One Week Into Bolivia: Still Not Dead or Mugged

By Nicole

Tay and I are a week deep in Bolivia and are still alive! We haven’t been stabbed or robbed like just about every guide I had ever read on Bolivia had us convinced we were going to be. But, we still have a couple more days to go before Peru… so anything is possible.

La Paz

La Paz, Bolivia, graffiti

I’m not sure why everyone hates this city. Almost everyone we’d talked to on the trip said it was not worth spending any time in. I like how it was built up in a mountain valley. Although it is dusty and the pollution sucks, I still had fun there. One of my favorite parts was riding the cable car up over the city. My one complaint about La Paz is the daily government protests, demonstrations and blockades going on. Getting a taxi to certain parts if the city was impossible because no driver would take you to the city center, as they wouldn’t be able to ge back out for hours. Or later on when returning from the death road trip protesters had blockaded all the roads leading into the city, leaving us stranded in a bus for hours longer than we were supposed to be and finally all bailing off and walking back into the city late at night. I did know this coming in, as strikes, protests and demonstrations are regular here, but it still blows none the less. It did force us to explore much of the city on foot, which is a good thing.

Uyuni

The thing I wanted to see the most in South America overall! It didn’t disappoint either, while being amazing and miserable at the same time. We headed straight to Uyuni the first evening in La Paz after arriving at 5am the same day. And when I said miserable before it wasn’t due to altitude sickness, I could feel the altitude but luckily I didn’t really get sick from it. The miserable part was due to how dry it is down there and the fact that my sinuses HATE extreme dry, and then when my sinuses aren’t happy they make all of my upper teeth hurt (thanks long roots).

So overall the Salar was freakin amazing, most so at sunset. It really reminded me of the colors out at White Sands National Monument. However when we visited Incahuasi (the island in the salt flat) I had to resist the urge to club this idiotic girl over the head with her own goddamn selfie stick. We get it, you’re a narcissist, BUT STOP HOLDING UP THE MOTHERFUCKING TRAIL TAKING THE THOUSANDTH PHOTO OF YOUR STUPID DUCKFACE! No one cares, snap a photo and move on asshole. I will say Incahuasi was the only part of the salt flat tour where I really felt jammed in with a bunch of other tourists or travelers or whatever people want to be called since apparently so many think there is a distinct difference.

We made several other stops, the two main ones being Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde. Laguna Colorada was beautiful, Laguna Verde didn’t live up to it’s name because of course the one site that you need wind, it’s dead calm… The wind blew for the entirety of the 3 day trip, except there. The wind causes this whole process that stirs up the water, turning it a bright green.

The Death Road

After Uyuni we returned to La Paz in order to bike down the death road… which you all probably have heard of. We had an absolute blast. It wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it might be, but it isn’t exactly a safe road to zoom down very steep mountains on. So if you’re a dumbass, and/or easily distracted then skip this one unless you really want to be picked off by natural selection.

Copacabana

Right now I’m sitting looking out my GIANT front window of my room at Hotel Cupula, watching the sunrise over Lake Titicaca as Tay snores away. We love it here. This was another stop we’d heard some love/hate from other travelers. I mean, yeah there is trash around but if you can look past it it’s a great place. Yesterday we hiked the Cerro Cavalario, twice. Once for the sunset up at the stop (which gives you an amazing view of Copacabana, and the second time to take some long exposure shots of the milky way (especially since the full moon foiled our attempts around Uyuni). And also we went zorbing yesterday! They’re not exactly the ball shaped ones we’ve seen on tv, but a long tube that you hope in and go run around on top the highest navigable lake in the world like a hamster. Looks like this afternoon we’ll be headed over to check out Isla Del Sol.

So that’s how far we’ve made it. It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns though. I cracked the band on my engagement ring, I nearly ripped my entire fingernail off, when trying to remedy my remaining bloody fingernail I dropped my nail clippers in the toilet, bled profusely in Uyuni after ripping my knuckles open trying to open a beer with my tripod (forgot to pack a bottle opener) because my hand slipped and was numb so I didn’t feel it, and had a massive sinus infection.

So hopefully I’ll not take two weeks to write something on here. And I will eventually give more detailed info on what we did with photos, can’t promise when though. In my defense, the internet is slooooooow here and I’d much rather be out having fun, I can stare at a computer screen at home.

PS: Sorry that there is only one photo on here, that is all I could get to load because of the aforementioned internet speed! Pinky promise I have taken 35 GB of photos so far! I’ll add them later!

Who’s been to Bolivia and what did you think?

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4 thoughts on “One Week Into Bolivia: Still Not Dead or Mugged

  • Carly May 27, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Hey Nicole! I loved reading about your travels in Bolivia as it brought back lots of great memories from my trip there a year ago. The Salar de Uyuni was my favourite for Bolivia – such incredible landscapes and a great journey!! Looking forward to seeing more pics soon!!

    • Nicole May 29, 2016 at 5:53 am

      Thanks Carly!
      The Salar was definitely the highlight of Bolivia for me too. Looks like you’re having an amazing time in Sarawak from your pictures, I loved it there!

  • Gabi May 27, 2016 at 6:37 am

    It’s not a glamorous place, yet it is fascinating… On a funny note, my mom’s honeymoon was to Bolivia. Everyone made fun of her for that reason, but she always said how beautiful the place was. I’d love to see Uyuni one day, but La Paz makes me super curious too!

    • Nicole May 29, 2016 at 5:57 am

      So spot on Gabi! You definitely have to look past the rough edges of Bolivia, but it’s amazing. youll have to see it one day! I guess Bolivia isn’t exactly the usual honeymoon destination, I can totally see me in her same place because I love weird places!

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