252 days… 

Today it’s exactly 252 days since we left for our great adventure. 252 days without staying at the same place longer than 7 nights. 252 days only with the stuff in our backpacks. 252 days without being apart for more than 4 hours. 

Looking back to all we’ve seen and done during the last eight months, all the lessons we have learned about traveling and about ourselves and about each other… it all makes me extremely thankful! And also a little proud, because hey, 252 of being non-stop together! That’s one thorough relationship test! 

Four to seven weeks and we will be back home. The end is near. I’ll miss this life! This living in the moment, in the here and now (well, most of the time. I’ll probably die trying). I’ll miss being close to the person I love (most of) all day every day. Still, I’m definitely looking forward to what life back home will have in store for us! 

Looking forward to spending some more time with this great guy! 

Lots of love ❤️ 



We were excited to go to La Paz for a couple of days to explore the highest de facto capital in the world. At the same time, we were a little anxious to leave the organized chaos of Sucre for the complete craziness of  La Paz. Several people warned us that La Paz is a little bit more dangerous than the rest of the country and that we should be really careful with our belongings – and with what we eat.

We booked a double room in a shared flat via Airbnb and when we arrived with the night bus at the bus terminal, we decided to take a private taxi to our accommodation. The other option would have been to try to understand the chaotic ways of the public transportation system – consisting of about half a million mini vans that drive all around the city. I guess we simply didn’t have the mental capacities for that after 13 hours on a bus. We managed to agree to an offer from a taxi driver who would swear in his mothers grave that he is indeed an official terminal taxi driver (because that are the ones we were advised to take). 

Even at 7:45 in a Saturday morning, traffic in La Paz is a mess. The streets are crowded with cars, motor bikes, busses, the occasional bike, and thousands of people either trying to sell goods or trying to buy goods. It would become a private joke that if you would just sit down on the side walk, everything you could possibly need will walk by at some point. 

After chilling in our room for a while, we decided it was time for breakfast. TripAdvisor advised a trip to NAMASTÉ, one of the few vegetarian places in town. It’s wedged between several garages and shops selling motor parts (Ajaya & Michael!) which made it look even more alienated. The breakfast was alright, it only took a very long time to arrive. Especially considering that we were the only guests and the kitchen was equipped with three people. 

Afterwards, we went to the street market, strolled through streets full of either shoemakers, hair dressers, or souvenir shops. At 2 pm we joined the RED CAP walking tour and learned a little about the local history, culture, and customs. We walked over several indoor and outdoor markets, took a look at the government buildings, and learned about ancient and current politicians. It was interesting but definitely not the best walking tour we have been on. In the evening, we bought some veggies on the market, cooked dinner ourselves, and went to bed early. 

El Alto! The next day we took the cable car (red line) to this city within the city. It’s basically a part of La Paz although it has its own name. This is where the biggest flea market in the whole of South America takes place. Thankfully, we were sufficiently trained for this market madness. That said, after two hours we were desperately looking for a little cafe or a quiet cleanish restaurant to take a break. There was just no such thing! It was busy everywhere and quite frankly also a little icky. In the end, we settled for good old empanadas with cheese and a bag of popcorn. 

With all of that we went to watch the wrestling cholitas. Tourists in general are not informed about the two price categories so every tourist pays the higher price. The higher price however buys the tickets to the first row so “yeah, great view” but “mhm, very close to the action” and “really separated from the locals and the atmosphere they create”. Most tourists asked to change seats but they were simply refused. As I said before this show-wrestling is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We almost left after the first fight (cholita against man) because it looked like he is beating her up (although in the end she won). But the fun factor improved with the increase in skill and acting talent which improved significantly from one fight to the next. It’s not only cholitas fighting, also men against men. Costumes were getting more and more elaborate AND hideous but definitely part of the fun. We didn’t stay until the end because we wanted to get to the cable car station before it got dark. But we saw enough and definitely had fun! 

