Bolivia: La Paz-Potosi-Salar de Uyuni-Tupiza

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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz
January 15th 2008
Published: January 16th 2008
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Bolivia is amazing! We spent three days in La Paz where the remaining ten people joined our tour. We now have a full truck. La Paz is a beautiful city and I´d definitely go back there. We spent a day driving down the ´most dangerous road in the world´ by 4WD. Some others did it on bicycle but my bike skills are hopeless with handle brakes. The road has a reputation for being dangerous because it´s a gravel road around a mountain with only one lane for two vehicles. Now there´s a new sealed road for drivers to use.

The Brazilian Embassy in La Paz denied me my Brazil visa because my bank statements didn´t have my name on them, just my account number. When I tried to explain to them that that was how the bank printed them, they insisted I give them statements with my name on them. So essentially they encourage forged bank statements simply so they can have something with your name on them. I´ve sorted that out and will try again in Paraguay. The others on the tour are free camping for a few days between Argentina and Paraguay so I´m catching a night bus directly to Asuncion so I can spend a few days there and then be at the Brazilian Embassy on the Monday morning. The rest of the tour arrives in Asuncion Monday evening.

Next stop was Potosi where we did a tour of a local co-op mine. The men work their arses off in terrible conditions but at least they get a bigger cut of the money than if they were working for a corporation. What the Spanish did to the people and the mines in Potosi is disgusting and is still evident today.

The next day was a miserable driving day to Uyuni with torrential rain and mud roads inside a rocking truck. We drove out to Salar de Uyuni to see the salt flats and it was flooded to resemble a lake. The salt hotel was overrated too. The next day was a long driving day back to Potosi so we could drive on to Argentina.

What started as a comfortable tour has ended up being a budget tour which I´m not impressed about. The bus is chockers and not as enjoyable as when we first started in Quito. The hotel quality started out well but now some of the hotels are worse than some of the hostals I´ve stayed in. I wouldn´t do an Overland tour again.


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