Tag Archives: water

Road Trip Diaries: From Escalante National Monument to Capitol Reef National Park: AKA, The Day We Met The Thirsty Spirit (Part II)

(Continued from my previous post about our trip through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument)

After our fairly “exciting” adventures in the slot canyons, we said goodbye to Escalante and headed out on Highway 12 toward our next destination – Capitol Reef National Park. However, I had heard that the BLM campground at Calf Creek was pretty nice (it also contains the trailhead for the gorgeous-looking “Calf Creek Falls hike“), so we did a short pit stop to check it out.

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A site at Calf Creek campground

Oh man. It was pretty dope. The campground was small and so scenic. Almost every site was secluded and surrounded by trees and tall carved rocks. If you’re able to secure a spot (the campground seems to be pretty popular), that seems to be one of the best campsites to stay at in the Escalante area.

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Highway 12 to Capitol Reef

The sky darkened overhead as we tried to race toward our next destination before nightfall. As a light rain pelted our windshield, we watched as our surrounding scenery progressively changed around us. Instead of bare dry rock for as far as the eye could see, we were now surrounded by a mixture of tall dark pine and glowing white aspen trees along the highway. It was refreshing.

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As we began to approach the park, we could see tall, brightly colored rock formations rise up around us like sculpted rainbow mountains. I haven’t heard much about Capitol Reef, but it looks like a photographer’s playground…

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Ahhhhhhhhhh…Sucre!

After Uyuni, I decided to travel up to the lovely city of Sucre since my plans to go to Argentina had fallen apart by then (there just wasn’t enough time to go. New rule: 1 country per month! At least 3 weeks…there’s just so much to do!).

I had heard a lot of good things about the “White City” – a traveler I met in Cochabamba said that it was one of his favorite cities in the world (I guess it depends on what you like though. While Sucre wasn’t my favorite city in the world, it was indeed very nice).

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Catedral

This trip also didn’t start out very well – due to the buses, yet again. I have no idea what happened, actually. All that I know is that I boarded an Emperador bus at Uyuni and took it for about four hours until its stop at the famous mining town of Potosi. The bus company originally told me that I would have to change buses in Potosi, but that didn’t quite happen. When I asked the bus driver where to go for my connecting bus to Sucre, he just handed me 20 bolivianos and told me to go upstairs. Somewhere. What?

So I went upstairs to find – something. I tried to go to the Emperador bus office, but it was closed. Another agency down the hall said that I had to go to the NEW bus station down the street. Whatthhell. Why are there two bus stations. That is so confusing.

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Carnaval in Uyuni: Ninja Turtles, Vikings, and All-Day Water Balloon Fights

After we ended our four-day “Tupiza to the Salar de Uyuni” tour, the Swiss couple (that I met on the tour) accompanied me in search of a better hostel. We came across Hostal La Magia de Uyuni, a much more upscale place with great looking bedrooms and an excellent breakfast. It was pretty pricey though – as a budget traveler, I aim to pay less than $10 a night – $20 on special occasions. However, after 4 days with only one hot shower (not including the hot springs soak), I was looking forward to a quiet night’s rest in my own room. Unfortunately, an expensive room does not equate hot showers – I was shivering in (almost) lukewarm shower water that night (I think they didn’t have the water heater turned on at the time).

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One of my favorite things about Bolivia (and Peru) is the amazing festival music – a combination of triumphant-sounding horns and energetic drums. Everyone seems to have access to brass instruments and can form a marching band out here! While most people in Bolivia go to Oruro for Carnaval (where the big parade goes down), Uyuni was preparing for its own Carnaval parades that weekend. I don’t know what it’s like in Oruro, but I have to say that Uyuni’s Carnaval made me fall a little bit in love with this small city, and it’s awesome people.

Getting ready for the festivites in Uyuni

Getting ready for the festivities

Balloon and water pistol vendors

Balloon and water pistol vendors

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