One day in bed, one day stumbling around feeling as if being hit by a car: time to take care of some simple things. Clément got his shoes fixed AND got a hair/beard cut! After almost 250 days of letting his hair grow out, he looks like himself again. Nonetheless, I’m a little sad. The reactions we got in Bolivia because of the beard were so great! Kids would stare at him with their mouths open, men would feel the stubble in their own chins, and women selling food on the street would whisper to each other and point at the beard. When we showed some of them the pictures of Clément without beard they would giggle like school girls, and all agree that that’s definitely better looking! Now the beard is gone, we might have to watch out a little more… it definitely scared some people off! 

On our last day in La Paz, we took it really slow. All of La Paz had a slow day due to the Micros striking. The streets were unbelievably quiet and walking around felt like it’s some kind of public holiday. The cable cars kept running so we took the yellow line and the green line up towards Valle de la Luna. We would have needed to take a taxi from there to reach the entrance to the valley but in the end we decided not to. We went to Burger King instead (the second time during this trip?) and walked around this part of the city for a while. It’s interesting to see how much the many parts of the city differ! This part had a much richer feel about it, completely different from El Alto for example!

By the way “A La Pa – La Pa – La Paz” is how the employees of the bus companies at the terminal announce buses with this destination. Loud and proud! 

Next destination: Copacabana – the original! The one right next to lake Titicaca with the cathedral of the virgin of Copacabana. Four hours by bus from La Paz! 

Lots of love ❤️ 


Copacabana: Isla del Sol & Isla de la Luna

From La Paz we took a bus to Copacabana. Nope, not the brasilian Copacabana with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water! No. This one – the real one – is a small city on the shore of Lake Titikaka and definitely has something to it. From La Paz it’s only four hours to get here. More than one of the four hours is spent merely on driving out of center and away from the traffic jams of La Paz. I missed most of the journey  because I fell asleep when we left the city. I only woke up when our bus had to take a small (the smallest?) ferry across a small channel. We took a small boat and had to squeeze in a little bit we made it to the other side. 

After that I paid some attention and looked out of the window. The landscape around Lake Titikaka really beautiful! The bus stopped multiple times along the way to drop people off at their destinations – mostly small communities working the land around the lake. 

The city Copacabana is very touristic! Not only popular among foreigners, there are also a lot of Bolivian tourists. The cathedral is truly amazing especially around sun set. But yeah, there are people on the streets trying to convince you that their menu of the day is definitely worth trying and much better than the one of the neighbors although it’s exactly the same everywhere. Prices for accommodation and food are good though, so I see why people recommend to stick around for a few days. 

The main attraction around is to take a little boat to Isla del Sol. It takes about 1.5 h even though it’s really not far. But two 60 ps motors just can’t get a boat full of people there faster. There are three communities living on the island. A few years ago it was possible to walk across the island and take another boat back to Copacabana. The community of the north however has enough of tourist and closed the area for visitors. It’s understandable if you consider how much tourism changed the life of the people living on the island. We are in the low season now but still boats loaded to the top arrive at the island twice a day. Some spend some money, others just complain, leave their trash, haggle if their life depends on it with the locals about the price of the souvenirs, and leave again… leaving nothing but a bad reputation behind. 

We tried to be respectful (we always try of course) and to appreciate this little community opening their little island to tourists. The way from the port to the town consists of about 240 stairs. Sounds manageable but in this altitude we were forced to take one or two brakes. A little outside the town center we found a cute and clean hostel “Hostal Isla del Sol” – with WIFI! Wasn’t a criterion but alright, yes, please tell us the password! We left our stuff and went to explore the island and to find a spot to watch the sunset. We ended up at the mirador Palla Khasa and spent at least an hour watching the sky change its colors. 

We left this beautiful spot before the sun really set though because we were scared that we won’t find our way back in the dark. Because once the sun has set there isn’t much light left on this little island. No street lamps but steep unsteady paths. We heard that food Camus quite expensive so we brought our own food. We ate our dinner-sandwiches in bed because it got cold in our little room! Then we cuddled up in our sleeping bags and were asleep probably before 9.30 pm. 

