Blogs from Bolivia, South America - page 7

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South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre March 7th 2014

'The whole country is just one great big Fellini fest', said Jim in the run-up to Carnival. Sucre was awash with music and parades; dancing in the streets, folklore, traditional costumes, youths throwing balloons filled with water, kids shouldering massive water pistols, and squirting spray foam. It was just one big party. And it went on for weeks. Bands - groups sometimes of fifteen to twenty people - played guitars of varying sizes, brass and wind instruments and drums. 'Bong, bong, bang', sounds resounded around the plaza, and floated up to our apartment on the hill, a fifteen-minute walk away. More than music, this was pure joy and enthusiasm. Each band member seemed to do their own thing, dancing while they played, running around in circles, jumping up into the air; some did 'Shadows'-style kicks. Individuals, ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz March 6th 2014

Starting last night I began to feel the effects of altitude sickness. It starts with a really bad headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, restless sleeping and in my case, lots of nausea. I felt well enough to head down to dinner in the hotel and had the most wonderful chicken soup and spaghetti Bolognese. I took a couple pictures, but really couldn’t justify putting up yet another chicken soup or spaghetti Bolognese shot. I have a feeling you can come up with an image in your mind. I didn’t sleep well at all, but when it came time to get up, I was too tired. I snooze alarmed for an hour and a half. Then of course came the mad dash to shower, gather my things and head down to meet my tour guide. I was ... read more
Valley of the Moon 2
Valley of the Moon 3
Valley of the Moon 4


*Spoiler alert* No there wasn’t. If you know me, you understand that I can’t get past the Barry Manilow song when I hear Copacabana. Two years ago when I was in Rio de Janeiro, this was my blog It became the favorite blog title so far. When I planned this trip and found that I was going to be staying in Copacabana again, were keen to find out what my blog title would be. It was a hard call. All I can say is I continue to walk around singing the darn song, but hey, when at the Copa….. Our tour bus left La Paz at 7:00. Happily I found out that it was my guide Sylvia from the previous tour. Traffic was a bit heavy as we headed up and through El Alto City. Today ... read more
Dancers for Carnival
Boats on Lake Titicaca
Overlooking Lake Titicaca

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz March 4th 2014

These are not necessarily in the order listed in the title, but man yesterday and today’s travel ran the list of these. When I initially booked my tickets, using my miles, I didn’t realize that I was scheduled to fly home early Wed, not late Wed. All I saw was Wednesday and I assumed it was an overnight flight. As I went online the next morning to cancel the tickets and rebook, I was given a new option that flew out of the airport closest to my home, and put me in First Class and Business First on the way down to Lima. Heck yeah. Good! Of course the flight was full, but it was comfortable enough. We hadn’t even pushed back from the gate when I felt my nose assaulted and my hair starting to ... read more
Sunset 2
Snow Covered Andes
More Andes

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre March 1st 2014

A feast for the eyes. Abundance. Vivid colour. It makes the mouth water and the stomach rumble. The amazing Mercado Central screams life and sustenance. Fruit and vegetables piled high and displayed like works of art. Huge pumpkins hacked into halves and quarters to reveal soft orange flesh. An old woman laboriously shelling fresh peas into a bowl nestled between her legs. Mini-mountains of mauve-skinned avocados. One stall selling only papaya - it looks ripe and ready to go. My mind conjures up milkshakes and fresh juices. Sliced pineapples drowning in syrup and gathering flies. My stomach recoils. Pomegranates split open, ruby-red insides reminding me strangely of lips. Grapes and tumbo, chirimoya and mango. On and on it goes. Bananas are a world apart. A special department. Bunches and bunches of yellow, green and black fingers ... read more

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South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre February 27th 2014

It's like being a child. Back to square one. Frustrating and marvellous. In some ways not being able to talk to people is a blessing. You rely on other things, become better at reading body language, smile more, listen harder. Maybe it's more about understanding the other, than getting your own message across. I cannot remember the time when I could not talk, and this is like being pulled back into my babyhood, not to a quiet world, but a world of mystery and at most times total incomprehension. I'm remembering that it's possible to communicate without talking. But the effort it requires is immense. Every weekday afternoon, we walk across the Plaza Pedro de Anzares in front of La Recoleta and up the hill to Aida's house for two hours of Spanish. When I learned ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Lake Titicaca February 22nd 2014

With our next destination in mind, it was time to leave La Paz and head to one of Bolivia and Puru's most famous high altitude, watery attractions; Lake Titicaca. We decided to jump aboard a local bus for the three hour journey to the picturesque lakeside town of Copacobanna on the Bolivian side of the lake. With no idea what to expect, we were very happy to discover a charming little town surrounded by tall hills which you can walk up for a great view of the lake and local area. As soon as we arrived, we quickly found a hostel, dumped our bags and headed straight up one of the hills. A pretty steep, slightly breathless 30 minute walk later and we reached the top where we were greeted with stunning views across the lake ... read more
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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz February 19th 2014

We caught a flight from the tiny airport in Uyuni, which as it took off provided a spectacular view of the salt flats once again. 45 minutes later and we had arrived in Bolivias capital city of La Paz. Underwhelmed at the flat, poverty stricken views from the plane, at first it hadn't quite reached the expectations and visions we had in mind. After bartering a couple of BoB's off of our taxi journey, it wasn't long before we we soon realised that what we had seen out of the plane window was not actually La Paz, but a separate nearby city. 10 minutes or so after leaving the airport, we turned a corner and gained our first view of the incredible city of La Paz. Squeezed into a deep valley with mountains situated like book ... read more
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South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre February 17th 2014

Début mars c'est le carnival. Cette année à Sucre ils ont décidé de lancer les célébrations un peu plus tôt. C'est épatant. La musique, les couleurs, les danses, la joie de vivre. On n' a qu'à se laisser emporter. Attention par contre! C'est aussi une tradition de lancer des ballons remplis d'eau sur les gens. Hmmmmmm... Je vais porter mon poncho à temps plein d'ici quelques semaines. Parmi les groupes il y avait le groupe RI2 composé de soldats, plusieurs d'entre eux sont dans un de mes classes d'anglais. The first week of March is carnival here in Bolivia. This year in Sucre, they decided to start the celebrations a little earlier. It's amazing. The music, the colours, the danses, the sheer joy on people's faces. Watch out though! It is also a tradition to throw ... read more
Les reines
Les reines qui dansent
Un autre groupe

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department February 17th 2014

Once having left Lake Titicaca our journey picked up its pace once again. Our next stop was La Paz, followed by Sucre, Potosí and Uyuni. Each city had its unique charm but Uyuni took the price with its blinding crystal desert composed entirely of salt. On the night before our desert excursion however, we found ourselves trapped inside by a violent downpour and an ear-deafening thunderstorm. It left us without electricity (and precious wifi) and when we finally built up the courage to leave to seek out food we were metaphorically and nearly literally struck by a beam of lightning no more than a hundred meters down the street from where we stood. Not only did it scare us out of our whits but if ever I doubted the consciousness altering power of lightning I can ... read more




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