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.
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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!
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at an altitude of 3,812 m (12,507 ft). Its ownership is shared by both Bolivia which has the eastern part of the lake and Peru to the west. For land-locked Bolivia, this is the next best thing to being at the ocean and like many places in Bolivia, it is steeped in rich history and legend.
Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world, measuring 4,160 meters (13,640'). To give you some perspective, that’s twice as deep as the Grand Canyon! Woah man, that’s deep!
After our time in Cusco and visiting Machu Picchu, we headed south to Arequipa, also known as ‘La Ciudad Blanca’ (the white city). It gets its name because many of the buildings, especially around the main plaza, are made from silla, a white volcanic stone. Arequipa has a rich history and gorgeous colonial architecture and is now a Human Heritage UNESCO site. The setting is quite dramatic too, with the stunning El Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes looming in the distance.
Well readers, it's been a long time since I've put up a post. I apologize for that. This will be my first post of many to come to catch you all up. Life has been a touch hectic since my last post. In late November, Laurent and I flew from Lima, Peru back to New York together. He departed after about two weeks later to go back to France, while I remained in New York for the holidays.
A continuation from my last post about the foods we tried while in Lima,Peru, here you will find an introduction to our first Peruvian dishes we discovered. This is only the beginning, stay tuned for more foods to come!
Of all of the foods I have eaten in the past year and of all the cities we visited in South America, one place stands alone as the shining star. Lima, Peru is without a doubt the culinary capital of this continent. It is putting not only Peru but Latin America on the map and is poised to become the next big thing in the international gastronomic world. There is a new army of chefs in the making committed to bringing the foods from Peru to the rest of the world. And the world, in return, should be very grateful.
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.