Coroico, Bolivia: walks and beautiful landscapes

?IMG_0900Are you feeling stressed with the busyness of city life? Do you want to travel to a quiet town not far from La Paz? Coroico is one of the most beautiful little town, where one can relax, take in the clean air and just appreciate the natural beauty it has to offer.

I wanted to get up quite early the next day as I was going to get the bus to Coroico. Once I was ready, I had breakfast then took a taxi to Terminal Minasa, which was quite far out of the city, taking about 25 minutes to get through the city traffic. When I got dropped off, I managed to navigate myself to a counter selling tickets to Coroico in a minivan. It cost around 30 Bolivianos to get there.  The road was the new road I had biked on a few days earlier but all the way down the hill until it turned off to a gravel road up to Coroico. For most of the way, I just listened to music and gazed outside at the view. The small town was set in the mountains with breath-taking scenery.IMG_0905

When I arrived at the square, my aim was to find a hostel. An traveller had recommended a place just outside the main town with great views and a pool. I emailed them the day before but didn’t get any response. The travellers had convinced me that there would be space but after walking 10 minutes with my heavy bag on my back, I found out they had no room. At first, I panicked a little just in case all other hostel were full. After a few seconds, I realised it would probably okay. I couldn’t be bothered to walk back as I was already sweating so instead I hopped in to a taxi.

I hiked up one of the road off the square, the first hostel had no room for one person and the next did, offering me a single room with a shared bathroom for 35 Bolivianos (£5 – cheap as chips). I was one happy bunny plus a little relieved.IMG_0895

As it was well past midday, I was feeling hungry so my next move was to find food. I found a café offering a three course meal for 12 Bolivianos. When I approached the bar, I told them I wanted the lunch but I was vegetarian in Spanish. No problem. I found a table and waited to be waitered upon. It started with a vegetable soup with a fried banana, then an omelette, potatoes and rice then some kind of slushi for dessert. It was good!

For the rest of the afternoon, I explored the town and the outskirts, walking and finding a spot to sit, just to admire the view. On the way back to the hostel, I bought an avocado, which I was excited about as I Love avocados and haven’t had one in quite a while.

At the hostel, I relaxed, watching a film. I realised then that I didn’t have my hoodie. I didn’t know where it was; it was the only warm clothing I had. Did I leave it in the square when I got out of the mini van? Did I leave it at a different hostel? IMG_0890Did I leave it in the taxi? I had no idea. I wasn’t feeling so annoying. It was only my fault and it was just a piece of clothing that I could just replace. I retraced my step from earlier trying to seek it out but with no luck. As Coroico was no too high above sea level, it wasn’t too cold so I didn’t need it for the moment.

For the rest of the evening, I watched a film in my single room, appreciating not having any room mates before falling asleep. I did, however, get woken up around 2am but noisy travellers outside laughing.

Next day I woke up casually and had a shower. I went in search of bread but couldn’t find any, which is slightly strange because usually there is bread everywhere to buy on the streets in Bolivia. I went back to the hostel to eat my avocado.IMG_0899

After, I went for a walk, just to look at the incredible view, stopping on the way. I found a sigh the previous day for a vegetarian restaurant but unfortunately it was closed. Instead I decided to check out and catch a bus back to La Paz.

At the bus station, there was so many people selling ticket. I bought a ticket but got confused about the Spanish. I thought she wasn’t going to give my change so I returned to her to give her the correct money. I had to wait for a while for the minivan to fill up before we could hit the road. The journey was the same route as the previous day, where I stared at the view the whole way with my music.

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La Paz, Bolivia: The death road, cable cars and Valle de la Luna

IMG_0814My next destination was La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. I hadn’t heard too much about the city so I was excited to start exploring and see what it had to offer.

When our bus arrived in Uyuni, I place my backpack underneath and showed my ticket to the driver. I found my seat, where someone else was going to sit but I explained it was my seat. No big deal. I had the luxury of travelling on a cama seat, where the seat was wide and pretty much lies down horizontally as well as been given a blanket.

The other three didn’t have much luck as they had sold their seat to other people. After some shouting and talking to the company, they eventually got some seats together near me.

