Oh Hey, I Moved to Bolivia

Busy, Busy, Busy in Bolivia!

Ok, so I moved to Bolivia two weeks ago, and I’ve been so busy (believe it or not) that I haven’t had time to write a post! Who knew there was so much to do in this country, I certainly didn’t. I’m so excited to fill you in on my adventures since being here!

Location and Accommodations:

At the beginning of the month we moved to our third home, La Paz, Bolivia. The majority of us are staying at Hotel Copacabana – and no her name isn’t Lola and she’s not a showgirl. Hotel Copacabana is located in the El Prado district of La Paz, close to Sopocachi which is the main downtown area. Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 3.30.51 PM.png

Our rooms aren’t anything to write home about, but they will suffice as livable. Although the bed feels like a cardboard box, I’ve learned to use my comforter as a mattress pad, and voila! #travelhacks — Pictures of said room below:

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The City & Workspace:

La Paz is a bustling city. It is located at 13, 313 feet above sea level, making it the highest city in the world. Compare this to Denver, which is 5,130 feet above sea level! You can instantly feel the altitude, and it took my body a few days to adjust. I took altitude sickness pills before arriving to ensure the easiest transition, and luckily I wasn’t too affected. I just felt super tired, and walking up the slightest hill put me completely out of breath. However other people experienced nausea, sever headaches, and even vomiting.

There are always people out and about walking the streets. At any time of day there will be a protest out your window or a marching band coming down the street. They are also known for their street food (which, I’ve yet to try), as half of my group has been down and out from some kind of food poisoning/salmonella/you name it. It is also an extremely cultural city. For the first time this year I truly feel outside my comfort zone, but hey, isn’t that is what traveling is all about?

Our workspace this month is pop-up space that Remote Year transformed. We rented out Cafe Urbano, one of the cafes in the Sopocachi neighborhood. It has an indoor and outdoor space and a full menu that we get for 10% off! Often we cuddle around the fire to warm up when the rain or the hail decides to come down on us!

Things To Do in La Paz:

  • Take the cable cars up to the city of El Alto, a city at even a higher elevation than La Paz, coming in at 13,320!
  • Cholita Wresting: Where Bolivian women wrestle each other for the entertainment of tourists and locals alike! I happened to get pummeled by a cholita during the show, which only made for a more interactive experience.

 

Weekend Activities:

So far the weekends here have been by far the best this year. With the Andes mountains surrounding the country there are lots of adventurous things to do. From hiking, mountain biking, salt flats, and Lake Titicaca our weekends were booked before we even knew it. So let’s start with last weekend…

Death Road Mountain Biking:

On our first weekend here we decided to taste our fate by mountain biking down the famous Death Road. This road used to be the only road that connected La Paz to Coroico.  It was given it’s name because it is estimated that 200-300 people died a year from traveling along it either by car. It is a single lane road with no guard rails and sheer cliff drops of 2,000 feet. The road is now a lot less dangerous since a new highway was built connecting these two cities. It is now a thrill-seekers paradise where you can mountain bike down the 40 mile stretch of dirt road, which we decided was a must-do! Hey, when in Bolivia?!

Watch my Go-Pro video for the inside scoop on our epic adventure!

 

 

Lake Titicaca:

This past weekend we  ventured to Lago Titicaca is the largest lake in South America in the Andes region spanning across both Bolivia and Peru. It is known as the highest navigable lake in the world, with a surface elevation of 12, 506 feet! A few us decided to take a night and head out to the lake to explore. We started with a four hour bus from La Paz to the town of Copacabana. Here we boarded a little boat for a hour and a half journey across the lake to Isla del Sol.

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Isla del Sol is the largest island on the lake with a rough, hilly terrain. There are no motor vechiles and all roads are dirt. There are about 800 families living on the island where they make their living through the tourism industry. When we arrived to the island we dropped off our bags and immediately went out exploring. Who knew there could be so many donkeys on one island!

We hiked into the main town called on the southern part of the island called Yumani. With the altitude being so high, the hike was definitely difficult, however the views at the top were more than worth it.

The following morning we woke up early to take a boat ride to the northern part of the island where the ruins are. There are over 180 ruins on the island, most of them dating to the Incan period in the 15th century AD. The Incas believed that the Sun God was born here on the island.

Overall, another amazing weekend in the books. It is hard to believe that our time in Bolivia is already more than half way over.

This weekend we head on another adventure to the Salt Flats! Be prepared for some pretty epic pictures to come! Until then… ♥♥♥

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