For all non-Spanish speakers around here: Isla del Sol = Sun island.
Sounds quite inviting, doesn’t it? We didn’t know what would await us on the Isla del Sol, an island located on the Bolivian side of the Titicaca Lake. I only read little about it which made being there even more special. I’ll tell you why in a second!Read More »
What started with an incidentally mentioned recommendation from a fellow traveler turned out to be one of our highlights of our trip: Coroico. Located North of La Paz it is a convenient tourist destination offering plenty of hikes around the region. We went straight to the little town after our Death Road adventure, because that tour ended close by. I read a little bit about it before and expected loads of people in Coroico and even though we were there over the weekend it was quite calm. Coroico lies on a very steep hill, so walking around the village either with your big backpacks or groceries can shamelessly be counted in as a workout. The benefit of the steepness however is that almost every point in the village can be used as a viewpoint to see the valleys full of “junglely” vegetation that spread around.Read More »
The World’s Most Dangerous Road? That sounds quite badass!
Actually, I can calm you down. I didn’t do anything life-endangering or absolutely crazy. ;-)
Until a few years ago this road was the World’s Most Dangerous Road. It connected La Paz with the jungle. So all cars, buses and even trucks had to take it. Being extremely narrow it claimed many, many lives. Thankfully, now it is only used as a tourist biking attraction while all other vehicles can go down by the newly paved road. Clearly for bikers it is not that hard to stay on the path, and our guide told us that if bikers get injured it is because they ride like maniacs, fall down on the unpaved road and break their arms. Still I treated the route with a lot of respect, also knowing that up to 300 people died there yearly.Read More »
Another funny but also insightful story from Samaipata:
During our time there we met an interesting person from Germany. She was a transgender that has been living in Bolivia for a year and a bit now. She didn’t really have an easy time there. Learning Spanish is not her strength I guess, and immigration’s have been harder than expected. But proud she told us that the energy from El Fuerte would help her out and that’s why she stayed here. Probably also because there are so many travelers all the time. :-)
One thing that she said made me think about a specific topic from a completely different side: I have always had this opinion that being respectful and understandable is a necessity when going to another country, especially when the country was poorer than mine. That it was crucial to adjust to what the locals expect from you. Indeed, this makes all travels easier in any case.
What this woman said however, is in some way also true. Read More »
Remember when I told you about the energetic place that attracted loads of expats to stay in the village of Samaipata? Of course we couldn’t skip these ruins. So a sunny and really hot Sunday morning we made our way to the historic place. It is a 10 km walk or taxi ride from the center of the village. As we had plenty of time on us we walked there, rewarded by the amazing views along the way.Read More »
When we made our way to Cuevas we stopped a truck by the street that would take us with him to the nature reserve a few kilometers down the road. (Yep, it is like hitchhiking, but they will usually expect some money!) He was really interested in us and asked questions about where we were from, how much money we need for our travels, how much things cost in Europe, what the weather was like, and so on.
He also told us a lot about himself – he drove a truck from Potosí to Santa Cruz and back. It would take him a few days. His wife was back home in Potosí and had a small kiosk, she had to take care of. He said it was not possible for them to live off just of his salary, so she had to find something to do for her. He said people in Bolivia wouldn’t earn a lot of money, only those that went to school and would now sit in an office.Read More »
In Samaipata we were able to help out a Spanish family. I already talked about them before. They had two small but beautiful houses, one they lived in and the other one they were renting out. But their plans are much bigger. They want to build another, bigger house where they wanted to move into and then live off the rent of the other two and eventually from that money travel a little bit in South America. So we were happy to help. At the moment they are working on a small garden hut for their tools and to provide their volunteers a sleeping space upstairs. We helped to render that from the inside and out.Read More »
Amboró National Park is a huge park that stretches in the middle of Bolivia. To enter it is required to always have a certified guide with you and that can get quite expensive. We were really lucky to go with the friends of our hosts who gathered a group to go on a Saturday. Amboró is very close to Samaipata and it is famous for its diversity because again it is a mix of jungle, mountain ranges and lowland. All these landscapes meet there which grants you amazing views!Read More »