We woke up before sun rise which we could watch by just looking out of our window! We put on all the clothes we brought though to watch from the terrace for the full experience. 

After breakfast on the terrace (with scrambled eggs!) we took a boat to visit the Isla de la Luna. It took almost an hour to get there, then we had an hour to walk around, before the boat took us back to Isla del Sol. We felt a little stressed out and could have spend easily one hour more. There are some ruins from pre-Inca times. From listening in on a guided tour, we learned that girls would be separated from their families to grow up on this island. Every once in a while the most beautiful of them would be given as a sacrifice to Patcha Mama, the Mother Earth. Some structures in the ruins are actually ancient calendars based on the cycle of the moon. That’s all I understood of the Spanish tour… I’m sure there were some more interesting things. 

Back on Isla del Sol we were dropped off at the Temple of the Sun. This ruins are full of ancient wisdom about the earth and I wonder how much we really know about it. I guess I’ll have to buy a book. This time the guide of this tour told us straight to our faces not to listen! Joining the tour was apparently not an option. 

We walked back towards the little center and caught another glimpse of the beauty of this place. Then we picked up our bags at our hostel, and caught the ferry back to Copacabana. The islands are definitely worth visitin although I can imagine that it gets more than crowded during high season. I don’t think I would have liked it as much if there would have been more tourists than we had encountered. 

We are staying another two nights in a small hostel in Copacabana. Finding a suitable room definitely isn’t that easy in Bolivia… 

  • Double room available? ❌

Next hostel… 

  • Double room available? ✅ 
  • Private bathroom? ✅ 
  • Price alright? ✅ 
  • Window? ❌

Next hostel! 

  • Double room available? ✅ 
  • Private bathroom? ✅ 
  • Price alright? ❌
  • Price without private bathroom? ✅
  • Window? ✅
  • Wifi? ✅
  • Wifi in the room? ❌

We took it anyways. We know our limits (and the limits of Bolivian hostals). 

Lots of love ❤️ 

Wiebke & Clément

Strange stories: Bolivia edition 

After South Africa, we didn’t come across a lot of strange stories. But during our three weeks in Bolivia, we heard quite a few interesting, hilarious, and creepy stories. Some of them we heard in our RED CAP city tour although I could not find proove for all of them on the internet. So please enjoy this article with a healthy dose of skepticism! 

1. During their 192 years of independence, Bolivia had over 100 coups d’etat, you know, where they overthrow the government by force. That’s the world record. 

2. When the shoemaker fixes your shoes but can’t find a sole in the right size (because you have gigantic feet for bolivian standards), he will just cut it out of an old tire and glue that to the shoe. 

3. A long time ago, the president of Brazil came over to visit the president of Bolivia. He brought with him his entourage and a beautiful white horse. The bolivan president fell head over heels in love with this horse and offered everything you can think of for it. But the president of Brazil just wouldn’t give it to him. In the end, the president of Bolivia took a horseshoe, lay it on the map of Bolivia, and promised the Brazilian all the land that wasn’t covered by the horseshoe in exchange for the horse. Well, he got his horse… and Brazils territory got a little bigger. 

4. First it was called “Alto Peru”, which means the “High Peru”. Then it was called Bolivar and then finally Bolivia. Since 2009, Bolivia is officially called the Plurinational State of Bolivia. This change was pushed by the president Morales who is the first indigenous president of Bolivia (still in power). The new name should bring more recognition to the various indigenous nations that live in Bolivia. 

5. Okay, this one (and the next one) are definitely the most creepy ones! Most Bolivians are officially catholic but here the religion is mixed with a strong belief in Patcha Mama (Mother Earth) which comes with a lot of rituals that to us look a lot like witchcraft and sorcery. On the markets you find love potions, wood and altars for praying to Patcha Mama, and… wait for it… llama fetuses. Yes, that’s not a typo. 

