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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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