Posts Tagged ‘Bolivia’

Cochabamba Getaway

April 24, 2010

By the time our Uyuni tour was over, neither Marc nor I had showered for – and this is where we give away that we have turned into total stinky hippy travellers – FOUR days.

If you sniff the screen you might be able to smell us.

In our defence, we didn’t really have a choice. We had showered in La Paz the morning we left, then took an overnight bus, then got off in Uyuni only to get straight onto a jeep to be taken to a salt hotel with no showers, then another hotel the following day again with no showers. I had already developed a close-knit relationship with my baby wipes, and we had bathed in the hot springs that same morning, but once our tour was over we were both gagging for a deep clean. (more…)

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Salt and Sand

April 13, 2010

Many have seen the pictures but it isn’t until you are there that you can fully appreciate the complete other-worldly landscape of the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world, fields of bright white expanse in south western Bolivia. The easiest way to see the flats for yourself is through a tour, which we organised from La Paz so we could just jump off our overnight bus from the capital onto the jeep in which we would spend the next three days, driving through salt and surrounding desert.

This is what we saw:

Welcome to the Salar de Uyuni

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Ultimate Ride

April 6, 2010

I was on my own. Manna, quite reasonably, decided that she didn’t want to ride a mountain bike for 65km down the world’s most dangerous road. But I, quite unreasonably, was well up for it.

The road had earned its moniker. In its ‘heyday’ 300 people died on it each year. This is because it is more like a dirty, potholed, gravel path than a road; it is mostly the same width as the average vehicle but no wider; and it winds down its entire length with an ominously high cliff drop (up to 100m in places) on one side and a concrete cliff face on the other.

Yet one of the ‘must-do’ activities when staying in La Paz is to go on a mountain-bike tour down this treacherous track. This is dubbed the ultimate bike ride, and it proves to be quite literal for some (1-2 a year) who never make it back.

Geared up for the ride

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Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

April 6, 2010

La Paz is a city of extremes. At an altitude of 4000m it is the highest capital city in the world (in more ways than one). Whether travelling by bus or plane you enter the city from above giving you the chance to view the entire cradle of craziness built at the bottom of a steep canyon with snow-peaked mountains overlooking the action on all sides.

In the city itself you are never on flat ground as you find yourself either striding down a steep slope or struggling up a sharp incline. And everywhere you go you are surrounded by market stalls.

La Paz is basically one big street market where you can buy anything from second hand washing machines to dried llama foetuses (they bring you luck apparently).

Lucky llama foetus - the gift that keeps on giving

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Isla de la Lluvia

March 30, 2010

Half an hour after arriving at Isla del Sol it started hailing. Then came the thunderstorms. Followed by the intense cold. This was far from being the Island of the Sun that was promised to us. More like the Island of Wind and heavy Rain (or Misery Island as Manna dubbed it). (more…)