Friday, 30 May 2014

And into the jungle!

Madidi Travel's resident parrot
A trip to the Amazon basin is on most travellers’ bucket list. But it doesn’t come cheap. Our research showed us that Bolivia was one of the more affordable entry points into the jungle. In Peru, we met people travelling north from Bolivia – all of whom recommended different trips and tour companies.

We decided fairly quickly against a 'pampas' or wetland savannah trip, as although you have a higher chance of seeing animals, due to the lack of trees, there are few (if any?) reputable companies that take tourists there and we'd heard that the area gets overcrowded with tourists and their not so conservation friendly guides. We've spoken to people who very much enjoyed their pampas trip, but we decided it was not for us this time.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The world’s most dangerous road

Its a long way down!
Before arriving in South America, I had read about the so called 'death road' in Bolivia, which according to Wikipedia claims up to 300 lives every year. I watched youtube videos of buses travelling along very narrow stretches of road, with sheer drops of over 600 metres. It looked horrible.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Our quest to visit a Peña

In South America, peñas are or (are supposed to be) bars or restaurants where people get together to play traditional folkloric music, eat, drink and be merry. Intrigued, we first attempted to go to a peña in Arequipa, Peru.

La Paz: In pictures

La Paz is quite literally breathtaking. At an elevation of between 3,200m and 4,100m above sea level, even a leisurely stroll around the city centre can leave you feeling short of breath. Most people arrive into La Paz from El Alto, which is actually another city in itself, growing fast into the flat plains above the capital.  The view of La Paz as you travel into the city from ,El Alto, is incredible.  

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Copacabana and the Isla del Sol

The beautiful Isla del Sol
The Isla del Sol is another island on Lake Titicaca, but is reached from the Bolivian side (see previous post on our visit to Puno in Peru). 

We had been told that the island was a 'must see' in Bolivia and so we left Peru behind, crossed the border and made our way to Copacabana.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Poor old Puno

Puno from the Condor viewpoint
Puno sits on the edge of Lake Titicaca on the Peruvian side and it’s from here that you can arrange trips to some of the islands on the lake, including to the floating "Uros" islands that are made entirely from reeds. 

Puno itself feels pretty rundown and rather unattractive. It looks a little like there was an attempt to brighten up the promenade along the lakeside about 20 years ago, with paved walkways, benches and wooden arched verandas. However, without any maintenance, the paving is chipped and the wooden furniture has certainly seen better days. Unused pedloes sit in the harbor rotting away, surrounded by algae and rubbish. And many of the buildings in the town itself look unfinished and in some cases abandoned.