I have to say even though I had a cama seat, it wasn’t a pleasant trip. I don’t know whether the heating was jammed or they liked putting the heating high but it was so hot, I just couldn’t sleep well. I kept tossing and tuning and waking up. The journey was smooth and took about 8 hours arriving into La Paz at 4.30am in the morning. What was I suppose to do at this hour? I bid farewell to the others and waited at the bus terminal until I was too cold. I managed to get a taxi, which overcharged me but at least the hostel had a 24 hours reception.P1400403

I could check in straight away, giving me a dorm room on the first floor. Success! I had a couple of hours kip until a decent hours in the morning. I sorted out a few things before heading out into the city to explore. Actually my first port of call was to find a company, which offers biking down the Death Road. The hostel had recommended a place around the corner. I received the details and booked a place for the following day as well as trying on the gear and paying. I was so excited about doing this.

After, I wandered around the markets and headed towards San Francisco Church and the food market. Inside, there were many little cafes serving lunch, sandwiches, desserts and juices. I purchased a mango juice, which was huge and delicious.

I walked to san Pedro square to sit and chill. The altitude was really hitting me in this city. I know La Paz is extremely hilly but I was getting out of breath moving around a couple of metres. I was feeling a little hungry and had been recommended to go to a vegetarian restaurant called Namas Te. It wasn’t too far from where I was. As  was walking there, there was a wedding outside the church. A guy encouraged me to come in and take some photos. The bride and her party were standing there whilst others through confetti on each individual and gave them a kiss. There was a band playing but I couldn’t get close enough to see what she was wearing. A lot of the other women were wearing traditional clothing, where they had wide, over the knee pleated skirts, a shirt, cardigan and a rounded to hat which looks too small for the head.

At the restaurant, I had there set menu, where I was served a melon and cheese salad, vegetable soup, chick pea, hummus and  rice and some sort of bready-fruity cake for dessert. I also treated myself to a passionfruit juice. All-in-all, it came to 38 Bolivianos (about £4.50), which is more than my normal budget but I wanted to check it out.

Once I had finished, I went back to San Pedro Square to join the city walking tour. There were about 25 others wanting to take part in the tour and one guide, whose English was amazing with no a strong accent. First, he told us a little about the square we were standing in but more about the famous prison on one of the edges. Basically, if someone has  commited a crime they have to go to prison depending on the crime they commit. However here, they have to pay for a cell and it totally depends how much money the person has. There are many food businesses inside and families often live in too. There is a lot of cocaine being made and sold in there too with loads of parties. People climb the roofs at night to sell alcohol and drugs.

Next we walked through a big fruit and vegetable market, with a variety of them including potatoes that look like stone. When we stopped, the guide talked about the traditional ladies named cholitas, specifically their clothes and how a lot of them have several businesses. It was interesting to find out bout the culture.

We carried on through the witches market, which sells all sorts of powders and leaves as well as having a shrine on their stalls and dead baby lamas. It was horrible. The tour guide told us about Bolivian myths, traditions and potions. Then we headed to the square I had been too this morning with the cathedral and market. We had a break, where we bought juices and snacks. I kind a pastry with cheese and some kind of thick liquid inside.IMG_0836

We strolled to the other side of the main road to the Houses of parliaments, where we were told a little about the government and past presidents. We ended in a pub nearer the centre and listened to more about the current president, where the country is divided about him. We were told of some good, bad and strange policies he has tried to put in place.

When the tour was finished, we were all given a shot of a orange liquor. It was tasty. Even though it was meant to be a free tour, he did explain at the beginning because of regulations and taxes, we would have to pay 20 Bolivianos plus tips. I didn’t mind as it was a good tour and definitely would recommend it to others.

Four of a us, a girl from Australia, two Indians and myself wandered around the markets with them purchasing different souvenirs. Then we headed back to the prison to walk around as the girl had read the book ‘Marching Powder’, which was written by a prisoner and their experiences of that prison.

In the square, there was a rap concert in one corner and a group of 12 people doing a dance on repeat. It was really cool to watch.

