Archive for the ‘Bolivia’ Category


Day One Hundred and Seventeen: Brazil

May 16, 2012

Weather: 25oC, sticky and hot
Money: $15
Current city: Corumba
Portuguese phrases in my vocabulary: 1

We’ve made it to Brazil! Yay yay! But sadly, my limited knowledge of Spanish is now irrelevant as we’ve entered Portuguese speaking territory. Annoying!

So we flew from Santa Cruz in Bolivia to Puerto Suarez in Bolivia, and walked across the border into Brazil. There were no hassles getting out of or into either country which is always a relief. We are staying at a small city of on the boarder in a lovely hotel. Since arriving, we’ve had a walk around the city and got some 5pm lunch. They have a pool here and we were going to swim, but it’s pretty cold.

An early night is in order I feel! We start early tomorrow, and we head into the Pantanal. It apparently has the most amazing animals and birds of any where else in Brazil, and I’m pretty keen.

Mucho amor xx


Day One Hundred and Sixteen: Irish Stew

May 15, 2012

Weather: 20oC, drizzle
Money: $15
Current city: Santa Cruz

This morning we enjoyed a free buffet breakfast at our hotel, before getting picked up and driven to the airport. Our flight was from Sucre to Santa Cruz, half an hour flight.

Santa Cruz is at a much lower altitude and breathing feels delicious! We got lunch at an Irish pub and I had the most delicious stew. Yum.

This afternoon we’ve had a walk around town and a bit of a rest. For the past five hours, we’ve been playing UNO. We played the version where you add a rule each time someone wins. Our last round therefore went for almost three hours. It was a massive relief when it ended as you can imagine!

Tomorrow we are flying again, to Brazil. Woo! Goodbye cheap things!



Day One Hundred and Fifteen: Orphanage

May 14, 2012

Weather: 15oC
Money: $14
Children I wanted to take home: 16

Our goal for the day today was to get our laundry done. That’s about it. We succeeded in this, by the way, and now we all have clean clothes. Hooray!

This afternoon we went to an orphanage. The kids were so cute. There were about 40, and they were pretty well looked after and the conditions seemed pretty reasonable. We spent an hour or so with the kids who were about 3 to 5. They all called us ‘mama’ and held our hands to show us around. Cute. Then we moved to the baby room. Oh my goodness. I loved a little pink girl. She was so cute. She cried so much when we left 😦

Here she is:


Lisa was with the tiniest babies. Owe. And then this guy. I liked him too.



Watch out. I might have one stowed in my baggie!


Day One Hundred and Fourteen: Quad Bike

May 13, 2012

Weather: 20oC
Money: $105

I think I have wasted time living in Smithton and not owning a quad bike. They are so fun! I really love it. Today’s excursion took us up and down mountains, in the country side, just near Sucre. Both the beginning and end were on town roads with pedestrians and traffic. The end was scary because it was peak traffic, a main road, a round about, and we were on the right side if the road. But we all made it in the end.

One of our new friends is a vegetarian, so we went to a vego place for lunch. They have this quinoa which is apparently a new superfood – its amazing for you. It’s produced widely in Bolivia but not exported. You can buy it at home, but it’s like $20 for 500g or something crazy. We’ve been eating a lot of it. Anyway, the meal had quinoa soup to start. It’s good. The whole 3 course meal with a drink cost 20 Bolivianos, which is about $2.50.

Lisa and I got a pedicure this afternoon, which cost us about $3 AUD. It was fun but a bit gross. Tonight we’ve been out for dinner and drinks. Some have gone on for dancing but I’m pleased my 27 year oldness is a good enough excuse to not go.





Day One Hundred and Thirteen: Sucre

May 12, 2012

Weather: 18oC
Money: $30
Current city: Sucre

Well, we managed to get out of Potosi fine this morning. We left just after six and missed the road blocks being set up which was good. Also, while it was completely unexpected, we made it into Sucre without any hassles.

When we arrived, we had brunch as a group and then had a walk around the city. Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, even though La Paz is recognized as being the capital and definitely has more people in it. It doesn’t seem nearly as poor as other places we’ve been in Bolivia.

We saw a travel agent who gave us plenty of options for entertainment. Lisa, Hope and I are going quad biking in the morning. I’m pretty keen for it!

This afternoon, we went for a walk around the city again. On the way to find a supermarket we got caught in a protest. They marched into the center part and blocked all the roads. The protesters were letting off small explosions frequently and I found it a bit scary. Lisa and Hope apparently found it to be wonderful. I was happy to retreat into an ice cream shop.

Tonight we got dinner and watched a movie doco about the Potosi mine that the girls went to yesterday. It was very interesting and it makes me once again feel so lucky to be an Australian!


Day One Hundred and Twelve: Rest

May 11, 2012

Weather: 17oC
Money: $15
Current city: Potosi

Another interesting day of strikes today. We woke up to the news that shortly before our arrival yesterday, some protestors attempted to blow up the mayors offices here in Potosi. Today, the building has been splattered with paint and the windows are smashed. We heard on the news that it will probably last until Sunday, despite apparently finishing tomorrow. Also, the CNN website says that they are evacuating British citizens from Potosi.

