A 280-mile solo hike across Ireland.

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Book Excerpts
Excerpt - ¡Bolivia! ¿Es posible?
From the border we drove to Laguna Blanca where we had breakfast in a lone building set aside a lagoon stretching out before us like a giant mirror. The mountainous backdrop was perfectly reflected in the water. Pink flamingos dotted the shoreline. The morning air was crisp and pleasant. There was no sun, and the clouds hovered just above the snow-capped mountains. It wasn't really that cold though.
I perched myself by the lake and surveyed the rocky landscape stretching out before me. It seemed quite barren and lifeless. However looks can be deceiving. This part of South America is littered with volcanoes, both active and extinct. This area was alive with geysers and hot springs. It was going to be an interesting trip.
It seemed that all the tour groups followed the same path and stopped at the same places. Our group was split into two jeep loads. My half contained Stefan, a German couple called Martina and Oliver, and a French girl called Pascale. Our guide was Vicente, a short, thin, grubby-looking man. He was dressed in a greasy blue jumper and dark jeans, and sported a thick mop of wild, spiky black hair. Permanently squinting eyes sat on a roundish dark, weather-beaten face with high cheekbones that seemed to be there to accommodate his huge grin. That grin would become a familiar sight over the next few days. We also had our very own personal cook. Veronica was a short, dumpy fifteen-year old girl, who was doing this job in-between her studies. It seemed that the people in this part of the world are definitely vertically challenged - for want of a more politically correct turn of phrase.
Vicente pulled up in a beat-up silver jeep. The other groups had got into equally beat-up jeeps; our other half having had to jump start theirs because the starter motor was broken. We loaded our backpacks and all supplies on the roof, which Vicente covered with an old piece of tarpaulin, then clambered aboard. For the next three days Colque would be providing all our food. All we'd needed to bring was our own water.
Just to be sure we had all brought five litres each. Each of us then waited, fingers crossed, as Vicente started the car, and were relieved to find that it started first time. It looked as though we had got the better end of the deal. Vicente turned and grinned us a confident grin.
One of the women who had made us breakfast came to see us off. She was dressed in a large gypsy-style skirt, with many undergarments making it puff out like a lampshade, and a plain green jumper. She looked like she had once been tall, but had fallen into her arse. However I suspected that underneath all those layers she wasn't as dumpy as she appeared.
Draped around her neck and hanging loosely from her body was an old apron, and perched right on the tip of her head was a black bowler hat. She happily posed for a photo and waved us off as we started our way along the bumpy gravel road.

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