As it was early evening, the altitude had caught up with us so we split up and went back to our hostels. In the evening, I just chilled and went to bed early as I had to get up early the next day.P1400508

With my alarm waking me up just after 6, I struggled to get out of bed. I had already packed my bag the night before so I just needed a shower and put the clothes on. Then I walked around to the Xtreme Downhill shop around the corner from my hostel. There was quite a lot of us so we split up into two group with there being four I n ours and about fifteen in the other. Not quite sure how that work but it was nice having a small group.

The four of us, two people from Italy who were about my age and an older guy from Spain, plus our biking guide and the driver piled into the van along with all our equipment and bikes. I was excited about cycling the most dangerous road in the worried but also slightly worried as I’m not the most confident biker.

It took a while to get out of La Paz city centre but once we were, we drove through the beautiful countryside of mountains, hills and rivers.  It took about an hour to arrive at our starting point. Here, we were provided breakfast of rolls, jam and tea. Even though we were 4700m above sea level, it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. We put on our gear over our clothes including a jacket, trousers, pair of gloves, knee and elbow pads and a helmet. We tried out our mountain bike before having a safety briefing. He initially explained in Spanish, where I understood some parts but not others. The Italians translated the most important parts. Then we were off.

The first part was following the new road down the mountain, swinging round the bends at full speed. The view was spectacular and riding down went down well. The guide was at the front, then the Spanish guy, who I could tell did a lot of biking, I came next then the two Italians. It worked out perfect because of speed, going from the fastest person to the slowest. We stopped regularly for photos but it was also a great rest for the legs. I have to say most of the time was pressing the breaks not peddling. At one of the stop, one of the Italians exclaimed that his gears weren’t working correctly, where the guide fix them.IMG_0739

We stopped at the tunnel to take a photo of us with our bikes next to a ‘Cycling prohibited in the tunnel’. Then we went around the tunnel on gravely ground, where it was difficult to control the bike. We cycled a few more kilometres before hopping off our bike and into the van.

We were driven about 8km as it went slightly uphill but also to take us to the start of ‘The Death Road’. The reason it is called this is because 200-300 people died a year along this road as it is such a dangerous road, only allowing the width of one car most of the time with windy, sharp corners on a cliff edge of about 600m. It was most dangerous to ride down during rainy season, which it was. However, luckily for us there was no rain in sight with a little sun at points.

We had to pay an entrance fee then we were off on our way. At the start the visibility wasn’t great but the further, we went down, the clearer it got. Again, we paused regularly for photos. I got use to the cycling on the gravel road, riding on the left hand side, which is the opposite to the side Bolivians usually drive on. There were times were it was extremely difficult to control the bike, where I could at any second be flung off the bike but I did manage to stay on.P1400524

We rode through San Juan Waterfall, getting slightly wet from head to toe. About half way down, we took a break for a snack consisting of a cheese rolls, crisps, a banana and fizzy drink. It was more food then I expected. We striped our outer layer of clothes as we were a lot lower. I’m glad I did this otherwise, I would have been hot riding.

The rest of the journey down was either slightly downhill or flat, passing through Yolosani River, where my feet got soaked. Eventually, we reached our final destination at Yokosa, finishing at 1200m above sea level. It was a thrilling and amazing ride, full of incredible picturesque views. I was so proud of myself for doing this. Then we jumped into the minivan, taking us to a hotel. We were able to have a shower before grabbing lunch. We had vegetable soup then a choice of meat, pasta, rice and chips with salad. I had some pasta, fried aubergine, chips and salad. It was delicious.

After, we chilled by the pool in the sun. We deserved this. When the next group arrived, we left, where we were given our ‘I survived the Death Road’ T-shirt. We drove back to La Paz, which took about 3 hours. I chatted and slept for most of the journey.

At the shop, we waited for them to burn our photos on the disk, then we bid our farewells to each other. I went to the hostel to drop off my bag, then ended standing outside the shop as the internet was so much better.IMG_0954

While hanging outside, a Bolivian mother and daughter stopped to talk to me so the daughter could practice her English. We made an arrangement to meet up the next day, where they invited me to their home for a meal. We exchanged numbers but I explained I could only reply if I had WiFi.

