began to set when I took this photo, with the Atacama looking very unlike...

Reminiscing about South America: A Year On.

This time last year – on this exact day – I was sitting in a polleria in Calama, Chile, booking the most ridiculous flight of my life. I was a month into the most incredible adventure of my life and although that particular moment was not the happiest of all my time there, I’m smiling thinking back on it. Now that I have my freedom back, nostalgia for South America is stronger than ever and I’m being overwhelmed by a desire to go back there – not just for a holiday, or even an extended trip, but to live. It’s such a tantalizing, ridiculous dream that I barely dare consider it, but at the same time, I can’t stop thinking about it. To live in Buenos Aires, Salta or La Paz, to speak Spanish and wander the streets of those achingly charismatic cities, to drink a cafe cortado in some sunny plaza at the end of each working day… the thought is almost too much to bear. It’s hard to say how much of this is due to rose-tinted memories – with my travel fund miserably empty, I have no prospects of getting out of the country until I start earning some money later this year and I am going absolutely stir-crazy. Thinking about where I was this time last year seems understandably rosy. But even when I think about it more rationally, the desire to move to South America does not diminish. I remember walking through Buenos Aires, wanting to stay forever, returning to La Paz after I’d been there once, desperate for another day, enjoying the daily,...

Chaos in Sao Paulo

It’s the second Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for the Travel Belles’ Across the Cafe Table chat!  This month, we’re talking about flight experiences, and this just sort of tumbled out of me. It’s the tale of my inital flight to South America, one I will never forget… My heart gave a small leap. I had just woken, bleary-eyed, from a few hours of fitful sleep and switched on the flight map to see where we were. The answer: somwhere above the Amazon rainforest, just a couple of hundred kilometres outside of Sao Paulo. We were almost there; my South American adventure was about to begin. I set about preparing myself for touchdown: I brushed my teeth, put some make-up on and generally freshened up, as much as is possible on any long-haul flight. I tidied up my things, sorting the nest I had created in my tiny amount of personal space back into some kind of order. I had spent the last 13 hours on the plane and boy, was I ready to land. I still had a flight to Lima ahead of me, but at least I would have a couple of hours in Sao Paulo to get a decent breakfast. An hour later, I began to get fidgety. I flicked back to the flight map, only to see that, for some reason, we had not made any progress whatsoever. Instead, we appeared to be circling the same bit of rainforest. Round and round and round. Eventually, a few minutes after the time we were supposed to have landed, we began to move. But...

The Bright Lights of Buenos Aires

To start our month of city & culture features, we’re heading first to the beguiling capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires… Buenos Aires. Just say it. Let the words roll over your tongue. Buenos Aires. It just sounds promising, doesn’t it? In my travels across South America, I had heard whispers of all kinds about Buenos Aires. Some people loved it, others hated it. Opinion after opinion was foisted on me, all the things I had to do when I got there, all the places I should avoid. It became a mythical place, somewhere I had no real idea about, but which was constantly spoken about. Nearly every traveller on the South America circuit has been to Buenos Aires, many have spent a few weeks or even months there, so every time I bumped into one of them, I heard about Buenos Aires.Finally, the day came when I boarded a plane from Lima and arrived, a few hours later, in the fabled city. It was love at first sight. Partly this was because for the first time in months, I was in a big, modern city with a European feel to it; territory I felt at home on.Partly it was because Buenos Aires is beautiful, with grand buildings and wide boulevards. I was staying just off the Avenida Corrientes, not far from the Obelisk, in the microcentro. It is theatre district – busy, bustling and bright. I could have skipped with happiness. Over the next few days, I explored the city. I did a lot of pavement-pounding and yes, I did get lost a few times. It is a decent-sized...

The Iguassu Falls: Up Close and Personal

By the time I got to Iguassu (or Iguazu, or Iguaçu, depending on which side of the border you are), I was tired. I remember phoning home – my regular ‘Hi Mum, I’m in a new country’ call – and for the first time, I felt a little homesick. I had been travelling for a long time and suddenly, I was jaded by it. But I had just crossed the Argentina-Brazil border, getting to grips with the tropical weather after the winter of Buenos Aires. And I was  about to visit the Iguassu Falls. It was a moment I’d been anticipating from the very start of my trip, so I hoped it would revitalise me. It was an unpromising start – the weather was dull and grey and the tour guide was an hour late, having been sent to the wrong hotel. I didn’t even want a tour guide. I had booked the trip before I’d left Britain, still naive and worried about going it alone. But at this point in my trip, I would have been happier going independently. But when we got to the Falls, past the ticket office and souvenir shops and along the boardwalks, my grumpiness evaporated. There, past the towering palm trees, were the waterfalls. The falls seemed to go on forever and the rush of water filled every sense. As I neared the end of the platform, I had to pull up my hood and shelter my camera from the soaking spray. It made me giggly and giddy – my travel fatigue was washed away. From the rush of the first waterfalls, a...
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