6. So, what are those for? Well, say you want to build a house. To make your undertaking successful, you would have to put a sacrifice into the foundation of the house. And that would preferably a… llama fetus! But what if you are building something bigger, like a bridge or a tall skyscraper? A llama fetus won’t be enough of course. You would need: A HUMAN! But how do you find a person that would agree to be buried alive in the foundation of a building as a sacrifice for Patcha Mama? Well, it’s tough! So common practice seems to be to find a homeless person, make sure he doesn’t have any family that would look for him, get him really drunk, and then put him into the cement when he is unconscious. You might find this hard to believe (we too), however, there are lot of stories around La Paz that seem to give some evidence that this cruel practice is still happening. In this country, every tall building may also be a tomb… 

7. Wrestling cholitas. Traditionally dressed women with their layered skirts, their hats, and their colorful blanket are called cholitas. When you see one, they look very poised and respectable. Well, on Sunday evenings you can see some of them in action: wrestling (the American crazy play acting kind of way) each other as well as male opponents. It’s a family event here in El Alto. Lots of kids cheering for their favorite characters while throwing food and waste at their opponents. One of the strangest things we’ve ever seen probably. 

8. The Bolivians like to go on strike. Almost every day you’ll see a (small or large) amount of people in the street demonstrating for or against something. Once, when a tv channel announced to take The Simpsons of their program, tons of people dressed up as Homer, Marge, or any other character, and walked to their building. As a result, it aires not one but three episodes of The Simpsons each day – at prime time of course. 

9. The current president had the wonderful idea to increase the Bolivian population by putting an exorbitant tax on condoms. He had to abandon the idea when faced with massive protests. Instead he said he will put a special tax on women above 18 who do not have a child. Massive protests again, of course. Finally, he agreed to offer financial support for women that have a child, which seems quite reasonable (unlike his other ideas). 

10. The clock (called the clock of the South) on the National Congress of Bolivia is mirrored and it’s going counterclockwise. Its supposed to be a symbol for turning back the time and to undo all the harm that has been done to the Bolivian citizens during the colonization. 

11. So we walk around the biggest flea market in South America, the one in El Alto just outside of La Paz. It’s noisy, it’s crowded, you can buy everything from dead snakes, to football jerseys, to piglets, to car parts, to bras, to chicken feet. And there’s this man standing next to a book on male anatomy and explaining the function of the prostate to some mates. His voice is enhanced by a speaker so it travels for several meters across the market. 

Then of course there are the little things like no hot water in the kitchen or in the bathroom sink. Sometimes not even in the shower so you better check those reviews in Booking.com and Airbnb carefully! There are traffic lights but it’s more like some fancy decoration. Hygiene is a little underrated to say the least. The tab water isn’t treated so for us sensitive tourists it can be a bit too much. It’s normal to drop your trash wherever you want. And if you want to know what the future will bring you simply consult a clairvoyant on the Sunday market (make sure he or she was indeed struck by a lightning, otherwise he is a charlatan!). Also, at about 3000 meters above sea level, water boils already at 80 or 85 degrees – which in turn leads to very undercooked yet somehow mushy pasta and rice. Still, Bolivia is culturally probably the most interesting country we have visited since South Africa. 

Hope you enjoyed this little article about all the (let’s call them) INTERESTING things we have come to known in Bolivia! 

Lots of love ❤️ 

Wiebke & Clément

36 hours in bed 

I guess it just had to happen at some point. Yesterday I’ve must have eaten something bad causing me to spent the last 36 hours in bed with an upset stomach. It might have been the sheer amount of street food we tried on our second day here in La Paz, which we have spent on the flea market in El Alto. 

So far we’ve been really lucky! Nothing more than the common cold or a headache due to the altitude. We have been warned that food and water in Bolivia is not always clean and a sensitive European stomach might not always be able to handle it. Our luck so far might be due to our Cholera vaccinations that we have been alright so far as it  apparently strengthens the stomach. 

Right now I’m definitely very thankful that we’re staying in an Airbnb with a private room and not in a hostel dorm. I’m also thankful that we’ve booked a few more days here in La Paz so I don’t have to travel with my upset stomach. But mostly I’m thankful for Clément, aka super boyfriend, who takes such good care of me. He also uses the many hours of me napping for catching up on zombie series, so I don’t feel too guilty. 

