Blogs from La Paz Department, Bolivia, South America - page 8


In the past few days I have been trying to re-stretch my jeans as they came back smaller in the wash, but may also be putting on weight at the same time so not the best jeans situation to be in! Anyway this morning we got up early and took a boat ride to Isla Del Sol which is an island in Lake Titicaca. It has the most amazing views and is rich in Inca history. After the first 20 meters we were all puffed out and had to stop for a rest, the high altitude had such an effect on us and our breathing. Our muscles were fine but we just found it so hard getting enough oxygen! After a while our bodies got more used to it and it got a bit easier. The ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz August 7th 2014

I'm still alive, finally got enough reliable wifi for me to upload some blogs! So this morning I woke up and had a lovely cold shower! (Lasts nights shower was hot though so very unpredictable). Although I'm not sure which is worse, a cold shower or a shower that initially comes out with brown water (I had to change rooms the second night). Anyway we went walking around the town today, we saw the more modern part of La Paz which had a few nice buildings. We also saw the most amazing cathedral I've ever seen! I think it was called the San Francisco cathedral. We weren't allowed to take pictures but some of the inside was covered in black gold with colourful statues everywhere. There was also a parade that went on all day but ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Copacabana August 7th 2014

Last night I had a terrible nights sleep. I'm such a light sleeper so was easily awoken. I also had a terrible dream where I was back at work and about to do a night shift but I was the only one on because they didn't have enough staff to cover us. I also had to look after ward 7a at the same time, it was a true nightmare!!!! Thankfully I woke up and realised it was just a bad dream. After breakfast we got on the bus, 'Gus' and headed through the busy streets of La Paz. Unfortunately we have to drink at least 4L of water a day, which means lots of toilet stops. And there isn't always toilet! So I guess all those squats at crossfit have helped, as squatting behind an abandoned ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz August 1st 2014

This morning I woke up feeling nauseous, I'm not sure if I ate something weird or if it's due to the new altitude tablets I'm taking, anyway I'm still feeling slightly nauseous, but it could be because now I'm in a higher altitude. Anyway I said goodbye to my awesome hotel and caught a taxi to the airport where I caught a flight to La Paz in Bolivia. I was expecting it to be a big bustling city like Lima, clearly I hadn't researched it enough as when I was landing all I could see were huts and old run down brick buildings. I took a taxi to what I thought was a hotel (actually a hostel) where I met up with Rachel and Kristy, and suddenly realised that this was a lot different to what ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department July 22nd 2014

After plenty of World Cup Mania, we ventured over to Bolivia. We spent some time in Spanish School which has made us much more effective at getting around and ordering vegetarian food. We just finished the most amazing 4 day tour near Uyuni and narrowly escaped stranding by Protests and Blockades, it´s amazing what $20 can save you from. While our stay has been awesome, we are now off to Peru. Thankfully we have a 5 year visa so Bolivia we maybe back.... read more
Batman Alley
Dinner with the Nicolinis
The Nicolini in house Pub

I kept thinking it was the sea; it's so vast. Set at an altitude of 3,810m, and measuring some 190km by 80km, Lake Titicaca is by far the biggest high-altitude body of water in the world. Chugging out on the motorised ferry from Copacabana, it felt as though we were starting an epic voyage, and in some ways we were, for we were travelling to the sacred centre of the ancient Andean world. For the Inca, this was the birthplace of their dynasty and the place of the creation of the sun and the moon. The Isla de la Luna is small. We climbed stone steps to Inak Uyu, a temple formerly dedicated to the moon and staffed entirely by women; and at the edge of ancient Inca agricultural terraces, we found a little bit of ... read more
Wash Day
Going Home

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz July 1st 2014

Our night bus from Uyuni was uneventful and we arrived into La Paz just after six in the morning. We took a taxi to our B&B and were lucky enough to get our room straight away. There was another kiwi couple staying at our B&B so we all decided to head out to one of the downtown walking tours. Unfortunately when we arrived at the meeting place there was no guide so we left to explore La Paz on our own. About 15 minutes later we bumped into another guide running a walking tour to El Alto so we decided to join him for his tour. El Alto is the city above La Paz, traditionally it is where the people from the countryside settle. In El Alto we visited the witches market where you can buy ... read more
Our Starting Point
Above the Clouds

La Virgen Morena del Lago (the Dark Virgin of the Lake) lives in Copacabana, and she's responsible for the bizarre ritual of the Ch'alla. Immediately after the conquest Spanish treasure-seekers looted Inca temples around the lake, and priests destroyed any remaining shrines and idols, including a large female idol with a fish's tail at Copacabana. When subsequently a series of devastating frosts ruined crops, locals became convinced of the need for a new goddess and the town was rededicated in honour of the Virgen de la Candelaria; one of the most popular representations of the Virgin Mary during the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Francisco Tito Yupanqui, a local man of Inca heritage, noted that there was no image for the altar and set about producing one. His early efforts were rejected by Spanish priests, so ... read more
So much to choose from...
Candles, coins and virgins...
Rosettes, ribbons and champagne....

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Coroico June 22nd 2014

It all started when a lorry driver brought them a monkey he'd run over. The owners of Sende Verde agreed to keep it, and now they have over four hundred animals, some rescued from illegal trafficking, some abandoned pets - all rescued from lives of misery. Visitors can see black spider, orange howler and capuchin monkeys at close quarters. Dangling from thin branches, bodies elongated, swinging hand over hand, snapping twigs, catapulting, somersaulting, scratching; the original bungy jumpers. Guests are discouraged from touching. 'We try to minimise contact with humans. 'Monkey parents' (human surrogates) get to touch, we don't', explained Jenny, a volunteer from Greece. Some monkeys are free to roam, others are caged, some tethered – depending on their psychological state. Watching two baby black spider monkeys play we can see why people find them ... read more
Red and Green Parrot
Blue and Yellow Macaw
Spider Monkey

ein gemütlicher tag in copacabana beginnt mit der besteigung des nicht zu unterschätzenden hausberges. fantastische weitsicht über beide buchten und blau bis zum horizont entlohnen für den steilen aufstieg. über einen resoluten steinweg führt (natürlich) auch ein kreuzweg und auf halber strecke thront eine gigantische jesus-statue mit der aufschrift, hier für weltliche güter, wie !wörtlich! autos, häuser und geld beten zu können. verrücktes südamerika! unter uns tummeln sich also die wenigen fischerboote zwischen zahlreichen ausflugsschiffen, kleine romantische steinhäuser mit strohgedeckten dächern schmiegen sich an die trockene küste. kleine steinmauern trennen felder und gärten, knorrige bäume erinnern weiterhin an griechenland. man könnte stunden hier oben verbringen, nur der frische wind treibt uns irgendwann wieder in die aufgeheizte stadt hinunter. der rest... read more
copacabana sunset

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