Sooo Bolivia. It's been a pleasure. We started off at Lake Titicaca (or TATTYcaca if your Scottish). Yes obviously Louise loved this place and tried to get her 'tats oot' at every occasion (well in her mind I knew she wanted to).
We spent a night on Isle Del Sol in a room which over looked the lake but highly resembled a Wendy house and was therefor ever so slightly FREEZING!!! It was cool though and very pretty but everything shut down at about 8 so it turned into a bit of a creepy ghost island with the odd donkey trotting on by. Once again the altitude (plus me being so unfit) meant I struggled to even walk up some steps with out wanting to faint and in the end resulted in going to bed by about 9. Classic YOLO behaviour.
NEXT we spent a night in Copacabana which was again very pretty on the famous Lake TATS but not a lot was poppin otherwise. The next day however we wondered out the hotel (yes in Bolivia we could afford a hotel! So cheep) and discovered that due to it being Good Friday there was a whole festival vibe going on with stalls and music and people camping in the beach! We couldn't help but think how civil it seemed though as there where no 'lads on tour' struttin about charnting football song with there tops off and beer in there hands as you would expect in an English carnival/ steam fair. It was cool. At dusk there was apparently a big candle lit procession through the town but unfortunately we had to hop on a bus so our next stop LA PAZ!!
NEXXTT... As we arrived to La Paz at mid night out first impressions where "where the f*** are we" as it looked awful. Also the fact that the opening line to deceive this city in the Lonely Planet was "La Paz is not a safe city, especially at night" didn't set out expectations too high. But after checking into our hostel and receiving our free beer (beers at mid night and what!?) things started to look up. The next day we ventures out into the city (clutching my bum bag and thinking everyone was about I mug me- very jumpy hun). It turns out La Paz is a quirky interesting city as we wandered around the random streets where selling everything from the standard leather hand bags and alpaca products to Llama foetuses and cocain leaves. The Witches market was where the dead Llama foetuses where at, apparently they burn them and spread the ashes under their houses as an offering to Mother Earth- just seemed a but effed up to me. They also sold box after box of herbal remedies with half naked people on them- god knows. Aswell as wandering around and finding squares full of pigeons and odd little fat children catching these pigeons and putting them in each other's hoods, we went out to experience the night life. It was fantastic. We danced the night away absolutely covered in UV paint looking lush as per. On our last day we went in the bubble lifts up to the top of the city and it became apparent to us how La Paz is literally in the mountains and clouds. The city is in a high steep valley with just cluster after cluster or half finished houses. We also went over a grave yard which was just rows and rows of people buried in what looked like apartment blocks.
NEXXXTTTT the Salt Flat Tour (EPIC). We got an overnight bus to Uyani (there where only roads half the way the rest the bus drive over dirt tracks and the desert, we where also next to the smelly toilet- safe to say very little sleep was had). We where all very excited for the adventure and when we saw the 4x4 which was our transport for the next 3 days, I thought I was going to burst with excitement. In our group was a lovely Swedish couple; Tracy and Eric- and a Spanish lady who I never remembered the name of but who came in very handy at translation as our guide 'AMIGO' didn't speak a word of Spanish but we shared a bond by the end of the trip.
Our first stop was a train grave yard- about 5 trains which had been abandoned on their tracks years ago when the mineral industry got s***. They where all rusty and eroded but had a really eerie sense of abandonment about them- also have some crackin edgy pics.
NEXT on the tour where THE SALT FLATS. oh-em-gee... They where beautiful, as we cruised on over them it was an insane view. Just bright white salt floor as far as the eye could see in direct contrast to the perfectly blue sky until they merged into one at the horizon. I'm not sure I believe in heaven but if so this is what I would picture. Also when the odd patch of water was left on the salt it created a perfect mirror reflection making it look like the whole world was upside down. When we stopped for lunch Amigo served up a storm of Quinoa, meet and veg which we ate on the flats- trying not to be blinded by the brightness of our surroundings- and feeling so small and deserted which made it a rather humbling experience. But then after lunch Amigo whacked out a dinosaur which instantly distracted me from a daze and focused my attention on getting the perfect picture of us getting chased by this beast and makin it look like we where dancing out of Pringles pots! I really liked this dinosaur and I kept our toy one as a travel companion.
AMIGO also let me drive after we visited Cactus Island ( not it's actual name but it was an island covered in reaaallllyyyy tall cacti) so I cruised along the flats feeling like a bad ass b**** and I think making the others feel quite nervous but Amigo loved it as I whacked up his salsa thoooons and he told me where to go with hand movements as he couldn't speak English. That night we stayed IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT (by this point we had driven off the Salt Flats for good and where in the desert landscape dotted with volcanos) and our hostel was made of Salt. Yup salt. Lou and I even licked the tables to make sure of if and sure enough we got a lovely mouthful taste of salt. We got cooked delish local food again and played cards all night. Becks and I where our usual scared selves and convinced ourselves the place we stayed resembled the film WOLF CREEK. but when we ventured our the hostle into the cold night and looked up at the sky- my fear almost vanished. The sky was like nothing I had get seen. The Milky Way was clearly visible over head and all the other thousands of starts dotted the black sky like a blanket of the brightest fairy lights ever. Faaannnnntastic.
Other te next couple of days we continued in te 4x4 through the desert and ere is a list of te stuff we saw (if ya want more deets then use google as I cba to describe them all); LOTS of Flamingos, a Stone Tree, the Dali Desert, Sol de Mana Geysers, Uturuncu Volcano, Volcana Licancabur, Laguna Verde, Laguna Colorado, Quentena Chico, Quentena Grande and on the last day we left our refuge at 5am to watch the sun rise above the Geysers, we saw lave bubble in an active volcano and went in the hot springs in the middle of the desert as the sun rose above us. The outside air was freezing but the spring water was steamy hot which stung my skin as I got in and the floor was just earth which exfoliated my bum. In the pictures we look like elegant shiloetts but in reality we where dirty and sweaty. All in all a perfect way to end out time in Bolivia and get prepared for what Chili will have to offer. Hopefully hot beaches, more salsa opportunities and plenty of cheep red wine!