Hope you are all doing well (hopefully better than me)! 

Lots of love ❤️ 


Nosotros aprendamos español 

Tú hablas español? 

Para 16 horas nosotros aprendamos español en el escuela de español “Fenix”. Nosotros aprendamos presente progresivo y presente simple. Entonces nosotros escribimos todo los oraciones en presente. Grover, el profesor de español, es más profesional y amable! A hora nosotros conocemos los básicos de español y entendemos mucho más. Por Clément apprendar español es más fácil porque es similar de francés. A veces (o con frecuencia) yo hablo una mixtura de francés y español. 😳

La escuela tiene proyectos sociales, por ejemplo los profesores compran medicamentos para personas mayores. Muchas personas mayores en Bolivia tienen no más dinero. Los profesores visitan con los estudiantes los personas mayores. Nosotros preparamos panqueques para almuerzo. Muchas personas hablan no español pero quechua, un idioma más antiguo.

Una otra actividad en el escuela es Wally Bol. Wally Bol es más similar que Volleyball 🏐 pero las personas jugan Wally Bol en un lugar specifico. Las regulas es un poco diferente y para personas que jugan el primero vec es un poco difícil. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallyball

Este artículo es la tarea última! 

Muchas gracias, Grover y Fenix!!! 


Wiebke y Clément

Sucre – the white sugar city

Sucre in Spanish of course doesn’t mean sugar but that couldn’t keep me from pronouncing the name French all the time. It’s often called the white city due to the vast amounts of white building. I still imagined them as being made out of sugar. We heard some nice things about this place,  that it’s calm without being boring, comfortable without being tedious, and a little less chaotic than other cities without lacking the vibrancy of the Bolivian culture. There is the Mercado Central, the Mercado Campesino, hundreds of street sellers, Cholitas in their traditional clothes, kids everywhere, old cars, and a surprising amount of VEGETARIAN restaurants! No reason not to go! 

The city is really safe (don’t sue me if you get robbed though) so we didn’t feel restricted at all! What a nice feeling! Our friend Elena that did the Uyuni-Tour with us joined us for the first couple of days in exploring the city. Together we went to Park Bolivar and walked up to La Recoleta which must be the most beautiful part of the center. Old white churches, the main plaza with some street sellers, and the archades, which is the best place to watch the sun set. 

We really loved the central market which is a part indoor part outdoor market. Well, at first we were really confused because it is like a maze! With all the vendors selling their goods either from real stands or just from their cart or just from a blanket that they spread along the already narrow passageways – believe me, it’s easy to lose your sense of direction. You can buy fruits (many we didn’t know), veggies, meat (definitely not my favorite part, I would hold my breath and run past), fresh juice, drug store articles, cheese and eggs, clothes (both new and second hand), and sweets. The funny thing is that there are usually between five to ten vendors selling exactly the same things! Not only that they have the same products, they also set up their stands exactly the same way. Upstairs they have little “restaurants” where you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner for very little money. We went to the market on our first morning looking for some breakfast. After some time we finally ended up at the right place but of course had no idea what to get. A very nice and smart woman sensed our ignorance and had us sitting down in front of all her products. She would let us try her two “liquid breakfast” options which is either some kind of porridge but then made with corn or something thick red fruity smoothie. She also had some pastries – most of them deep fried and with syrup on top. Definitely an experience! 

There is another market, the Mercado Campesino, which literally means the market of the farmers. It’s a little outside the center so we didn’t go there right away. We heard that it’s biggest during the weekend so we thought Saturday is a great day to visit. The thing is that this market is in a normal weekday already crazy big. It spreads across five blocks, tons of sellers on the streets plus in their little shops left and right PLUS several market halls. We would have been completely satisfied with the craziness of a normal weekday!!! Later I read that around 20.000 people are involved in the Mercado Campesino. I was almost surprised it wasn’t more. The first time we went, we bought some thread and left again after about half an hour. The second time we got a little more adventurous, bought me a new pair of leggings, and ate soup (peanut and rice) at in of the street vendors. The third time (given that her soup didn’t make us sick) we bought a whole meal at that place. 

