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sunny 22 °C

This has been a crazy, hectic and surreal day as we crossed from Peru in Bolivia.

Our day began at 7 am and we made our way to the bus terminal for the long journey to La Paz, Bolivia, the highest administrative capital in the world, resting on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau at more than 3,500m above sea level.

Our bus was lovely and we had front row seats on the second level so enjoyed a really nice view. It was well organized and about 2 hours in we stopped just prior to the Bolivian border to change money. This is what $200 usd got me, 1350 Bolivianos. Then we moved on to Peruvian immigration which was quick and easy. We then walked 5 minutes across the border into Bolivia and visited immigration there, which was equally as quick.


Immediately upon crossing into Bolivia we knew were in a very different place. Bolivia is the poorest of all the South American countries and it shows. But the landscape and houses looked different too.

After another 20 minutes, our bus dropped us at Copacabana, Bolivia, where we had 15 minutes to eat, pee and transfer to our Bolivian bus to La Paz which was vastly different. It was run down with no bathrooms and very little leg room ( although the back of the bus said we were VIP). 45 minutes in we had another stop where we were told to get off the bus, pay 2 Bolivianos and take a boat across a little river while the bus went across the water on a barge. We barely had time to pee when they were yelling at me “meesus, get on da bus, now!”. We were no longer being pampered as we had been in Peru, we were cattle being moved along. We then had a 3 hour drive to La Paz that turned into 4.5 hours.


Approaching La Paz there was major construction and later tons of traffic due to a festival. Today is a holiday, Independence day for Bolivia. We were stuck in traffic forever and I really wondered what kinda dump we were coming to. Ironically every now and then you would see a couple that looked so done up they reminded me of a fancy scene from a movie in the old days. One thing I noticed immediately is all the woman in the Bowler hats. Introduced in the 1800s by the British, they were somehow adopted by the woman and not the men.




Finally, we caught the most spectacular view of the mountains and La Paz sitting deep in the valley. I hope we get a chance to see that view. It any case, it gave me hope.

We were met by our transportation agent who brought us to our hotel and we were blown away. It is simply gorgeous. It is a colonial house dating from 1832, with a Colonial style architecture, located in the historic center of the city of La Paz. It is restored retaining 80% of the original construction. It is like stepping back in time with antiques everywhere. Many important figures in Bolivian history lived in this house. Our room is gorgeous but Lorna and Sharon have a loft, one with a bed and stain glass windows. Isaac says it is our best hotel ever.


We finally get a sleep in tomorrow, staring a city tour at 9:30 (we have changed time zones so are now only 1.5 hours earlier than Newfoundland). Tomorrow night at 9pm, we take an overnight bus for 12 hours to Uyuni. We have been assured that will be a better bus. I definitely won’t be posting tomorrow but will when I can.

I did not take out my camera today but I grabbed a few shots with my point and shoot and through the bus window.

Otherwise all is well and we are feeling better with the altitude. Hopefully we have finally adjusted. We are very excited to experience Bolivia.

Apparently they eat llama here.


Posted by curlygirl 23:08 Archived in Bolivia Tagged la bolivia paz copacabana

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Good Lord woman. I'm so glad you ended up in the best hotel ever and not a Bolivian jail!! Feeling nervous during the read!! Now missus remember the dear lama pictures from a few posts back. Stick to granola bars!!

by Nancy

You sure have some very interesting travels. Certainly seeing the world. Keep going as I enjoy your travels. Keep safe.

by Pat

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