After Cusco I went to Lake Titicaca, which was truly beautiful. We stayed one night in Amantani island where there are no hotels so we had a homestay organised for us. Even though it was a bit touristy it was very interesting to see how the locals live.
Valeria, our landlady, was very nice without caring too much, so she kept doing what she would normally do without tourists in her house. We also found out the temperature drops at minus something and that no matter how many blankets you had you would still feel cold, but here's once piece of Valeria´s mind: "Yes it's cold but what are you going to do about it? You just have to get used to it" (heating is not an option on the island).
I also saw the Bolivian part of Lake Titicaca (la Isla del Sol), but I prefer the Peruvian side. On the Bolivian Titicaca I stayed in Copacabana which sounds like Pablo Escobar's paradise but which is actually a very shallow and sleepy town. I really cannot see why Lonely Planet raves about it.
I then went to La Paz, which I liked even though it's falling apart. But for some reason I found the centre very charming, whilst El Alto (the highest part of the city) was very sad in its extreme poverty, as you can easily gather from the pictures.
After La Paz I headed to Chulumani, in the Yungas, which is where the Andes and the Amazon spectacularly meet. I was lucky enough to stay at a lovely guest house the owner of which is an incredibly knowledgeable man, with interesting philosophical theories. We ended up talking about God and other minor subjects for the best part of the night with an astronomer friend of his. I mean, what are the chances to meet people like this in the Bolivian mountains?! And they spoke an impeccable English too!
After Chulumani I finally went to the Amazon and yes it is incredible! There is a part which is called pampas where it's really easy to see animals of all sorts. We saw anacondas, zillions of crocs, beautiful birds, pink dolphins, monkeys, the biggest rodent in the world (it's huge!) and many others.
And then there is the jungle (la selva) with its impressive trees (it's much more difficult to see animals here, except from butterflies, which I took many pictures of), including walking palms!
I am now in Santa Cruz. It's not particularly nice actually, but it's the gateway to the Jesuit Missions Circuit, which is apparently one of the most rewarding cultural excursion. Given the unique combination of Jesuit and Chiquitano cultures, UNESCO declared the region a Worls Heritage site.
I will then go to the Salar de Uyuni, which is a salt desert. I find very curious that in a relatively small country as Bolivia you can go from 40 degrees in the jungle to minus 20 in the Uyuni desert...god help me!
The very good news is that the City Government of Buenos Aires accepted my application to volunteer there, so I shall start around the end of September. I am very excited to live and work in Buenos Aires as it is an incredibly fascinating city. It's not very clear exactly what I will be doing but I guess we'll find out soon enough.