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Published: November 7th 2007
Bolivia is, by a long shot, the least developed country we have visited so far. The conditions are rougher - lodging is a lot more basic; clean, flushing toilets are rare; hot water even more so; food is way more risky; and only 10% of the country’s roads are paved.
The temporary discomfort is, however, rewarded with the most unique and authentic culture this continent has to offer. The vast majority of this country’s people are the indigenous tribes of the Quechua and Aymara people. The women, from girls to grandmothers, wear exuberant, large, pleated dresses of various colours; thick, llama wool stockings; and bowler hats over their black, double plaits. All of them remarkably resembling each other like a never-ending Russian matryoshka doll set. Many of them speak only their indigenous languages, and those that do speak Spanish speak it in their own very different and quite hilarious way, as almost every word ends in “eeps”! Watching them, speaking to them and learning about their ways of life is more than intriguing, it is an insight in to who we all are at the simplest level.
And if that doesn’t make it all worthwhile, at least you can
enjoy how cheap it is - R10 buys you a hotel bed for the night, R4 a three-course meal, and for just a little more you can get yourself a whole new wardrobe of clothes, assuming you’re into alpaca wool jerseys with little llama decorations.
Odometer at start: 33 900 km
Odometer now: 52 741 km
Tot: 1.934s; Tpl: 0.086s; cc: 20; qc: 97; dbt: 0.0469s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.5mb