And last but not least Sucre is of course THE place to learn some Spanish! Apparently, when Bolivia became popular among tourist some 20 to 15 years ago, it took quite a while to travel from one place to another. Arriving approximately in the middle of the country, in Sucre, many people felt like a break. And as travelers don’t usually like to waste a lot of time, why not use the break to learn some Spanish? Today, there are something between 15 and 20 language schools and a vast amount of freelance teachers. When you walk into a cafe you often see a teacher with one or two eager students conjugating irregular verbs. 

We chose FENIX Spanish school because it had great ratings in Google and was very flexible with their hours. Instead of selling us a 20-hour-course, they offered us to try out two hours the next day. If we like it, we book more, if we don’t, we go somewhere else. Grover, our teacher, had a great feeling for what we wanted – being able to communicate with the locals knowing the most basic structures – and taught us exactly that. We took 16 hours in total and can now build small sentences in present tense. It’s definitely more than we would have hoped for! I’ll probably write a separate article about the school and all the great things they offer to their students! 

Another cool thing that happened in Sucre: We met Ajaya and Michael again, two travelers from the USA, whom we had last seen in New Zealand about four months ago! They stayed in Sucre for a while to perfect their Spanish and made friends with a lot of people! They even joined a gym! The two have been traveling for almost two years and I can only imagine how big their need is to stay in one place for a while. They were also the first to introduce us to the sport “Wally Bol” (no it’s not a typo) but more on that later. Definitely awesome to see the two again! 

Sucre is definitely a great place to hang out for a week or two, to recharge the travel battery, to relax, and to refocus. If only the WIFI would be better… 

Lots of love from the two internet addicts

Wiebke & Clément ❤️

The road to Uyuni: Day III

The alarm clock rang at 5 am! We were asleep by 10 pm already but 5 am definitely felt like the middle of the night. I’m really good at falling asleep again, tuning out everything around me. But that morning I knew I shouldn’t keep the others waiting! Because the reason we had to get up so early was that we wanted to watch the sun rise over the salt flats while sitting on an “island” inhabited by thousands of cactuses (cacti?). And as you all know, the sun doesn’t wait for anyone! The night sky was just amazing! In the middle of the desert, without much light pollution from cities or factories, it was just an ocean of stars above our heads (well, and a cable which is the orange line in the picture)!

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After a 30 minute drive through the night, following the red lights of the cars in front and being followed by the head lights of the cars behind us, we finally arrived at the little island surrounded by an endless ocean of white! Jesus came with us to by our tickets and to show us the beginning of the path. He told us to take our time for the way to the viewing platform as it was still quite dark. He would stay down and wait for us with breakfast! 🙂 So we started walking. Every minute it got a little lighter and the cacti on the island looked like they were glowing! Cacti are such special plants, they should get blog articles written only about them! Did you know that they only grow about one centimeter a year?

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We finally reached the top and went looking for a place among all the other spectators. And right when the sun came up, my phone died!!! Ahhh! Luckily, Clément recharged our real camera so at least one of us could take some beautiful shots. It was freezing cold of course but as soon as the sun arrived you could feel a warm shower wash over your face. Temperature definitely rises quickly once the sun has climbed all the way over the horizon.

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When we came down again, Jesus was waiting with some nice breakfast for us! There was hot water for coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, yogurt and granola, and cake with dulce de leche (some kind of caramel cream). We basically inhaled our breakfast while sitting on salt benches and eating from a salt table. Afterwards we had some time to explore the desert by ourselves. We didn’t get really far because we started taking funny perspective photos straight away. Little did we know that Jesus would prove to be the most amazing and experienced photographer for this kind of shots!

