Bolivia

Bolivia hasn’t stolen our hearts which is a shame. To be honest we really didn’t like it at first. But then we headed south, found some lovely people, some edible food and some absolutely breathtaking scenery. And Bolivia grew on us just like that!

After Peru, we found the people in the north at the border, much more reserved (and we are only talking 5 minutes over the border!) and the scenery more bland (or maybe we have just been spoilt).

We had a couple of incidents where people were just not friendly at all and/or tried to rip us off (thinking mainly shoe shine chap in La Paz, Bryan’s hairdresser, and man in the restaurant in Sucre that wouldn’t give Jody a spoon to eat her spaghetti with) which puts a bad taint on the whole first impression of a country.

However, as we moved south, the people go friendlier, the scenery became much more stunning and had the WOW factor again and the Salt Flats of Uyuni ……. well they just had to been seen to be believed and out photos just cannot convey the sense of beauty, ruggedness, bleakness and just how cold it was!

Bolivia on the whole did not steal our hearts but we did fall in love with the salt flats and the trip to Chile (oh and the dinosaur footprints – that was so cool!).

Tour of the Salt Flats – day 3 into Chile

Tour of the Salt Flats – day 2

Tour of the Salt Flats – day 1

The Salt Hotel

Uyuni & The Train Graveyard

Another bus – more beautiful scenery

Mining for silver

Beautiful bus ride to Potosi

Tarabuca Market day

Another pretty city

Staying with Dena & Judah & their girls

Death Road

Tiwanaku – Temple of the Sun tour

Hello La Paz

Swimming from the sun to the moon

Hello Bolivia

The route we took around Bolivia

We loved ~ The wonderful colourful traditional clothes and markets, the colourful fabrics. The Salt Flat trip, soup

We didn’t like ~ More people smoke here and inside restaurants too, the biting cold, rude people, lack of willingness to help people in the north, expensive markets,

The people ~ Bolivian people were hard work, especially having just come from Peru. They are definitely quieter and some had an attitude towards foreigners (not everybody) and No! we are not here just for you to rip us off!  We know it isn’t everybody as we did find some lovely people too, but we had enough bad experiences to put us off on the whole.

The Food ~ Food has been ok. Mainly down to ex-pats who have opened restaurants here though – just remembering the Indian restaurant in La Paz, The English pub in Sucre and the New York Bolivian in Copacabana. The food was definitely better in these places. The local food is all very meat based but it is possible to get vegetarian food here too. Had lovely peanut soup in Cochabamba and in Tarabuco.

The Transport ~ planes and buses again. We took one flight as we really didn’t want to drive over unpaved roads, across the Andes, on a night bus for 12 hours! A 25 minute flight for £24 each was the perfect solution for this one. The rest of the time we took buses which were ok really. Just the roads that are wiggly and not well maintained. You don’t seem to mind it so much in daylight though.

The Weather ~ most days were extremely sunny with blue skies. We had occasional rain in La Paz and hail storms in Copacabana. But without exception, everywhere was freezing at night time.

Miles travelled ~  we have travelled down the left hand side of the country ~ total 1,412 miles

Capital ~ Sucre (not La Paz!)

Population ~ 10.67 million. Sucre has less than 200,000 yet La Paz has 2.5 million

They drive on ~ the right

Currency ~ B$
£1 = 10 Bolivianos

Language ~ Spanish & 35 indigenous languages!

Did we feel safe? ~ Yes even in La Paz

Things which will remind us of Bolivia ~ peanut soup, dinosaurs, salt and padded toilet seats

Would we recommend it?  yes it is definitely worth visiting but bring warm clothes


Places we stayed, cost per night and our Star Rating

Total number of different beds slept in ~ 9

Copacabana ~ Mirador Hotel ~ £12 /n ~ 2*
Copacabana ~ Hobbit Hostel ~ £18/n ~ 4*
La Paz ~ York B&B ~ £1??? /n ~ 2* – shared bathroom
Cochabamba ~ Dena & Judah’s House ~ 5*
Sucre ~ Solareiga Hostel ~ £20/n ~ 4* but very cold
Potasi ~ Casa Blanca Hostel ~ £16/n ~ 3*
Uyuni ~ Hostal Dailson ~ £25/n ~ 3*
Uyuni ~ Salt Hotel ~ £75/n ~5* but no wifi!

Uyuni ~ trip night 1 ~ the middle of blinking nowhere 1* but cosy
Uyuni ~ trip night 2 ~ ~ the middle of blinking nowhere part 2 1* no running water but a hot water spring made up for it

Bryan

  •    Wiltshire, England

  •    Tel: +44 117 2 302030

  •    Mail: b_avery@yahoo.com

         

Jody

  •    Wiltshire, England

  •    Tel: +44 117 2 302030

    

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