For the rest of the evening, I just relaxed, sorting out my photo. I think the tiredness hit me because I ended up falling asleep quite early.

The following day, I got up casually, showing and eating the complimentary breakfast of yoghurt with oats, rolls, jam, tea and orange juice. I had organised to meet this girl at 12 at Valle de la Luna, so once I was ready, I left the hostel to find a bus going that way, Down by San Francisco church, I caught a bus but had to changed as the driver decided to stop. It was a lot further than I thought and took around an hour.

I decided to look around Valle de la Luna, costing 15 bolivianos. It was a sectioned off area, where there were unusual formations of rocks with house on the hills in the background. There were two walking routes, one taking 45 minutes and the other 15 minute. I walked around the longer one. It was nice to see but not necessarily worth it.

As I left, I asked the Cholita (Traditional Bolivian women) if I could take a photo of her and she said yes, which is unusual as most of them refuse. I waited outside for the girl for just over an hour, where other stopped and talked to me but she didn’t show us. After one, I decided to caught a bus back to the main square.P1400534

I went to the market, where I purchased a hot lunch of fried tortilla, rice and salad. Then stopped at a different café for a large mango juice. I walked back to the hostel, where I heard from the girl, who told me she was waiting for me but I didn’t see her, which was a shame.

Later on in the afternoon, I decided to take the red cable car to the Alto (high part of La Paz). It was like a 10 minute walk to the cable car station. It cost 3 Bolivianos (£0.45) each way. How cheap! The ride up overlooked the city. At the top, there wasn’t much going on except a small market and views of the city. I wanted to walk around to find a more open section but couldn’t seem to find a way; there were rows of shacks of the side of the cliff, where I couldn’t pass through.

I relaxed at the top admiring the view, chatting to an older guy from Argentina. Then I caught the cable car back down and walked back to the hostel. Again, I didn’t do much that evening, just blog writing and watching a movie. I sound like an old fart but the altitude was killing me, leading me to feel tired constantly and in need of sleep.

Uyuni, Bolivia: the salt flats and railway

We walked to the central square and caught a minibus to the old terminal. As soon as we got there, we purchased a ticket from one of the ladies and hopped straight onto the bus. The ride took about 3 hours, again through mountainous scenery and desert with a few lama eating on the hills.

At Uyuni, we jumped off the bus, where we were immediately crowded by people selling Salar de Uyuni tours. I had already booked mine online as I wanted to make sure I got the date that I planned to be there. I paid $38 online through Kanoo tours but it would have been cheaper to get a tour in Uyuni from one of the agencies (150 bolivianos).

I walked to my hostel, which was about 3 blocks around. I checked in with the hostel, where I initially booked a room with 2 double beds as this was the cheapest I could find online. However, in the end they gave me a single room with my own bathroom. It was slightly hard to communicate as they only spoke Spanish and no England.

Once I  had dropped of my bag, I went in search of a place to print my day tour and bus ticket. This wasn’t as easy as I first thought. First, the hostel couldn’t print anything so the next thing was to find a internet café. Success, found one. However, the girl didn’t know how to print something from my email to their print. After about 10 minutes of fiddling, I managed to figure it out. Good!

After, I wanted the town, which was basically a small place aimed at tourists as people only go there to go to Salar de Uyuni. There was not much there apart from expensive restaurants, souvenir shops, agencies and a market.

It was mid-afternoon and I was feeling hungry so I treated myself to one of the expensive restaurants (not that I had much choice). I looked at several menus but they all seemed very similar. I sat in a quiet restaurant, where I order Mexican food: tortillas with vegetable bolognaise, guacamole and chips alongside a mango juice. It was filling and delicious.

For the rest of the afternoon and evening, I went back to the hostel to practise my Spanish, sort out my photos and decide what I needed for the next day, before falling asleep to a film.

The next day, I got up around 8 o’clock so that I could get some breakfast and be at the tour agency at 9. I had to back my bag up as I was taking a night bus that night.

