And so I left Chile… and was ready to hit my 4th South American country: Bolivia! I took the plane to la Paz and I quickly took a cab to the Loki hostel. This hostel is well known for its amazing parties and it's the perfect place to get to know people. However, if you want to rest this just may not be the right place for you. The thing about Loki is that they have everything you need. They have their own bar and food can always be ordered. So if you're lazy you don't even have to leave the hostel.
I had to take it easy the second day, because I experienced altitude sickness again. Luckily, it didn't last that long. I met up with my fellow Danish backpackers Mathias and Lucas, who I had met before in Córdoba, Argentina.
The next day we did the Death Road tour and this was thrilling! You basically start at 4700 meters and go all the way down to 1100 meters. The first part is the easy part as you're biking on asphalt, but soon it would change to rough gravel roads. It's quite tricky, because it's pretty easy to get smacked on your face if you don't take the turns right. In the past people have died on this road and having that thought in mind makes the descent even more exciting. The thing is that if you get off road you will fall from a cliff and you will die. It's as simple as that. But still, it's quite hard to screw this up. Here are 3 ways how you can die on the Death Road:
1. s*** happens, you get a heart attack
2. Mechanical problems (but this doesn't really occur anymore)
3. You're a complete idiot
But hey, I'm a Dutchman, so of course I survived the Death Road!
And there's more! More adrenaline the next day as I did the Urban Rush: rappelling down a 17 floor building in my amazing spiderman suit! The last part is a free fall and it's amazing. For a moment I really felt like Spiderman… but the Asian version then.
Another day passed and we took a plane to Rurrenabaque. It was the tiniest plane I've ever sat in. There was room for like 18 people and I had to crouch in order to get in. It was only a 45 minute flight though. When we arrived in Rurrenabaque (a cute little town) we quickly started our tour and they brought us to las Pampas by car. This must have been one of the uncomfortable rides of my travels. Crappy car, no air-conditioning, lack of space and sand all over the place.
In las Pampas I have had a few relaxing days. We saw lots of animals, did some piranha fishing, saw amazing sunsets and sunrises, swam with the famous pink dolphins and hunted for anaconda cobras. I got lost at some point and I ran into an anaconda cobra who tried to attack me. I took my distance, zoomed in with my camera and took a picture so that I could prove I had seen one. The rest of the group didn't see one, so I guess I was the lucky one today.
After several days we went back to la Paz only to take the bus to Sucre. Sucre is a nice city with a great atmosphere! Too bad there were road blocks everywhere. Therefore, we had to walk the last part to Sucre. There is not much to do in this city, but it is a cool place to kick it for a couple of days. Because of the road blocks there was no way we could leave this city, so we booked a flight to Santa Cruz. It's more expensive than a bus, but it's still Bolivia… so the flight wasn't that expensive.
Santa Cruz is probably the most developed part of Bolivia. It is also quite remarkable to see that there is a high concentration of many pretty women here compared to the rest of the country. The theory is that there are a lot of Argentinian en Brazilian influences here. There is nothing much to do in this city either, but it is a nice place to kick back and relax. This place is well known for its nightlife, so we obviously went out a couple of times.
The initial plan was to travel through Bolivia and then to head to Peru, but a couple of days ago I spontaneously decided to hit Brazil. I just feel like I can't leave South America without having seen Brazil. I haven't seen everything of Bolivia yet, but my plan is to come back at some point.
Tomorrow I will take the train to the border together with my fellow Dutchie Sten (someone I had been travelling with before) and I'm assuming that we can take a bus into Brazil from there. If that works out we will try to explore the Pantanal area!
Bolivia has been great! It's the ideal backpackers country; it has a lot of great things to offer and it's extremely cheap. Personally, this country has been amazing for me as I saw new things. Chile, Argentina and Uruguay are way more developed and has a lot of resemblances with Europe. Bolivia is really something else, it was like I was entering a different world. I'll leave Bolivia now, but I'll be back soon…