Blogs from Bolivia, South America


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz April 17th 2014

Days 59 Today was a day we have been contemplating for a long time. Would we or could we take on the famous mountain bike trip down the road dubbed “The Death Road” and “The World’s Most Dangerous Road”. Most of this infamy was due to when two-way motor vehicle traffic occurred on the single track road but has now been diverted to an alternate new road and now taken over by adventure seekers. The stars must have been in alignment as we agreed we could do it and the weather was agreeable. We chose Xtreme Down Hill as the tour operator as other Intrepid groups had used them previously with no adverse reviews. Intrepid give no advice on the trip & would prefer no one went. In the end I had the company of 6 ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre April 6th 2014

Two months is a long time in one place. Sucre began to feel like home. Leaving was bittersweet. We were sorry to go, but excited to move on. Ten reasons why we'll miss it.... read more

South America » Bolivia » Oruro Department » Oruro April 2nd 2014

Carnival in Sucre was a blast. Carnival in Oruro was completely over the top. For most of the year Oruro is a grim mining town with nothing much to recommend it, but a week before Lent it explodes into a frenetic fiesta of colour and music. It's the most raucous and outrageous party of all. Aida urged us to go, telling us it was 'different'. She though, was content to watch it on the TV. We dithered; wandering about the cost - hotels put up their prices five-fold - and worrying about all that water-throwing. Finally, we bit the bullet, booked a hotel and seats for the procession, and off we went. 'What time does the Entrada begin'? I asked the man in the hotel lobby on the Saturday morning. He nodded towards the street, took ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz March 24th 2014

Though I'm back in the UK, I have some unfinished business with South America: among other things some unpublished blogs. I can't leave out Bolivia, with La Paz - the world's highest capital or volunteering at a jungle animal sanctuary with a puma. Bolivia is quirky to the max, has strong traditions a crazy government and health and safety hasn't been invented yet so you can get to do all sorts of fun inadvisable things… So I took a bus from Puno (that's another blog), Peru, stopping at Copacabana, to La Paz. Copacabana is on the shore of the mighty Lake Titicaca, I didn’t stop long but what I did see was an armada of hundreds of giant plastic yellow duck and white swan mobiles that people were taking out for trips round the lake – ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre March 16th 2014

Comment décrire le Carnaval? C'est difficile car il faut le vivre pour le comprendre. Disons que c'est comme une vague d'émotions qui se prépare des semaines à l'avance et qui se déferle sur un peuple le temps de quelques semaines. Les gens, petits et grands, se laissent emporter et boivent, dansent et partagent leur bonheur. Il y a les ballons remplis d'eau (sans parler des seaux d'eau) et les coquilles d'oeufs remplis d'eau parfumée qui sont lancés sur les gens qui dansent et paradent dans les rues accompagnées de musiciens qui se rivalisent pour jouer les uns plus fort que les autres! Le tigre de leche, un boisson alcoolisé un peu spécial et la chancha, une autre boisson artisanale assez forte, coulent librement. N'oublions pas la Singani et la bière aussi. Les émotions sont très fortes ... read more
Les ballons
Les ballons
Les ballons


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz March 14th 2014

and I had agreed to meet at 6:30 to head up to restaurant Gustu for our sumptuous tasting menu dinner. She was going to take a bus in from Copacabana and I would spend a leisurely afternoon in my hotel room working on blogs and organizing pictures. After checking in, I headed up to the small café in my hotel and had the most wonderful club sandwich with fried egg, ham, chicken, bacon and some fries. Follow that with a Café Americano and I was fully refreshed, recharged and ready to head down to Miraflores to fight with the airline. It wasn’t a long taxi ride to reach to proper address, but the place was closed and locked down with metal rolling gates. I had no choice but to hop out and wait, hoping they ... read more
Tara and Brendan Meet Again
Museo San Fancisco
Carved Face at Tiwanaku

Surprisingly I didn’t sleep too badly last night. I am not used to sleeping in a dorm, so wasn’t sure how it would go. No loud snoring, no late night wild parties, just a group of worn out travelers. Oh, and before I forget, it was mentioned that the beds were not in fact concrete, but salt. Duh. I don’t know why I didn’t put that together. Regardless, they were pretty darn comfortable. Breakfast was a quiet affair with instant coffee, bread, scrambled eggs, lunch meat, cheese (to build breakfast sandwiches) and fruit cocktail. Please don’t think less of me, but I ate 2 helpings of the stupid fruit cocktail. After not being able to eat for the first half of the week, I was starving. We loaded our luggage on top of the Land Cruiser ... read more
Iconic Rock Tree
Reflection in the Green Lagoon

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre March 9th 2014

Le Hogar Guadalupe est un refuge pour des jeunes filles qui s'y trouvent pour divers raisons: abus sexuelle, abus psychologique, parfois pour des crimes mineurs. Certaines paraissent plus endurcies par la vie. D'autres prennent leur mal en patience. D'autres semblent fleurir à l'abris de leur bourreau. Avec très peu et des conditions de vie plus que simples (douches et toilettes extérieures, lavage de vêtements à la main, etc.), on leur apprend la couture, le tricot et autres métiers d'art. Elles vont apprendre aussi comment prendre soin d'elles, gérer de l'argent, certaines pourront aller à l'école le soir pour compléter leurs études. (Certaines ne peuvent quitter le Hogar de peur qu'elles se sauvent.) Il y dix jours, parents, amis et invités ont pu venir voir le résultat de ce travail lors d'une Fiesta jumelée avec une présenta ... read more
La scène extérieure
L'exposition 1
L'exposition 2

Today was one of those hateful early mornings. I was to be picked up at 4 AM to head to the airport. When the phone rang at 3:40 and the driver was waiting I knew it was going to be a rush. Luckily I had packed and organized everything the night before. At the airport I ran into problems checking in. The airline required that the credit card used to purchase the ticket be presented, which I would happily have done if it hadn’t been stolen and cancelled. No matter how many times I explained that it was the same company, but just a different number the agent just looked at me and told me I had to purchase new tickets. The fact that I had flown from Cuzco, Peru to La Paz just days prior ... read more
These Things Were Huge
Standing on the Salar de Uyuni
Train Graveyard 1

We took a hair raising flight in a tiny propeller plane to rurrenebache which is the gate way town into the Bolivian amazon. The heat and humidity hits you like a heavy blanket upon leaving the plane. It was so hot we decided to book into the only hotel with a swimming pool and spent the first afternoon floating in the pool before going to a local restaurant for some delicious amazon fried fish for dinner. We were collected by our tour company, Mashiquipe at 8 the next morning and lifted to the boat which was to carry us up the beni river to the jungle lodge with a 3 hour stop at a local village on the way. The boat ride is spectacular with views of thick forest on either side and as far as ... read more

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