With my backpack on my back, I walked to the shop, where they told me I didn’t need to be there until 10.15. I would prefer to be early than late and that the time the email told me to be there. I dropped off my bag and wandered the town, buying some mangos from the market. I chilled in the square until I needed to be back at the shop.

When I reached there, I sat on their sofa until a person from across the road collected me. I just kind of got dumped so I the nearest tour guide and she thought I was with her. Whether I was or not, I climbed into the back of the 4X4. My group consisted of two French (mother and son), a Bolivian woman, an English girl, the guide and the driver.

First we headed out of the town to the train cemetery, where there is a track and rusty, abandoned trains. This is where Bolivia use to import and export good from Chile but now this doesn’t happen. It was pretty cool to see, taking some snaps of the area.

We drove back through the town to the town of Colchani, passing incredible mountainous, desert with lamas filling the space. It took around 30 minutes to get here on a main road. The town of Colchani is a tiny town, where tourists go to get to the Salar de Uyuni. It’s the only town in Bolivia that doesn’t pay tax.

With a load of other 4X4s, we hopped off and followed our guide around the back of the stall to tell and show us how the salt is gathered and made. There were small bags to buy as souvenirs, which helps the local people but I just didn’t know what to do with a bag of salt. There were many souvenir stall around, where one could buy postcards, jumpers, mats, bags and loads more.

Back in the vehicle, we carried on a bumpy road over looking the Salt Flats. As we were getting closer and closer, I just could believe my eyes; white on the ground reflecting the sky. It was like  a dream; it was incredible. I can’t believe I was actually here. We drove slowly on to the Salt Flats, away from other cars so we could have our own space. We stopped by some blocks of salt, where we hopped off and took many snaps. The car drove a little further to set up lunch whilst we were mesmerised by the view as well as thinking of different poses to do.

We walked towards the 4×4, where a picnic table and benches had been set up. We sat around the table eating what was offered: quinoa, cheese salad, lama meat, banana and water. It was perfect with the reflections of the mountains on the Salar de Uyuni. I never thought I would be able to experience this. Once we were all finished with our bellies full, we dawdled towards the huge volcano while the lunch things were put away.

They came and collected us from our spot and took us near the salt hotel. It was the first one ever build but it’s not functioning as a hotel now. Here, our guide took series of perspective photos as it had the perfect light and conditions. She took group and single ones using props such as sunglasses, my GoPro, Hat. She laid on the wet ground while we swapped poses. It was so much fun and the photos came out really well.

We visited the salt hotel, where there were a few status of different thing made out of ice. We didn’t stay long here; just a toilet break. We got back into the 4×4 to carry on driving aimlessly. For the rest of the afternoon, we drove and walked, took some snaps and admired the view.

Four out of the five of us needed to get back to catch a night bus to La Paz. The guide told me earlier not to worry but I knew she wanted to stay out till sunset, which would mean I would miss my bus. Luckily, there were others including the Bolivian, who told her we needed to get back.

At about 4.30pm, we left the salt flats and drove back to Uyuni to drop four of us off. We went to find something cheap to eat, where we ended up in a chicken fast food place; I had frites only plus a traditional Bolivian drink of dried peach immersed in water. It was okay but had a little bit of a funny taste. After, I collected my bag from the agencies and then caught up with the others at the bus station.

Potosi, Bolivia: high altitude in a cute little town

IMG_0237Potosi is the highest city in Bolivia and boy didn’t I know it. the struggle walking around was immense as I was constantly out of breath. The altitude hit home. It was the weirdest sensation. However, I’m so glad I came here as the little quaint streets with restaurants and beautiful buildings really made it worth while. It kind of reminded me of a little village in Europe with stone walls.

The journey from Sucre to Potosi took just under 4 hours, where I just gazed at the beautiful scenery and listened to music.

The bus ended at the new bus terminal just outside the city, which looked like a huge dome. There were only two other tourists on my bus who followed me outside but I didn’t speak to them until later when I found out they were in the same hostel as me. I got a taxi from the terminal to my hostel, which was 15 Bolivians and took about 25 minutes to the centre of Potosi.IMG_0231

As I approached the centre, I could see small cobbled streets everywhere. I was going to like this town.

