Our bus from Salta to San Pedro de Atacama left at 1am and we knew in advance it was going to be a bit punishing – 13 hours heading over the Andes, up to around 5000m, with outside temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Hostels usually provide somewhere secure for bags once you have checked out, and will happily let you hang around the place/use the kitchen until it’s time for your onward connection, but in this instance we splurged and booked at extra night at the hostel so we could shower and have a bit of a snooze before heading to the bus station.

Our bus was with the Chilean Pullman company and cost us around £20 each (not bad) but food provided would be basic so as usual we stocked up on snacks and water. This along with the steaks is the reason why I’m struggling to maintain my 34in waist. On the road it’s difficult to be healthy, it’s either ham and cheese rolls or junk or nothing. There is no point in bringing fruit as you can’t take it across most South American borders and we just don’t know at what point in the trip the border controls More >