Published: May 23rd 2012May 23rd 2012
Writing from a small island in Honduras it's hard to think of what to say about Bolivia. It wasn't untill we were on the plane that I realised Central America probably wouldn't be the same, and it's not. Being in La Paz you could feel Bolivia was a bit behind the other countries in S.A. Bolivia seemed to have a little less money and a little less infrastructure but more political spirit and drive to improve every difficulty they face as a collective people. Within two weeks there was 2 seperate strikes and this wasn't a bunch of C.N. workers sitting under a tarp with some Tim Hortons coffees and a box of doughnuts. They had firecrackers and small pieces of dynamite (which we were told were harmless) that rattled windows and set off car alarms 100metres away. Our first day in the capital we turned down one street and saw 2 blocks away shoulder to shoulder policemen with riot shields and helmets filling an entire city street. Then we heard the dynamite for the first time and took a different route. After a few days of prying the locals for some information on the danger of hanging out there the
best we got was a smirk and a "it's normal for us."
Just another monday morning, grab your signage and dynamite. It only took a day or two and the hair on the back of our necks lay flat again, La Paz was kinda cool. Sure it smelled like piss in every crack of the city streets but the sense that these people really wanted to make a Bolivia that was simply Bolivian was intoxicating. On telephone poles and walkways from a noose there hung dummies or scarecrows reminding thieves that Bolivia was taking care of itself. In some parts of the country the police presence is next to nil. Kind of exciting right, like the wild west or the bat signal evil doers left shaking in their boots! Sadley no pictures of this phenomenon as a whole the larger cities in S.A. were tough to photograph. Pick pockets and poor people made it hard to want to carry anything shiney through the streets. So we hardley took any pictures of the colorfull markets and ancient streets.
Lake Titicaca was something else. I don't know what we were expecting but it was something quite different. The entire expierience
left me with a great apreciation of our sewage system. We started at the Peru side of the lake in a city named Puno, A city packed between hills on the edge of the lake. We have no pictures from here nor fond expieriences apart from the real local market which started Sunday morning directly outside our hostel. This wasn't the typical gringo market in all the guidebooks. This was the real deal, standing a head above everyone else we stuck out like sore thumbs. So we shoved our hands in our pockets and held a death grip on our cash. We walked for block after block on packed streets between true Andean women with their altitude ravaged faces wearing bowler hats, large dresses and colorfull shawlls. They sat in the street blankets laid out on the ashphault displaying everything from beans t-shirts and fruit to shoes made from old tires. It was like a Peruvian wal-mart where everyone comes to do the weeks shopping and hang out. We bought something we like to call snot fruit and headed on to Copacabana on the Bolivian side of the lake.
Copacabana was the height of our tirip at 3481metres mistakenley
we picked the hostel up on the hill and got the room on the top floor. The view was breathtaking! (ba doom shhhh) We seriously had to catch our breath from the lack of O2 before unlocking the door to our room every time. Happily this is my last entry about such heights. We got to Copacabana thinking we were going to be in another city like the last and we were pleasantley surprised. It was the festival of the cross and the Bolivians were drunk! Marching bands, dancing everywhere and packs of Andean women blushing with drink and giggling down the streets, it was madness. After the 4 day party the streets emptied of everything but the dogs and the trash and this small lake city could be seen as a wierd kind of dirty pretty place beside a pretty but probably dirty blue lake. I don't know how else to discribe it but if it was hotter than 16 degrees in mid day I still wouldn't have gone swimming. As tourists we are obligated to check out some tourist things and Isla Del Sol was one of the better ones. A large island in this large lake was
just a nice break from the mainland with a long slow boat ride and a little hike away from the gift shops and restaurants. Although some pictures make it look like we're in some hot country I assure you it's simply the cool dry climate and not the heat of the sun that makes it look that way. At night we needed puffy jackets and touques to keep us warm.
After all, Bolivia was an interesting place and probably deserves more than one post and 41 pictures but that's just the way things worked out. Winter was well on it's way in the southern hemisphere and we needed to wear our swimming trunks just one more time before home. So we're in Roatan Honduras for a couple weeks and then back to Canada. Unfortunately this may be the last post in this section, but hopefully not for our travel blog thanks for reading.
There are more photos below