Blogs from La Paz Department, Bolivia, South America - page 12


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz September 7th 2012

After two wonderful days on idyllic, sun-drenched Isla del Sol, it's once again time to move on. An unbelievably slow boat gets me back to Copacabana just in time for a quick spot of lunch (home-made baked beans in tomato sauce on home-made soda bread? In Bolivia? For real?) before catching my bus - cleverly booked before I went to Isla del Sol - eastwards to La Paz. La Paz is a city I've heard a lot about - most of it not particularly flattering - and I'm looking forward to seeing what it's really like. The bus journey from Copabana to La Paz is short but memorable. To begin with, shortly after leaving Copabana we reach the narrow Strait of Tiquina where the lake narrows to about eight hundred metres wide, separating Lake Titicaca proper ... read more
Loading up the bus at Tiquina...
Bus crossing the straits at Tiquina
Incredible view of La Paz from Mirador Killi Killi

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Isla del Sol September 6th 2012

After an early boat from Isla Amantaní gets me back to Puno I make my way by bus along the lake's southern shore to Peru's border with Bolivia. There are two border crossing points in the Titicaca area, at the Peruvian towns of Desaguadero and Yunguyo. Desaguadero has a particularly unsavoury reputation (smuggling, criminality, generic border unpleasantness) and besides, Yunguyo is right on the edge of the lake and far more convenient for reaching my first stop in Bolivia: Isla del Sol. Isla del Sol is one of several islands on Lake Titicaca on the Bolivian side, and by some way the largest on the entire lake. The island has long held great importance for both Aymara and Quechua-speaking peoples in the area, the island's name coming from its role in local creation myths as the ... read more
Copacabana's beautiful and incongruously large basilica
Blessed bus...this one, unusually, has Bolivian plates
Sailling from Copacabana to Isla del Sol

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz September 5th 2012

Hey Everyone, It has been awhile since I have updated the blog. I have probably missed lots out so these are a few of the highlights. After Machu Picchu we went back to Cuzco and had a lazy day doing a bit of shopping ready for our early bus transfer to Puno near Lake Titicaca. The bus journey was long but ok there was alot of space and the roads weren't as bad as I expected. We arrived in Puno and went out for chicken and chips a local which was really good and just what we all needed. The next day we got tuc tuc's to the port and went on a boat ride around the lake to the floating island where we were told how the are made ad how if the people ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Isla del Sol August 25th 2012

The journey to lake titticaca was as pleasant as can be.. We arrived at copacabana, a small town that sits on the Bolivian coast.Its a bohemian wonderland with an array of taxi boats all begging you for your custom, the particular custom being to bounce you over to the isle de sol. Now, when most people think of the isle de sol, they think of the indegionous people who live on the island, the sacraficial henge, the religious importance it has, and the beautiful surroundings.. My first thoughts were.. boss place to go camping :) and in my exuberance to finally get the tent out thought the island would be a popular place for such excursions, but after arriving at the north port of the island and walking up hill for 2 hours with 20 kg ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz August 25th 2012

The mountaineering expedition was the first thing we booked for our trip, almost 6 months before heading off. It has been James’ dream for quite some time to be in high mountains and climb ‘some big snowy peaks’. With us not being able to journey down to Patagonia (due to their very frosty weather this time of year, oh well, next time!), James was particularly excited about seizing the opportunity to hike some of the high mountains in Bolivia. And especially since the mountains were fairly accessible (max 2 hours from La Paz), and ‘good enough’ for beginners, it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. Honestly, my enthusiasm was not on the same level, but I had accepted it and thought of it as a challenge I was willing to pursue. I had also ... read more
PA base camp
Condoriri Mountains
Condoriri & base camp in background


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz August 17th 2012

We are now in La Paz, Bolivia, a city (3660m above sea level) that has surprised us through its location and vibrancy. It is located in a series of valleys and is approached through its twin city of El Alto situated on the plains 400m above. As you travel down into the valley, you are immediately struck by cliff hanging houses rising in levels above the city centre. What is more surprising is when visting the Moon Valley in the south of La Paz, as here you feel as if you could be on the moon with its barren and rocky landscape. Amazingly, houses are build around this unstable landscape. It was a pleasant change to travel to Bolivia by train and boat rather than flying. A 10 hour train ride found us in Puno (3800m) ... read more
Uros - floating island
Lake Titicaca - Sun Island

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz August 14th 2012

Hi, just to let you know that La Paz has been as insane as I thought it would be. Bob and I did the Bolivian road of death on mountain bikes two days ago. Apparently two cyclists a year die on that road and inbetween 200 and 300 travellers die on it every year. I can well believe it, as it´s the most insane bike ride I´ve been on, by a long way! Also went to the salt flats yesterday, it´s difficult to describe the beauty of it, can´t really do it justice. Heading to lake Titicaca next.... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz August 13th 2012

Our arrival in the highest capital city in the world (alt. 3400m), La Paz was fascinating. The city is set in a massive valley and is chockablock to the rim and can only be described as a gigantic bowl of buildings! The first thing that struck us was the general chaos and busyness of the streets. Traffic was manic as busses, cars and trucks were trying to get through already jam-packed roads full of people. And of course, road rules and traffic lights are optional extras to be followed. La Paz is unlike any city we’ve seen so far. The valley makes it feel like the city is going to swallow you at any minute. Like walking the streets near our hotel and rounding the corner and finding ourselves in one of La Paz’s most popular ... read more
Illamani looming over La Paz
Saffa's in La Paz
The local La Paz busses

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Copacabana August 10th 2012

In Puno, we decided to play it safe and get the visa at the embassy before heading to the border. So, on Monday morning, 6 August, we headed out bright and early to the embassy. Armed with all the required documents that is needed for the American visa (passports, yellow fever vaccination, detailed itinerary, accommodation booking, copy of credit cards plus a kidney or two, just in case!), we walked in quite confident that the process would be a synch. So it turns out it wasn’t going to be easy. Of all the luck, we had arrived at the embassy on Bolivia’s National Independence Day, and theoretically the embassy was closed! We just happened to catch the secretary coming in to water his plants (well, that’s what it seemed like it when we first walked in), ... read more
Receiving blessings from the Virgin
Queues and more queues for the Virgin
Personal Blessings

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz August 6th 2012

Sucre knows how to party.... They seem to be at it all the bloody time! We arrived yesterday morning to what seemed to be an all-day parade, brass bands aplenty (with some rather inappropriately dressed young lady band members - the costume designer may have watched Austin Powers a few too many times), and have just spent the last few hours at some crazy fun fair with what appears to be the entire population of Sucre. We had to leave for 2 reason - 1. we got our arses kicked at Table football by some little kids, and 2, we seem to be unable to resist the array of fried and/orsweet food stuffs available at every corner and if we didn´t leave we would have both been sick. Eating win of the night, my smokin´ hot ... read more
Instant party
Hmm, scarf, or llama foetus? Decisions...

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