Bolivia - Uyuni & Parque Nacional Eduardo Avaroa

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September 20th 2012
Published: October 18th 2012
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After 11 hours in a comfortable bus-cama (bed), even more than my oversea flight from Madrid to Lima, finally arrived aroundaround 12 pmin the high, chaotic, 'smoged' city of La Paz.

As if 11 hours weren't enough, I took after 1 1/2 hours on the terminal a less comfortable, under-standard bus to Tupiza (southern Bolivia). Almost mist my ride since Bolivia is on hour ahead of Peru and had not jet realized. Had to run to the bus at an altitude of 4.000 masl. missing any chance to have a good meal (at the end of the bus ride it would be like 2 days without proper meals) and bought water and some empanadas alike for the ride.

Although the ride was a nightmare, have to admit it was kind of funny watching the music videos from the '70s and '80s they were showing - videos I knew from my parents with titles like:

• Que Canten los ninos - Jose Luis Perales
• Como te va mi amir - Pandora
• Olvidame y pega la vuelta - Pandora
• Caray (si nosotros nos hibieramos casado) - Juan Gabriel

After traveling 25 hours I arrived finally in Tupiza around 4am and at 8am, I would start my 'safari/rally' trip across 'Parque Nacional Eduardo Avaroa' and the Salar de Uyuni. At 4am Alejandro from the hostel was waiting for me to take me to the hostel, which I had arrange from a phone booth in the bus terminal in la Paz.

At 8:00 am we were leaving Tupiza in a Nissan Patrol heading to the beautiful and diverse landscapes of southern Bolivia.

The tour was for 4 days driving during the day and staying at night at local posadas in settlements of 10 to 20 houses. During the day the sun would shine but because of the altitude and wind would be necessary to wear warm clothes. During night even more warm clothes, temperature would drop below freezing, even inside the shelter/accommodation would be around 10* C.

Landscapes were beautiful and diverse. The story and formation is simple, but unique. I don't really understand why you wouldn't see something similar in other regions in South America, but that's the charm Bolivia was blessed with. Colored lakes, colored mountains, volcanos amazing 4 days to reflect, think, and observe. The highlight was the salt dessert - Uyuni. I had wanted to go for 2 years and finally did. I'm a social person, at this place you just have to find the time to also get apart alone and... be alone. I could meditate and resolve some thoughts and clear my mind and problems.

My group was very cool. I crashed on their plans, they were 2 different groups of 2, I had to ask them if they were fine with me, since traveling in a group of 5 in the back of the car it would make the place just 'cozy'. They were fine with it as long as I was sitting in the middle second row... The car has in total 7 sits. In the front the driver and the cook and 5 places free.

After the Tour, we ended in Uyuni from where me and my group took a bus to La Paz. The bus trip was not very pleasant. There were strikes everywhere in Bolivia so had to took alternative routes, which made the ride 5 hours longer.In La Paz, we got to Loki Hostel, one I knew from Cusco. We had an amazing dinner in 'Pan de Oro' and then we party. It was unfortunately time to say good bye. I only had 3 more days left before my flight back to Berlin from Lima.

On the next day, on the 26th, very early in the morning, I took the next bus to Peru. On this day, strikes were keep going on, and with worries, at least a great comfortable bus, drove from La Paz through the boarder in Desaguadero to Puno. At Puno the Highlight was 'La isla de Los Uros' - the floating islands. These are Floating artificial islands made of bundled 'totora' reeds. The story of this culture, is that they ancestors isolated themselves as protection from conflicts with other tribes. They hunt, built their islands, exchange what they have for what they need, kids go to school to the neighbor island... It's something very nice to see in these days how things still work. It's a kind of life I was looking to see and visit. I wished I could have stayed with the Uros for at least one night. It was impossible as didn't have more time for it. If I could have postpone my return, I would have definitely stayed there.

On the 27th i flew back to Lima, where party was expecting me. My friend Karla and his friends would have had organized to have diner in a delicious Restauran: Pescado Capitales. We had lots of sea food and Pisco Sour. Afterwards, we went party to Bizarro. The night was really fun and people very firendly as usual in Peru. For tips visit: Habla la Peruana.

With this, my 3 week vacations were pretty much over. It seems i went to south america to do a bus tour and try them, but there is nothing I would change. It wasn't a relaxing or chilled vacation, was instead a rush trip but its the only way to see so much. Rest I can back home...

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