Tag Archives: bolivia

Salt Flats of Uyuni


The trip to Uyuni from  La Paz was uncomfortable and bumpy.  I took the overnight bus (the only available) and it was not the nicest bus. I was very relieved to arrive safe and sound at 7am the next morning.

Getting off the bus I was a little lost. It was my original pre booked so I didn’t have to think. Luckily, I met a nice group of Argentinian girls who needed an extra for their tour group, so I signed up. I ended leaving straight away at 10 am that morning to begin my journey, but was lucky enough to find a hotel for a shower first.

DAY ONE:

First stop was the old train cemetery. Bolivia used to have a train system, but in 1950, the trains changed fuel system and they just abounded the old models. Because of the dry heat the train did not disintegrate over time.

After the trains came the best part: The salt flat itself. This is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. Miles and miles of white salt covered by a thin layer of water in all directions. The sky and the water seem to unite, and it feels as though you’ve stepped into some type of heavenly time warp.

Post salar, we were driven a long way to a hostel to stay the night. Dinner there was actually quite lovely, and the beds were warm and comfortable.

DAY TWO:

This day was all about the lagoons and desert. The first stop was the valley of the rocks, which looked like Arizona, but with bigger rock formations.

Second two stops were at these gorgeous lagoons to try and find some flamingos and enjoy the magnificent colors. I was blown away by the pastel shades, the mountains, and the contrasts. Stunning.

We had an excellent lunch with three different kinds of potatoes..

Last stop for Day Two was the National Park where you can visit el Lago Colorado. It costs to go it, but its worth every penny. It was windy and freezing, but the flamingos in the red water, with the green moss,  and grey mountains made for a picture perfect  painting like view.

The place we stayed at that night was a little rough, but we managed.

DAY THREE: Our 5am wake up  the next day was also not very fun, but we survived. We saw the geysers (freezing) and had breakfast.

Our last stop was to Laguna Verde, one of my favorites. There were no animals here because the lagoon has traces or arsine. Besides the poisonous chemicals, the view was incredible.

Truly, this was one of the most amazing trips of my life and I was left speechless on numerous occasions. It was very difficult to pick good photos…there were so many!

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La Paz, Bolivia


The bus ride to La Paz from Copacabana was pretty smooth and only took maybe 5 hours. However, we had to cross the lake as part of the journey, which I had no idea about. They made us get off the bus and get into a little tiny motorboat in the rain.

Meanwhile, all our luggage was still on the bus. I watched in horror as the proceeded to load the bus onto like, a wooden dock, that was powered but a tiny motor. The water was not exact tranquil. More like a frothy, turbulent whirlpool. The bus was rocking back and forth, and I was absolutely convinced it would capsize. Once we got to shore, I scanned the water frantically to see if the bus would make it to shore. It did, and it all worked out. But, I still remained baffled. Is this the only way to do this? REALLY?

Coming in to La Paz made for some stunning views of the city. La Paz is one of the highest cities in the world, and the houses sit on gigantic mountain sides. Really spectacular.

However, I did not really have a great time in La Paz. Shortly after arriving I came down with a burning fever and had to sleep for like 20 hours. I was worried Id have to go to the hospital, but it all worked out.

Meanwhile, it was Carnaval in La Paz, which meant the streets were filled with dancings, costumes, water guns (they shoot you with them….it sucks), trumpets, drums, and general chaos and drunkenness. In my bed, it sounded like a war zone and I remembered drifting in and out of my feverish naps to the sound of explosions and trumpets.

Once I did finally recover, and Carnaval ended, I could finally walk around and enjoy the city more. I especially like the Coca Museum, which guided the visitors through the history of cocaine in Bolivia and the coca plant which is sacred to the local people in the area.

I had a nice little lunch at a cafe where I ordered the daily special. Can anybody guess the name of this dish?

Honestly, I did not get to explore too much Bolivian cuisine because of being ill, but here’s a few traditional plates worth knowing about:

Chicharron – Pieces of fried pork, cooked with chicha and served with stewed corn.

Changa de pollo o de conejo – Soup make with chicken or cuy (guinea pig), potato, peas, avas and green onion.

Salteñas – Only eaten in the morning. A warm savory pastry that holds a juicy combination of chicken or meat, greens and sauce, and is cooked in an oven.

Pique Macho: It is a heaped plate consisting of bite-sized pieces of beef, sausage(hot dog type), and french fry-cut potatoes. Added to this mixture are onions, locoto, boiled egg, mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup.

Generally, Bolivia is not renown for its cuisine, but it still has a lot of offer, and to be honest, I just barely touched the surface of the culinary world there.

Once I recovered and Carnaval ended I booked my bus ride to Uyuni and departed ways with Katie. I was on my own for the next stretch!

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Copacabana and Isla del Sol


One long (rainy) journey later, we made our way into Bolivia, boarding crossing and all.

Copacabana is a small, waterfront town. Bolivia was drastically different in that everything was dirt cheap, and the city was much more run down than anywhere we had been in Peru. It was lovely walking around town, exploring, but it was clear Bolivians struggle to make enough for the basics. But the views of Lake Titicaca were breathing taking  and the trout, or trucha,  rocked.

After a day in Copacabana, we booked a boat for Isla del Sol to spend the night. Isla del Sol is famous as the mythological, origin site for the I can creation story. It has over 80 ancient Incans ruins along with gorgeous lake views.

It takes 3 hours to walk around the island, but its worth the journey.

We made some new friends on our walk and found a nice hostel with a spectacular view to spend the night. Next day, is was back to Copacabana then off to La Paz!

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