Blogs from Bolivia, South America

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South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 23rd 2014

From the day I left El Chalten back in March I'd been looking forward to the trip across the Altplano from San Pedro in Chile to Uyuni in Bolivia. I'd booked the trip before I left the UK because I'd heard that entering Argentina without proof of exit could present problems. Booking in advance had also helped to focus my planning by fixing some dates at around the halfway stage of my trip. The Altiplano would therefore be something of a watershed moment - not just in relation as to where it fits in to my itinerary but also in crossing this great natural barrier: I would be leaving behind the southern part of South America and moving on to a new country and culture. It's possible to cover the 530 kilometres between San Pedro and ... read more
Laguna Verde (I think)
Another Day Another Thermal Pool
Lago Colorado

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 23rd 2014

After having met so many people on our travels who spoke highly of Bolivia and the Salt Flats we decided to do a mini detour and go north from Argentina to south west bolivia then work our way down chile to our final destination Santiago. We were somewhat stressed at the journey, Bolivia being as it is there is very little information online and no such thing as bus timetables. We knew that we had to take the bus to the argentinian border town then physically walk across to the neighbouring bolivian border town called Villazon where we would get either a bus or a train to the town we had to get to - Uyuni. We had differing information about how to best get there and even at one point were close to not taking ... read more
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Our last minute trip to Bolivia was probably the best last minute decision I have made and I would maybe go as far as to say the highlight of our trip to date. The company we went with was fantastic and everything was well planned and organised and exceeded my already high expectations. Meeting at the office at 1030am we were met with lts of other travellers going on the same trip. There were 4 jeeps in our convoy but it was more like being split in 2 as there was 1 guide per 2 vehicles. Our jeep had 6 tourists (us 2, 2 english girls and a girl from hungary) as well as the driver and the guide. The other jeep was all australian minus a girl from italy. We got on really well with ... read more
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South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre April 21st 2014

Days 62-63 After our 14 hr nightmare bus ride our hostel kindly allowed us all into our rooms for a hot shower which seemed to revive us enough to go our for an orientation walk of the colonial heart of the city. While for practical purposes La Paz is the capital of Bolivia it's official capital is Sucre & was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991 due to its immaculately preserved colonial architecture. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning its nickname - the 'White City' & are actually required to be whitewashed annually. Sucre seems a much more prosperous place than elsewhere to date with ornate museums and churches to browse. The heart of the city centres around the Plaza de Mayo and has a nice atmosphere although very quiet ... read more
San Francisco Cathedral Plaza de Mayo
Monastery Cloisters
Monastery Fresco

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

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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




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