Blogs from Sorata, La Paz Department, Bolivia, South America

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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata June 11th 2011

We left La Paz for the lower altitude of the tiny town of Sorata hoping that by the time we returned to the capital my bronchitis would be much better. Sorata is in a valley between the Amazonian jungle and the high peaks of the Andes. Our first problem was actually finding where the bus left from La Paz as nobody seemed to have an exact location. We took a taxi to the cemetery area of the city where all the small bus companies have their offices and our taxi driver kindly asked around until he found the correct bus company (there were dozens scattered around half a dozen city blocks) - it involved a few journeys in reverse down the very crowded streets of the area - thankfully we weren’t driving! We had been warned ... read more
Sorata with the peaks behind
Sheltering from the sun and wind
The band from the bus which was passing through the town

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata March 25th 2011

We took a day trip from La Paz to Tiwanaku, which is about an hour and a half away. Tiwanaku is a pre-Inca civilization that created a massive stone structure where they lived. We walked around their site for a couple hours and what I found fascinating was all the statues they built out of stone and also the carvings they did in the stone. They were a very talented civilization, so talented that later the Incas took their architecture and used it as their own. On our way back from the site we were riding in a local collectivio, or van and on one of our stops we pick up someone and loaded a lamb in a blanket on top of the van, then it started to rain. We all felt very bad for the ... read more
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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata November 1st 2010

Some of the great things being out of your comfort zone is the opportunity to experience and compare how varied cultures observe significant dates or holidays. In this case, November 1st, in a diverse and rich culture as Bolivia, we wanted to experience first hand how significant this day is and how it differs from North America. Unfortunately, since were the typical point and shoot travelers (without guide books). We mostly relied on information from locals and a fellow travelers that we stumble upon. Some locals managed to refer us to the town of Sorata. An area Northeast of La Paz, known for its good biking terrains and a rich practice of Aymara culture. For an added bonus, its situated in a lower elevated area. which means more oxygen for my brain and lungs (love it!). ... read more
Achacachi
Achacachi river
Bulls on a stroll

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata September 9th 2010

We went to Sorata after one night in LaPaz, they say it was meant to be the be all and end all place to visit. We were expecting an older bus with 30 or so seats for our 4 hour journey, but when we arrived at the terminal we found that it was in fact a mini bus of 12 people. We got the bus and sat up the front with the driver, it was an interesting experinece as we weaved through back streets to avoid the tolls. We drove out of LaPaz through the clouds before droping back down into Sorata, the bitumen stopping and starting at will as cloud covered the road. Just out of LaPaz we pulled over and a boy who looked about 14, crawled under the van, whipped out the air ... read more
Following old mate up a path
Pet macaws
a flower

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata June 21st 2010

...at least in Bolivia according to many Sorata is a beautiful place and if not heaven on earth, at least a great place to spend some days if you are in Bolivia. With Illampu in the background and the jungle right down in the valley it´s not a coincidence that many guidebooks describe it as one of the most beautiful places in Bolivia. After nearly a week in La Paz it was great to get in to this town where everything is "tranquilo". We decided to go for a walk towards Laguna Chillata on Saturday. This is on the way up to Illampu and probalby the most popular walk in the area. We headed off without map or guide, pretty confident that this was an easy walk. We cut off a few altitude meters by taking ... read more
Illampu
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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata June 3rd 2009

After a couple of days in La Paz Tucky and I headed to Sorata, a very pretty town three hours away. We left Susie behind as she is not as keen on walking as us. Evans had stayed behind in Rurrenabaque to do a jungle boat tour back to La Paz. It was a really nice couple of days of walking and relaxation. We almost didn´t get there as the road out to the hostel was blocked due to some sort of landslide and our taxi couldn´t get through, so we ended up having to walk through some very muddy roads. After a very quiet first day, we spent the second checking out some massive caves, which had a lake in the middle, just outside Sorata. I unfortunately picked this time to do a Katherine Howell ... read more
Another quality Sorata road
River crossing
Followed by a corn field crossing

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata May 11th 2009

'Hold onto your bags!!!' At least I think that's the message the lady from the bus company was trying to give as she waved us onto the night bus from Uyuni to Potosi, a trip memorable only for the record breaking number of potholes that we jarred and bounced our way across during the next 8 hours! I think there were actually more potholes than road! But the lady was really sweet and seemed quite determined to tell us to watch out for our bags in case some undesirable decided to relieve us of them in the middle of the night. Nice too that she thought we might be able to get some sleep.... Potosi: Mines and Mints Needless to say the bus arrived late and slightly disorientated we finally pulled into Potosi at @ 2am, ... read more
Poshing it up - the view from our lounge in Copacabana
Sorata
Sorata

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata April 16th 2009

Mountains. Big mountains. Big huge green valleys. Mountain biking. Trekking. Not a bad birthday. After trudging through the big cities of Bolivia, these two country mice decided to head out of town in search of some greenery. The bus ride from La Paz was 4 hours in a little van, probably the longest Kati's ever held her bladder. We headed into the altiplano where farmers worked their tiny fields by hand, until we entered into the clouds. It seemed we were about to run right into Cerro Illampu, a 21,000+ft snow-capped peak, until at the last moment we veered around it and dropped into the greenest valleys towards the little town of Sorata, the trekking capital of Bolivia. To get to our hostel from the main square, we had to walk down a steep dirt road ... read more
Exposure
on the cloudy ridge
travis and mark

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata December 15th 2008

So we headed back to La Paz, the city we had stayed at a month earlier to find little had changed, but this time we were with our friends who had never visited before so decided to do some other attractions just outside the city. After a few days wandering around the endless markets, we firstly ventured out to Valle de Luna (The Valley of the Moon), which is a bizarre area just outside the city that unsurprisingly looks like the moon. We wandered around the small area surrounded by the mountains looking at the incredible rock formations, which were both amazing and bizarre at the same time (they seemed to resemble very large termite mounds). The other reason we visited the area was to go quad biking, much to the dismay of both Daisy and ... read more
Soarata
La Paz
Quad Biking

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Sorata September 28th 2008

"We saw shadows of the morning light Shadows of the evening sun Until the shadows and the light were one" - "Three Days" by Jane's Addiction Day Two The leaf of a coca plant contains an alkaloid known as cocaine. This alkaloid has a variety of effects on the human body such as hunger suppression and pain relief. More notably, it can greatly increase the body's ability to absorb oxygen into the bloodstream. This makes it useful for fighting off the symptoms of altitude sickness and gives a bit of an energy boost. Keeping a wad of the leaves in your mouth is hardly equivalent to snorting cocaine (obviously named for the key alkaloid). For one thing, to produce just 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of the narcotic, you need 363 kg (~800 lbs) of dry ... read more
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