We loved the city of La Paz, Bolivia. We adored it so much that we went back about four times. You can read all about our first impressions of La Paz by clicking here. Our last two times in the city had us on a mission. One was to eat at the upscale restaurant, Gustu, owned by Noma Danish celebrity chef, Claus Meyer.
Posts from the ‘Bolivia’ Category
After exploring Llachon, we headed over to Copacabana, Bolivia. You can read all about our time on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca here. From Puno in Peru it is inexpensive and easy to catch a bus to Copacabana, Bolivia. If you pay a little more, you can have a tourist bus but it’s not really necessary. The trip will take you about 3 hours or maybe a little more depending on how busy the border crossing is. For a pretty inefficient country, we found the Bolivian border here surprisingly efficient!
After our rafting adventures, we flew from Rurrenabaque back to La Paz. From there, we took an awful night bus to Cochabamba. Night buses in Bolivia are disaster affairs. Okay, most buses in Bolivia are terrible but night buses are a special type of horror because the seats do not recline to beds, there is usually no bathroom and the roads in the country completely suck. This makes for little sleep with a full bladder on a bumpy road. Not very pleasant, I'm afraid.
The next adventure was about to begin. It started in Sucre when I met a girl who told me of a great experience she had. While in La Paz, she discovered a company called 'Deep Rainforest' who organized a 6 day tour aboard a homemade raft. Each night you would stop along the river and camp. Occasionally there would be hikes to try to spot monkeys or other wildlife. Showers consisted of plunging into crystal waterfalls, streams or for the very brave, the murky pirhana-infested, caiman-lurking waters.
If I told you there is a city that will give you a headache which causes slight dizziness, a place that leaves you (literally) gasping for air when climbing its many steps and that will also force you to risk life and limb (with said headache) running to cross its crazy streets. And in this same city you will have to be ultra-vigilant for scams aimed at tourists (yes, that means you and in this case, us!) you would probably say you would never want to visit that city.
The last day of the tour was surprisingly one of the most unspectacular, probably due in part to the large amounts of tourists that you have to face at 7 am on the small Isla de Pescado for the sunrise. This island is (unfortunately) where every tour company takes their group, so while you are all sleepy, groggy-eyed waiting for the sunrise, you have to weave through hordes of other tourists.
This morning we got to 'sleep late'. Probably my best birthday present! We were only up at 6 am and left by 7. Today was a special day because it was my 39th (yikes!) birthday! Also, due to my position in the southern hemisphere, it was the first time I celebrated the summer solstice (June 21) on the winter solstice!
5 am the next morning, the alarm was going off. 5 am!! Getting up in the freezing cold after a breathless nights sleep was not very fun (we slept at above 13,000 ft-4,100 m)-and one side effect of high altitude is breathless nights. You often find yourself waking up constantly in the middle of the night short of breath.
After 3 weeks of Spanish lessons, we were ready for a break. One of my very best friends decided to take a trip to Bolivia to visit us and it just so happened to be during my birthday week! This made me very happy-our first friend to come and visit us! It was hard deciding where to bring her but finally I thought it would be nice for her to see some of the altiplano (high altitude) Bolivian landscape (after all, she loves treeless, barren, beautiful landscapes as much as I do!). And so we booked a 4 day Jeep tour to the Salar de Uyuni, which just so happens to be the largest salt flats in the world.
After our rough introduction to Bolivia, we finally made it to Sucre. And like so many travelers before, we fell in love with this city. In fact, it's easily become one of our favorite cities in all of South America. We decided to spend 3 weeks here learning more Spanish and we could have stayed for 3 more. Why all this love for Sucre? Well, that's easy.