Category Archives: South America – Bolivia

One day stopover in La Paz, Bolivia

From Uyuni, we flew to La Paz (the capital for Bolivia and the highest capital city in the world) and had 20 hours before flying to Argentina.

We stayed The Adventure Brew B&B Hostel (which was on BuzzFeed’s 15 dream hostels) and it has free breakfast and 1 free beer!

pancakes with dulce de leche…

Dulce de leche is a rich and thick confection spread that tastes like caramel and condensed milk .  In South America, it’s THE spread to use on bread and pancakes but unfortunately, they don’t sell it in North America.  They had Dulce for breakfast during the salt flat tour but I didn’t try it since I still had diarrhea. In La Paz, I was still sick but was so tempted to try Dulce (since all my friends were spreading globs and globs of dulce) and gave in.  It was AMAZING.  I love to put condensed milk on toast but to have caramel and condensed milk together is HEAVEN!   I went crazy! For the rest of the trip, I gravitated towards all things dulce de leche.

 free beer at night!

We had a day to walk around the city and the most interesting spot was the Witches’ Market .

It looks like a regular market but look closely, the stores sell dried llama foetuses!

The dried  llama foetuses are used as an offering to the goddess Pachamama and are buried under the foundations of houses.

many clay figurines of Pachamama …..

When my friend and I were shopping at the market, the boys went to look for a place for lunch.  They came across this cool rustic looking restaurant, Le Pot Colonial.

The set lunch was pretty cheap @ 40 Bolivianos and it came with appetizer, main and dessert.

quinoa and vegetable soup, garlic bread and cocoa tea..

Sheperd’s pie.. worst ever..extremely watery.. with hardly any meat or potatoes…

The food here wasn’t good at all and took forever to come…..

We walked around some more…

Basilica of San Francisco

Palacio Quemado (presidential palace) @ Plaza Murillo… there was a event going on because there was a guard parade and a lot of media….

Cathedral @ Plaza Murillo

There’s actually not a lot to see in La Paz.. so we had an early dinner at Cafe Sol y Luna.  It has free wifi and an international menu.. Obviously, I chose something Asian!

I had the gado gado… the sauce was really spicy.. so basically I ate plain rice, eggs and vegetables..

FAIM? un peu….

The Adventure Brew B&B Hostel

Av Montes | 533, La Paz, Bolivia

Le Pot Colonial

Linares 906 | Belen, La Paz, Bolivia

Cafe Sol y Luna

Calle Murillo esquina Calle Cochabamba, La Paz, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – the most breathtaking and memorable part of the trip!

When planning for this epic trip, we knew we’ll visit the main South American countries (Peru, Argentina and Brazil) but we weren’t too sure about Bolivia.  We really wanted to go to the salt flats in Bolivia to take the crazy photos but there were also major issues to consider: time (we only had 4 days to spare for Bolivia), entry requirements (conflicting visa requirements), weather (March is rainy season and the salt flats might be flooded), strikes (some travelers said the national park was closed), transportation (only the sketchy airline, Línea Aérea Amaszonas have flights from Cusco to Uyuni).  There’s also not a lot of up-to-date online travel info about Bolivia since it’s not as tourist-friendly as the other countries.   Anyhooooo, we decided to risk it.. and planned for a 3 days in Uyuni!The itinerary was really tight…  Flight from Cusco, Peru to La Paz (the capital of Bolivia) and then catch another flight to Uyuni…spend 3 days in Uyuni … catch a flight back to La Paz.. and then catch another flight to Argentina in 22 hours.   If we missed any flights, then we would have be screwed!  But thank goodness (and thank GOD!) that everything went unbelievably smoothly!  Sunny skies, not a drop of rain, but the previous rainfall had left plenty of water to take pretty reflective photos.  The strikes were over and we could enter the national park.

Before going, we searched online for a relatively “more-reliable” tour company as almost all tour groups had complaints about dangerous drivers, too many tourists in the 4×4 and more.  We ended up choosing Quechua Connection, for a private 3 days/2 nights tour and requested José , the owner, to be our driver/guide/cook.

I was so tired during this part of the trip because of the high altitude (4200 – 5000 metres above sea level), lack of sleep and my gastroenteritis …. I was sleeping in the jeep the entire time and only woke up to take photos at each stop!  I didn’t even take photos of the food.. so this blog entry will be a travel diary instead…

the first hostel we stayed at…. I can vaguely remember what we ate for dinner and lunch… soup, pasta, vegetables???

train cemetery

rock tree

with other tourists at laguna verde

laguna colarada…those dots are flamingos!

our 2nd hostel… it’s made entirely of salt!

 walls and floors made of salt.. apparently there are mummified remains in the wall pouches??????

had only tea and cookies to nibble on while we waited  more than an hour for Jose to cook..

The highlight of the trip was more definitely the salt flats and was definitely worth being the last sight on our tour!

This was one of our worries… rain during the wet season.  The salt flats become the salt lake and the jeeps can’t drive out there… but luckily, the water level wasn’t too high.

islas de los pescados.. the entire island is covered by cactus!   Due to the previous floods, it was the first day tourists were able to make it out to the island since November (3 months ago).  We were so lucky!

we sat on top of the 4×4 during the drive on the the salt flats.. soooo cold and windy!

José looking cool..

and the main reason why I wanted to visit Uyuni….. the only place where I can take “Honey! I shrunk the Kids” type of photos!

I’m standing on an oreo!

I could stand on an egg without breaking it!

We were eaten for lunch….

Apart from taking the silly photos, we also got a glimpse of how salt is processed…

dried and then transported to a drying facility…

watching the prettiest sunset in my life….

These photos aren’t edited….the sunset was actually that colourful!

This is the most breathtaking and memorable part of the trip.. totally worth not taking showers for 3 days, getting salt burns from taking photos and being covered from head to toe with dust!

FAIM? (still sick)