Uyuni trip (410)Uyuni trip (395)After Jesus picked us all up again, we drove a little further out onto this massive salt ocean, and found ourselves a spot for the famous photo shoot. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just google “Uyuni salt desert pictures”. Because of its vastness with white salt stretching out for kilometers in every direction, you can play with the perspective in your photos. It turned out to be not quite as easy as we thought but as I said, Jesus is an expert!! He even brought some tools, such as a plastic elephant and some cups!

Below are the best shots taken in Salar de Uyuni 😊! Don’t judge us too hard! It was really REALLY difficult to get perfect shots. But I hope you can see how much fun we had! Too soon it was time to get back in the car to get to our final destination.

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Next stop was the former salt hotel which had to close down due to the immense pollution it caused in this sensitive environment. The building itself is not very spectacular but the platform full of flags from all over the world is! This explosion of color in the middle of the desert was really breathtaking. For a couple of years now, the famous Dakar race has taken place in South America and everywhere in Bolivia you can see t-shirts, stickers, and the occasional statue reminding the people of this great (?) event.

And suddenly there was just one more stop on our list before we would finish this wonderful journey in Uyuni: the train cemetery. A massive amount of massive trains were dumped here. What should be actually called a landfill, is probably the most amazing playground in the world (definitely not approved by TÜV Nord or Süd). We had quite some fun to jump from one train to the next. This crazy amount of useless metal… just because the railway is now some centimeters broader than it used to be.

Our trip ended with a home-cooked meal prepared by Jesus wife and his two daughters. We ate Quinoa, some salat, potatoes, beef, and even some veggie patties that she prepared especially for me! Jesus brought all of us to the office of Salar Andino, the tour agency, where we had to say Good-bye to our reliable and kind driver. The rest of us went for coffee before our ways parted as well. It was definitely one of the coolest experiences of our lives and we can only recommend this trip to everyone and anyone who feels like a special kind of adventure!

Lots of love from beautiful Bolivia

Wiebke & Clément ❤

The road to Uyuni: Day II

The second day of our trip from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile to Uyuni in Bolivia started early. Getting up at 7, breakfast at 7:30, and back in the car by 8 am. The night was alright, very long considering we went to bed before 9 pm the day before, and luckily not as cold as we had feared. 

Our first stop that day was at some truly otherworldly rock formations. One is called the World Cup because it looks like the trophy of the world championships in soccer. Another is called the camel (I guess you can imagine why). Other formations are called the lost Italian city as a reference to the eruption in Pompeii. We climbed up some of the mountains and enjoyed the view from up high over the surrounding landscape. 

Next stop: llamas!!! Finally!!! The day before I almost cried in frustration when we didn’t stop to watch traditionally dressed women herding llamas. But Jesus promised that we would see more than enough of those over the next days. And he was right (of course). All five of us went completely nuts seeing llamas up close and Jesus, despite him being a tour guide for several years, couldn’t really understand all this excitement. We would also not really understand when people would take pictures of cows out on the fields. Llamas are usually decorated with tassles and pompons for carnival and we could see lots of leftover colors standing out against the llamas fur. 

Next we came to a halt at the Laguna Negra. It’s impossible to drive to the shore of the Laguna as it is surrounded by high rocks and wet lands. It took us probably 15 minutes to get there on foot. But we got lollipops from Jesus to keep us happy. The water is quite dark which makes the grass growing around the lagune look an almost impossible vibrant shade of green. 

Lunch stop in a small little town, established only some years ago. Before, the farmers of the region would live in their houses scattered over the land without electricity or running water. Now most of them live here. Although our driver told us that he knows an old lady and a gentlemen in their nineties that still live on their own remote from everyone else. 

Last stop in another small town just before the salt flats. An eerie place… Almost no plants, no trees, very few people… The train runs through here transporting minerals and lithium to the coast of Chile. They got electricity about two years ago – quite unbelievable for us! There was a little shop selling some fancy stuff like quinoa chocolate and coca beer. We had to try both of course! 

And finally: the salt hostel!! A whole house made out of salt! The beds and walls too! There were other places like this in this tiny town on the edge of the salt desert where also the chairs and tables were made out of salt. The place was very new and was sporting some fancy cactus decorations! 

