Adios, Bolivia

Hotels and Hostels in La Paz (Book Online!)

We’re at the end of our three month stay in Bolivia: one of the most incredible periods in our lives. In the past 91 days, we’ve seen more amazing places and done more exciting things than I could ever have anticipated. It’s been an experience that we’ll never forget.

Bolivia has left us exhausted. Beaten down, dirty, haggard, semi-cripples. We usually stay three months in a city, and this is the first time we’ve decided to jump around an entire country. Turns out, Bolivia is way too big to see in three months! We completely missed huge regions, such as Tarija. The entire eastern section of Bolivia received short shrift; we only had time for a few quick posts from Santa Cruz, and never got a chance to see the Chaco.

Still, the things we did see will be etched into our memories forever. The clean white horizons of Uyuni’s salt flats; the most bizarre area I’ve ever visited. The heartbreaking city of Potosí, under the shadow of the massive Cerro Rico — pillaged and past its prime, a living metaphor for the city that it once made unfathomably rich. The charming colonial heritage of Sucre, a city with an easy way of life we never expected to find in Bolivia.

La Paz! The bustling markets, filled with every color imaginable, from the bright reds and yellows of the fresh fruits available on every corner, to the neon greens and purples on the blankets of the Cholitas who dominate paceño street life. Packed into a gorgeous mountain valley, La Paz is desperately, almost frighteningly alive.

Cochabamba and its surrounding villages. Villa Tunari. The Isla de Sol. The rate at which we racked up incredible memories was almost nauseating. No chance to reflect on the mountain village festival, time to go on the jungle hike! Even on those rare nights we were able to rest, we kept ourselves busy by reading about the country’s tragic history, or hanging out with some of the cool people we were lucky enough to meet.

I can’t say we’re upset to leave. We’re sick of constantly being on the move, and both of us are ready for the comfort and amenities of Europe. For example, I’m looking very much forward to being able to flush toilet paper, instead of shoving it into overflowing bins. But regardless of the difficulties and the exhausting nature of our schedule, Bolivia has earned a spot in my heart from which it will never be dislodged. It’s the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited, and one I’ll never be able to forget.

Next, we’re onto Palermo, Italy, after a month-long break at our home base in Valencia, Spain. We hope that you continue to follow our travels.

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Tess

    Too bad that this was already the last post from Bolivia, but surely looking forward for new posts from Italy! Loved your posts about Bolivia, it definitely makes me wanna go back there! Will be back with you in a month!

  2. Alejandra

    Una lástima saber que ya no estarán en Bolivia y que no tendré cada tarde el post que tanto esperaba. Gracias a los 2 por traerme mi Bolivia, por recordarme todas las experiencias que tuve en mis primeros 25 años de vida (ya les puedo decir que en 3 meses exploraron casi todo lo que yo conozco de mi pais), me alegra saber que disfrutaron tanto. Nos alegra saber que estarán en Valencia, muchos saludos desde Barcelona. Seguiremos sus viajes de cerca. Ahora a descansar!.

  3. elpariente

    Muchas gracias !!!!Pasear y conocer Bolivia de vuestra mano ha sido una gran experiencia Seguiremos vuestros pasos

  4. Diane

    i love the last picture. light!

  5. The Travel Chica

    I really enjoyed reading about your time in Bolivia and will be using your site as a main resource when I arrive there early next year. I know what you mean about the toilet paper.  After months of traveling through Central America, I was so happy to flush toilet paper again in Buenos Aires.

  6. Kerstin

    Your toilet paper comment is so awesome. And it’s a strange experience back in toilet-flushing countries, when you sit there with the paper in your hand, wondering what to do with it cause the overflowing bin isn’t there. 🙂

  7. cosima

    kerstin, you’re so right! I remember coming back and to sit aón the toilet and just be astounded by the regular European amenities. nevertheless I crave to go back, 7 years is a long time for not visiting the country you love the most! could you guys probably do Cambodia next? it’s the second best in the world! 😉

  8. Candy Treft

    Loved reading your blogs about Bolivia.  I am arriving in LaPaz on Sunday morning and very excited.  I also relate to your 91 day as I work in the US as a travel nurse moving every 13 weeks (when Im not traveling).  Its wonderful to be able to live in a place instead of constant movement.  it is a great way to really get a `feel` of a place.

    1. Juergen

      It’s the ultimate way to become a somewhat of a local. Saw on your blog you are preparing for a trip? Where you going?

  9. Lieve Demaegd

    Dear Jürgen
    and Mike, I am Belgian, living in Bolivia for over 12 years, and just recently
    and accidentally found your posts. I´ve read them all and enjoyed them very
    much, you made me laugh, and you brought tears to my eyes. This is definitely a
    wonderful crazy beautiful, sometimes annoying, country. You should come back
    and do the half of the country you missed. Chaco is amazing and you should do
    it twice: once in dry and once in rainy season, while going on the Che-Guevara
    trail. The Amazon region has so many wonders, the Chiquitanía is beautiful, the
    Pantanal in Santa Cruz is one of the largest wetlands of the planet, you should
    go to a baroque music concert in Guarayos, and see the millions of orchids
    while you´re there, there are still 39 indigenous groups in Bolivia you hardly
    met, etc etc. If you ever plan on coming back let me know and I’ll help out. Thank
    you for your understanding, your open-mindedness, and your respect. I hope you
    have a nice life.

  10. Criolla

    Thank you for showing my beautiful birth country, the one I will never be able to visit ,in the twilight of my life, I would travel every year, had my children in my land, because I married a foreigner, had to made his land mine, but never forgot my roots, my family arrived from Spain as representatives of the Spanish Crown, as criollos fought for independence, now none left except me.
    I cook our foods, make api, play my music and I am glad your appreciation of this paradise called Bolivia.
    As a former diplomat I lived all over the world, but none as diverse,rich as my motherland Bolivia.

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