So, needless to say, we are out of here, super early in the morning! Hopefully that means we will arrive in Sucre, the official capital of Bolivia, before the road blocks start. Interesting times.

Today, I just chilled out. Hope and Lisa went to a mine tour, but I decided that altitude + dust + asthma + confined spaces would equal a bad combination. So I chatted with the girls and read my book. This afternoon I went and bought some shoes which I now somehow have to fit in my bag.

Tonight we’ve had a games night with most of the people on the tour. They are nice people. Maybe still not as good as the others, but we do get along all together really well.

Think that’s all for now. Love y’all!


Day One Hundred and Eleven: Strike

May 10, 2012

Weather: 15oC
Money: $13
Hours on a bus: 6
Current city: Potosi

After a delicious sleep in today, til 7:30, we caught the bus from Uyuni toward Potosi. There have been strikes over doctors working hours rumored since we arrived in Bolivia, but we hadn’t had any worries so far. I got an email from (pleased I told them my plans) to say to “exercise a high degree of caution” Bolivia wide, due to these strikes. So, we were expecting some fun today!

The bus got stopped about half an hour from Potosi. The road was blocked and there were trucks and cars stopped everywhere. Apparently everyone joins together in a protest. The buses stopped, the miners stopped, and obviously doctors, and probably plenty of other professions. So, we walked through the blockade.

Amanda tour leader organized a local to come get us, but when she arrived, apparently she didn’t bring a bus. So, we bribed a small bus driver on the other side of the barrier to take us to the hotel. It all worked well! I don’t know how long the protests will last, but it’s possible we will face the same thing leaving in two days! Fun!

On another note, Potosi is cute. It’s huge high altitude and is built on a hill, but we are staying just a few blocks from the central square. I like it.



Day One Hundred and Ten: More Salt

May 9, 2012

Weather: high of about 15oC, low of 2oC
Money: $25

Today started with the most epic sunrise over the salt desert. It was amazing. I’ve never ever seen a place like it. It’s so beautiful.



Our destination after breakfast was Fish Island, which doesn’t actually have fish. Instead it has 6000 cacti and incredible views. Some of the cacti are apparently 3000 years old and they are up to 12m tall.
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The drive back was pretty long, after driving 80km yesterday and then detouring to get to the island. So we took it slowly in the convoy of three cars, and also might have stopped for some more salt photos.
*they’re coming soon.

We are staying in Uyuni, which looks like a deserted ghost town almost. After eating dinner at the restaurant in the hotel, 10 of us went our for drinks at a place called ‘the Extreme Fun Pub’
It was pretty fun. But mostly it was fun because of the vessels the drinks came in. They were… Let’s say, creative.

Bus out tomorrow we do. To Potosi, the highest elevation city on the world. Look out altitude sickness!







Day One Hundred and Nine: Salt Flats

May 9, 2012

Weather: 15oC
Money: $7

I have some amazing photos for today but the Internet is too slow to upload them. Please re read this blog in two days!

So today, after arriving in Uyuni crazy early in the morning, we had a quick nap and shower before getting picked up by three Land Cruisers at 10:30. The destination was the salt flats, and plenty of fun was anticipated from the group.

Our first stop was a salt factory. Here they crush, process, dry and bag salt by hand. It was pretty impressive really. A lot of work to do by hand! The town looked really run down, but the salt factory keeps people employed.


Next we stopped at a train grave yard. Uyuni is a central point between three major towns and when they stopped using the trains, they all went there to die. It was pretty cool.



We arrived on the salt flats in time for lunch, which was llama steaks. They are good, but not my best thing ever. You would not believe the salt. It’s 150m deep, and covers an area that is 10500 square kilometers. It’s crazy. We spent a good couple of hours taking awesome photos in the salt, the idea being that it completely messes up depth perception. Enjoy!









We drove the 4wds about 80km where we found our accomodation for the night. It was a salt hotel, and apparently we weren’t supposed to be there, but as the other hotel had taken a double booking, that was our only option. There was no water, and only electricity in the main living room. The ‘carpet’ was salt crystals and the furniture was all made of salt. Even the beds were a matress on top of a huge blog of salt.


We had an early night and slept strangely in the cold salt home!


Day One Hundred and Eight: Shopping

May 7, 2012

Weather: 16oC
Money: $60
Hours on a bus: 12

Buenos Dias Amigos! This is coming to you from Uyuni, Bolivia, in the early morning. The day has been going for almost ever, and now I’m ready for a sleep.

We did a lot of shopping today. I went a little bit crazy and bought a lot of things I don’t need. But that’s ok. My favourite purchase is a llama wool jumper. It’s purple and pretty warm. Hope bought 22 beanies. Not quite, but almost.

So, we shopped all day and had to leave the hotel at 6pm to catch an overnight bus. Originally the plan was to train, but there is some strike on in Bolivia and there was too much risk that we would have to stop in the middle of no where and not have a way out. So, we arrived on the bus at 6:30am.

Today (or is it tomorrow in my head) we are going to the salt flats. I’m pretty keen. I doubt there will be a blog posted tonight though, but we’ll see!