I checked into the hostel and found my room, where a guy from Hungry immediately started talking to me. I chatted for a bit before eating a snack dinner and relaxing in bed before falling asleep.

The following day, I casually got up and ate the breakfast, consisting of tea, juice, stale rolls with jam. At breakfast, I spoke to a French girl and a couple from Australia, who took the same bus as me the previous day. I had a shower and got dressed before meeting the couple to wander the streets of Potosi.

During the morning, we wandered the cobbled streets, exploring the town, finding churches, markets and shops. While walking around, there were a few random things; first, there was a bench in the middle of the road with rope to block off the road. Now sure what it was about but maybe a protest. The second was a person dressed up as a chicken dancing in the streets to advertise a restaurant. It was amusing to watch.IMG_0210

At lunch time, we stopped off in a vegetarian restaurant. The two Australian told me they had been to several vegetarian restaurants in Peru and Bolivia. They advised me to go on Trip Advisor to find out ones in different cities. For me, this was great as I was find it difficult to find vegetarian food around as South American’s most eat meat and carbs.

The restaurant was called Manzana Magica and did a lunch special for 20 Bolivianos (£2.50). It consisted of 4 courses: fruit and vegetable salad, vegetable soup, Pasta with vegetables and banana with yoghurt for dessert. It was so delicious and filling.IMG_0212

After lunch, we popped back to the hostel for a toilet break, where we decided to climb up to a view point to see the view of Potosi. The walk was difficult because of the hill and high attitude. Potosi is the highest town above sea level in South America, which means I was getting breathless extremely quickly. When we got to the top, there was a huge modern arch and an incredible view of the city with houses sloping down the mountains.

On top of one of the buildings close by were a group of kids dancing and playing (or swinging) a cat around. As soon as they saw that we were looking, they started show off, swinging the cat even more. I felt so sorry for the cat.

We mooched back to the hostel, stopping at the market on the way. Unfortunately, there weren’t many stall open and the fruit didn’t look too fresh. Instead, we got an ice-cream from a café.

For the rest of the afternoon, I just relaxed and wrote my blog while talking to the others.IMG_0219

In the evening, We went out in search of food, where the other two got a traditional snack of Saltana. These mostly have meat in so I didn’t have any. The café also sold cheese short crust pastry slices, which were okay but a little dry. The also brought out a lemon meringue pie and I couldn’t resist so bought a slide. In the dinner room in the hostel, we ate our food and chatted until we felt sleepy. Then I headed to bed for a night of rest. The Hungarian guy I had met the day before offered me some food but I feel asleep before him coming back in the room.

I woke up at a reasonable time to grab the breakfast from the hostel. I packed up my stuff and had a shower. Then I met the two Australians in the lobby to travel to our next destination: Uyuni.

Sucre, Bolivia: the white city and the 7 waterfalls

The next city, I travelled to was Sucre in the South of Bolivia nad known by the locals as the white city. It was a very picturesque city, well-worth the visit with not too much to do but lovely views. The city is on many levels with many steep walks and street overlooking the white buildings and mountains in the distant.

One the bus, the locals had thick blankets and those with children would squash into one seat. However, one thing that surprised me was that there were people standing up. I thought maybe they were getting off on the way but they didn’t; some laid on the floor whilst others stood up for the whole journey. 12 hours on the bumpy road and on their feet. Insane!IMG_0124

The first part, I just practised my Spanish on my phone until we had a rest break 2 hours in. There was food to purchase but I didn’t feel hungry. I went to the basic, slightly unhygienic toilets with holes in the doors, where I could buy toilet paper from a little boy.

Back on the bus, I got comfy, listened to music and fell asleep. I know I can sleep anywhere so I wasn’t worried. I spoke to the only other foreigner on the bus, who was extremely anxious about the journey. The reports were right as it was a bumpy, windy road but not as bad as they made out. I could see the scenery a little, which looked beautiful of mountains. I slept for about 7 hours, waking up a few times when the road got really rocky. In the middle of the night, it actually got quite cold, where I added another layer and covered myself with my towel. I now know why the locals took a thick blanket.IMG_0197

In the morning, around seven, we arrived at the bus terminal which didn’t really feel like a terminal structure but an abandoned building. Outside, I managed to get a taxi to my hostel, which was more in the centre by a large park. I checked into the hostel, where the guys just spoke Spanish at me but I did kind of understand what he was saying. I placed my bags in my room and sat in the courtyard area sorting out the next part of my adventure.