We walked around the little village and up on the hill to see the sun set over the salt flats. We saw our first high cactuses 🌵 and admired the beautiful desert flowers growing there. After dinner we played Phase 10 (a card game) with our little family. It ended at 9 pm which left us with sufficient time to sleep considering that we would had to get at 5 am the next morning!! 

Hope you are all doing fine ❤️

Lots of love ❤️ 

Wiebke & Clément ❤️

The road to Uyuni: Day I

Our 3 days and 2 nights trip to Uyuni was just too packed with amazing scenery that we just have to do a separate post for every day. So this was day 1! 

We were picked up at about 7:40 by a small van that brought us to the border with Bolivia, about 35 minutes from San Pedro de Atacama. But first we had to join the long queue to have our passports stamped, confirming that we are (about to) leave(ing) the country. I guess the officers don’t want to hang out at the real border in the middle of nowhere at 4000 meters above sea level. As we were told before, we would meet our driver and our ride on the Bolivian side. Chileans are usually not allowed to work in Bolivia so most of the drivers are Bolivians. The officers on the Bolivian side did not even look at the picture on our passport, just stamped it, and handed it back to us. So quick breakfast (with guacamole and the awesome baguette from that French bakery in San Pedro) and off we went! 

With us in car were two Brazilians, Marisa and Sebastian, and Elena from Spain! Thanks to her we would be able to understand all the information our driver would give us. Our driver was called Jesus and soon we started to call ourselves “La familia de Jesus”. Nothing can go wrong when the driver is called like the Christian savior, right? 🙂 

Our first stop was the Laguna Blanca. First stop and already we were completely blown away! Little did we know about all the beauty that would still await us! 

Next stop: the hot springs! Uhh, we loved this spot! In the middle of nowhere a couple of small buildings, a hut to change your clothes, and two pools full of comfortably warm water! We only tried the one with 40 degree warm water and gosh, it was soooo nice!!! Jesus warned us before to not stay longer in the water than 10 to 15 minutes and of course we thought what a shame it would be to leave the pool after such a short time! However, soon after getting into the pool, we understood what he was talking about. With the altitude and the hot water, we could feel our hearts beating super fast. And once out of the pool, I felt quite dizzy and out of breath. Thankfully, once we had changed back into our warm clothes, lunch was waiting for us and some salat, omelette, and potatoes made us feel better in an instant. 

Next stop: a field of geothermal activity. A surreal landscape with loads of geysers, steaming craters, bubbling mud pools, and a strong sulfur smell awaited us. After New Zealand, we thought we won’t be easily impressed but were!!! Even though there were passengers from at least 12 other cars there with us, it didn’t bother us much. We have been warned to not get to close to the craters as a French person has died last year. There are of course no security rails or passage ways marked. 

Almost no time to process what we had just seen as the next stop was coming up just a short time after: Laguna Colorada. I’m not sure whether Jesus took a different route or  if we were just lucky but we had the whole thing to ourselves. Thousands of flamingos standing, straying, and flying over this massive body of water. All colors of the rainbow are present and we all had some kind of giddy grin on our faces. There are some minerals in the water that color the water AND the feathers of the flamingos that consume those minerals pink! I don’t think I’ve seen flamingos in the wild ever before and their lanky limps but elegant strides really touched my heart! Later in Sucre, we watched BBC Earth II and in the episode on Deserts there is a small part on the flamingos in Laguna Colorada. 

Then, after a very long and exciting day, we reached our hostel in Villa Mar. The hostel was very basic as we have been told. Bathrooms were in a separate building across the driveway and everywhere it was quite cold, but it seemed clean. We got some tea, coffee, and cookies upon arrival, and then took a little walk around town to see the sun set. We had early dinner, and lay in bed before 8.30 pm. It was just too cold to hang around in the common room! 

That was day I and we were quite excited to find out what day II would have in store for us!! 

Hugs and kisses 

Wiebke & Clément