Best moment: cycling on Salar de Uyuni, surrounded by a world of white that seemed to go on forever.
Best spontaneous thing / surprise: 16 de Julio market in La Paz – it felt like we got a taste of the real La Paz, could look at the myriad of things for sale and had a good old rummage in the huge mountains of clothes.
Worst moment: not really had a bad moment! An observation was that Bolivia definitely felt like the poorest country we’ve been in so far – a lot more homelessness and begging. There is more rubbish by side of road and as we travelled on buses I noticed the rivers and streams on the edges of towns and cities were clogged with plastic bottles and bags. In this poor country, there is no infrastructure for bins let alone for recycling. It was timely that I listened to this podcast on the journey to Uyuni – it makes for sobering listening: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/growing-wild/id1108085115?mt=2&i=1000391568467
Best thing eaten: salteñas (Bolivia’s speciality – pasty filled with meat, a spicy sauce, eggs and olives and eaten before lunchtime) and ice cream – both in Sucre.
Worst thing eaten: we didn’t stay long enough to eat bad things, thankfully! Breakfasts are always an interesting experiment but we muddle through…
Favourite place: hands down Salar de Uyuni, and more specifically the incredible sunset. It was beautiful, quite emotional and I had many people in my thoughts.
Things we’ve learnt:
- to cycle with no hands – something I’ve been trying to do for years!
- to plan time better. Bolivia was incredible and we wished we’d had more time there. We are (unbelievably) halfway through the continent and through our time here and we know we need to keep moving on, but we wished we’d had more time to explore this beautiful country.
- more about Bolivian history and politics, in particular about the work that Morales is doing to change the country
- salt flats are only 120cm deep and that the water beneath can be 100m deep – scary thought!
- there are only 34,000 James flamingos left in the world
- Ademar, our driver over the salt flats, who had a great playlist
- Julia, Eric, Charlotte and Siadhal, our 4×4 buddies
- Pedro, the farmer we spoke to for ages on a bench in Sucre’s main plaza