Our holiday week! I first off want to thank everyone for your prayers over this week, as it was a big success and we all had great fun – also thank you James and Natalie for planning it!
The week started with an emotional goodbye to everyone in Tartagal at the bus stop at 1am, we really enjoyed our time here, and feel like we have built a special connection with the place.
The bus took us to Salta and then a second coach took us to a place called Cafayate, where we spent the first two nights. My goodness what a beautiful place it was – the scenery, mountains, rivers, there was too much to look at out of the bus window as we approached our destination.
What was almost even cooler, was the AirBnB that James and Natalie had booked us to stay at. It was fantastic! Comfy beds, privacy between the two genders (Rosie snagged herself a room to herself) a working washing machine, a dishwasher, a TV, comfy sofas, a BBQ, a basketball court, beautiful scenery and a swimming pool! After two months in a wonderful but maybe not so comfy house, this place got us really excited. I was especially in love with the swimming pool.
But we didn’t just come to Cafayate for a great house, we did many cool things during our stay. We visited rainbow mountains, which were stunning – I think we filled half of our storage on our phones with photos. On one of the days we walked up one of the mountains which had a river and seven different waterfalls, and I think we were all awestruck at the sights and views, we certainly were in wonder of God’s creation. On the last day here we had a shopping day around the town of Cafayate and visited a pretty vineyard (we even tried llama) a nice relaxing way to round up the Cafayate portion of the trip.
From the comfort of our beds in Cafayate, the next night was spent in the Salta bus stop, which was unfortunate but a good experience for us to have. Once the night of un-comfort was completed we got on another bus to our next destination Tilcara. Here we explored a pretty town and climbed a small mountain to a cross which had a nice view. We then became tourists for a bit and bought a few things at nearby stalls. Us boys all bought a mask/balaclava because we thought it looked hilarious. We had a lot of fun wearing it to scare the girls and take pictures.
From our hostel (where we were all stuck in the same room) in Tilcara we were also able to visit the Salt Flats so that was our activity on our second day there. On the drive towards the Salt flats we stopped at a lovely town, where we partook in more tourist activities – buying various things from markets scattered around.
The Salt flats – amazing, awesome, astounding, astonishing, awe-inspiring. We took many funny pictures similar to ones you see on the internet, although some of them didn’t work. We attempted to try and make it seem that Izzy was a giant walking around squashing all of us, but it unfortunately did not go to plan. All in all, the Salt Flats were really cool, and one of the highlights of the trip.
An early 2am wake up for an early bus, saw us arrive at Salta at 8 O’clock in the morning. The girls and boys split up for the morning and had breakfast and went wandering around shopping.
At 12 we had the pleasure to meet up with Mati, Paula, Marco, Noelle and family for the last time. We went to a nice restaurant for lunch, which had the option of fish for those who were missing fish for the last two months. After that we went to watch Miqueas (Marco’s nephew) play a handball match which he won and then went on a scenic ride down the cable car in Salta with our day ending with a delicious waffle on the roof of a restaurant. It was great to spend time and see them for the last time, and it was certainly a bittersweet moment when it came to say goodbye, as they have invested so much time in us over the last two months. We all prayed together before we got on our 10 hour bus journey to Tarija in Bolivia.
I would like to say that the bus trip went smoothly – we had some problems with documents at the border, but thanks to God and a helpful bus driver we were able to get through eventually. Rosie also left her passport on the bus, but she was luckily able to collect it on Sunday as she found where the buses are parked.
In Tarija we stayed at a classy hotel, which was a splendid way to spend our final day on holiday. We spent time in the pools (yes pools not pool), the jacuzzi and sauna. We also got to meet a guy called Romon who knows about the project we will be doing in Bolivia. We spent lunch with him, and Tim and I got to know a little bit more about his time out here as we sorted out money extractions and exchanges.
All in all, it was a brilliant week on holiday. We saw cool sights, spent time together and even got an insight to what we will be doing for the next two months. God has really looked over us this week, nothing has got lost (permanently) or stolen, and we are all ok one piece.
Thank you for your prayers we are really grateful!
Jakob, Tim, Catherine, Rosie, Izzy, Natalie and James.