The Beauty and the Beast (by KCT)

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Feb 19, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Friday, September 18, 2009

Bolivia is just amazing! When we planned our trip months ago, we thought that we would just cross Bolivia in order to get from Brazil to Peru, but we ended up staying 29 days in that country! And if it wasn't our visa which only allowed us to stay 30 days in Bolivia, we would have stayed so much longer! For example, we ended up to stay 10 days in Sucre which lies at an altitude of 2750 m. It was just a wonderful place!  The city is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and has a well-conserved center with beautiful colonial buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Moreover, it is a university city with many students and consequently parties everywhere, also many chic cafés and restaurants. If you are in Sucre, you can't believe that you are actually in Bolivia! It is a city to fall in love with. That's why we decided to stay longer in Sucre to rest from all the traveling. Yes, it might sound funny that we had to rest on our vacation but it gets really tiring if you need to jump from one place to another like on every second day. Yes, for real! Though, we weren't lazy at all, neither did we do much partying, instead we were very hard working (as always! :p) and took some private Spanish classes for 5 days to get some basics for traveling. We had to so homework and studying every single day! And it was worth studying as it turned out that the guided tours we had later on were mostly only Spanish speaking. Weren't we clever? :p Well, the school was very funny as it also offered free volleyball classes, salsa classes and parties, and we definitely enjoyed to be students again! :)

The Bolivians also were very charming. For instance, the owner of the hostel where we stayed at was very friendly and he invited us several times to a mate de coca, a tea from coca leaves, with his family. It was quite interesting for both parties of us since they got to practice English and we got to practice Spanish! The owner was moreover very, very, very talkative (!) that sometimes we had to take the back door to avoid getting stuck in a conversation with him. :p

Even the people in the market were very nice and helpful. It was huge market selling everything one desires and we actually went there every single day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We just loved the market and Mihai was even obsessed with it that in between the meals, we went there to buy some snacks! Of course, the people working there recognized us and always welcomed us. We felt very home. 

Again, Bolivia is very beautiful - yet, unfortunately not in every aspect! Isn't there always a 'BUT'?! The roads of Bolivia, if you can really consider boulders of rocks as roads, are just terrifying. They are very narrow and generally, you face on the one side the gigantic rocks of the Andeans, on the other side a steep downhill side where you can't see the ending of the fall. It gets worse when you consider the transportations! The most cars and buses are imported from Japan and China which are already depreciated in those countries. But in Bolivia, these cars are in full charge and you don't want to know how many people they can fit into that! Furthermore, we rode once a taxi which was originally built for right-hand traffic and where its wheel was simply modified to the left side! 

Mihai and I can just thank God that we survived our long bus rides in Bolivia which reminded us of rollercoaster rides. And luckily, we always had plastic bags in case of emergency with us which indeed once found its use...   

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