After travelling through blockades of demonstrators in Argentina, luckily and naively only set us back a couple of hours. We finally arrived in Bolivia, landing in Tupiza in the south. With only six days till Christmas day and plans of catching Jake and Claire in La Paz for a hit of cricket, we had little time for delays.
After some discussion on where and how we would see Bolivia's salt flats, we decided to travel to Uyuni. This location is where we took a one day tour out to the salt flats. Thank goodness we didn't take a two or, even worse, a four-day tour because there is only so much salt to see. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our brief time here, exploring and marvelling at the natural beauty. All in all, we had heaps of fun. We are quite surprised at how arid the country is in the south, as we had heard from other travellers that the countryside is speccy. All detailed with the time of year and from one's lens, I guess.
The other travellers we conversed with on our journey were right; it didn't take long before landing in La Paz to see the countryside changing around us.
We met Jake and Claire in La Paz on the 22nd of December, three days before Christmas. This date left us with heaps of time to find a suitable place to bunk down in until the festivities had passed. The four of us headed for Coroico on Jake and Claire's recommendation, which proved to be an excellent choice. We found a cosy treehouse, each with beautiful views. This accommodation is where we spent the next six nights hiding and relaxing. The hosts of our stay were genuinely friendly people who make delicious tasting food and alcoholic orange liquor. We didn't hold off nocking back a few of these bottles.
Not long into our stay here, we discovered a 1500 meter zip line broken into three sections, right in Coroico, which is well worth the ride. Heaps of fun! The man guiding us said that you could reach speeds up to 80km/hr flying across the valleys. Bron and I went tandem on the last leg of the zip line. After complete brake failure because of the wait and speed we were travelling at, we luckily survived the crash landing with no broken bones.
With New Year's Eve, a day away, Bronnie and I said goodbye to Jake and Claire. We headed back to La Paz to enjoy the massive celebrations that were to come. When the clock struck twelve on New Year's Eve, we felt like we were entering a war zone. Fireworks littered the whole sky for roughly an hour or two. Fireworks were shooting over the top of our rooftop bar, into buildings, into windows, bouncing off rooftops and generally flying in all directions. We have never experienced a fireworks display like it before, where the whole city is involved with the production and restrictions seem to be non-existent. The general feel we have had of La Paz is complete craziness. The city is a must-see and experience place of anything goes, and I mean anything goes. We met Glenn and Claire, another couple from Australia, on the bus from Coroico to La Paz. We spent every evening in La Paz on this second visit here with them.
We look forward to enjoying a wine tour with them when we are back in Australia.
Feeling completely exhausted from our expeditions through lots of partying, we were seeking a bit of respite. This we found in Copacabana and Isla Del Sol. Copacabana is an easy town to stop over for organising boat trips to the islands of Lago Titicaca. We opted to see Isla Del Sol as we were both experiencing cravings for more waves and wished to see the coast soon.
Feeling delighted with what we had accomplished and experienced in Bolivia, we left wondering if we would ever be back to tackle and participate more in this crazy country. Bolivia is high on the list of favourites and with a lot going for it in terms of adventure. Needless to say that the regulation or lack of allows the experience to grow.
Glad to beat the rush of Christmas and New Years, we have landed in Lima. After talking to our old friend Triff, we learnt that he was in Punta Hermosa, south of Lima, by 30-45 minutes. Triff had found himself a job as his way of beating the skyrocketing prices of the festivity season. Yes, if you're wondering, the tourist prices over Christmas and New Year's in South America seem to rocket toward the stratosphere. We bunked down in Punta Hermosa for the next week, enjoying being back in a familiar place near the beach.
However, feeling a bit antsy to be surfing in board shorts, we beelined straight to Ecuador, stopping in Trujillo for the night to catch up with Liz. We had a great evening with Liz, and hopefully, we can catch her in Colombia later in our trip.