PAN AMERICAN JOURNEY PART XXIII – BOLIVIA
Even though Bolivia is believed that it’s a poor country, you’ll find anything and everything her neighbors have…as well as things you won’t find anywhere else! Unforgettable La Paz - the highest capital in the world, Salar de Uyuni – the largest salt flat in the world and the famous Death Road – once the most dangerous road in the world.
“Our gateway to Bolivia was through a small town Copacabana that sits on the world’s highest altitude lake, Lake Titicaca. We stayed a few days to re-coop from our Cusco incident in Peru. A trip out to Isla del Sol in the middle of lake Titicaca proved to be a good get-away! Unfortunately, there were no Indians floating around on ships made of straw…but that tourist trap is further on in the lake if we had wanted to pay some extra bolivianos.
The road to La Paz is atop the almost 4000m. altiplano, the same high altitude plain where lake Titicaca sits. At this height in Europe, you might possibly run into a mountaineer or a mountain goat! Here you’ll find fruit markets, mechanic shops, thousands of people, joggers, even superstores with witty slogans like “The lowest prices in the highest store in the world!” La Paz as a whole is stunning from a view point somewhere from the altiplano because the city lies in a canyon-like valley and is surrounded by snowy peaks.
Anyway, at this height every movement makes your pulse skyrocket, even if your just bending over to put your shoes on! Even our Van had some breathing issues at this altitude, so we had some minor technical quirks, but like us, the van finally acclimatized and we could rock and roll again!
Not far from La Paz is Tiwanaku, the most popular archeological site in Bolivia. Right beside it is another site, not as well known but far more mysterious, is Puma Punku with the biggest megaliths that we ever saw. It is said that this site has more mystic energy than anywhere else (yes again, in the world!), yet the site is barely excavated.
Our trip continued to Salar de Uyuni, a vast and exotic salt flat made up of a million hexagons. We drove across the flats following tracks that made a so-called-highway and made a stop at Isla de Pescado. The entire island is covered with budding cactuses in the middle of a white and dry salty ocean. You can cut into the salt and make things out of it like igloos or picnic tables…so if your out on a picnic, it’s pretty easy to salt your lunch! :)
Since it was the start of the rainy season in Bolivia, the bad weather decided for us to continue on down south. Patagonia is still a ways away and we need to get there before the snow starts flying which can be soon……on this side of the hemisphere!”