When it was a decent time to go out, I started to explore Sucre. I walked around Plaza Aniceto Acre, which was a pretty park, still with Christmas lights and a small metal Eiffel Tower. There were many locals sitting in the park with juice stands, where ladies were freshly squeezing orange, and an area where children were riding little cars around. I watched them with a cup of orange juice. The sun was shining and it felt so peaceful.IMG_0096

Next, I walked up the straight, picturesque streets of white building filled with shops, restaurants, hotels, museums and churches to the main square. I decided to carry on for a few kilometre on the gradual steep road until I reached a good view point. I could see mountains, which were a mixture of reds, greys melting into each other, in the distance with houses flowing down the hills closer by. It was such a beautiful town.

I headed back to the centre in search of food as I was feeling hungry. There wasn’t too many restaurants around and if there was, I was finding it hard to make a decision. I ended up coming across the central market filled with fruit, vegetables, meat and little food outlets. I tried to read the menus on the sign. I chose Sopa de Mani, which I thought would be a peanut soup but it ended up being a soup with some vegetables and a chuck of meat. I avoided the meat but ate the rest. After, I wandered the outskirts to find some more views and to get away from the busyness.DCIM121GOPRO

Later afternoon, I went back to the hostel, where I had a siesta and wrote my blog. Then I started to think about dinner so ask the man at reception where the nearest supermarket was. It was back near the centre, which was slightly annoying as I had walked passed it without realising. Anyway, I purchased some food there for dinner and the next day. On the way back, I bought some traditional south American buns, which are doughy and tasty cheesy. They are so delici/oso.

At the hostel, I cooked tomato pasta with vegetables, eggs and cheese. The queso in Bolivia is very similar to feta but less crumbly. I spoke to some people at the hostel including a lady from Brunei and a few girls from Argentina. After, I chilled in my room before falling asleep.IMG_0098

Waking up to my alarm, I arose, had a shower and packed my bag. I had booked a tour to Siete Cascadas (7 waterfalls) with hostel the day before. Once I had breakfast, I met the others that were doing the same tour in the reception area: four from Argentina and two from Switzerland plus our guide.

We caught a local minivan through the town, moving at snails pace, up through same little villages to the start of the hike. For most of the journey, the guide spoke to me, where I found out a little bit more about Bolivian culture. The view from the top of all the mountains and valleys were incredible. We walked and talked, going down hill towards the waterfalls. On the way, these little kids from nowhere, ran at up with water, throwing cups and bucket of water. My back got soaked but it was a hot, sunny day so I didn’t mind.IMG_0111

We had to climb over rocks and rivers but unfortunately because of the time of year, there wasn’t much water pouring out. We only got to the fourth waterfall as it was too difficult to climb. It would have been like rock climbing with our bodies close to the rock, high of the ground, trying to find hand and foot holes.

We sat by the small pool of water, taking photos and chilling in the blazing hot sun. The water was freezing so none of us took  swim. Even though the waterfall wasn’t anything spectacular, the view from the hike was amazing.

Dark cloud floated in sight so we decided to hike back up the mountain to the minibus stop. The walk was more difficult than expected, with me grasping for air, mainly because I’m unfit and also due to the altitude. I needed to get use to the altitude as it was only going to get higher.IMG_0132

Back at the hostel, I waited for the reception area to be opened so I could collect my bag. Then with my backpack on my back, I hailed down a taxi, negotiated a price, and took me to the bus terminal. As soon as I got out of the taxi, many ladies were shouting ‘Potosi’, where I bought a ticket from them for 20 Bolivianos (£2.50). A boy rushed me through the station to buy a terminal bus ticket and hurried me onto the bus. Once I had sat down in my allocated seat, the bus moved off. From the hostel to the bus was a bit of a whirlwind.

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