Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Making a bee-line to Bolivia

I remember sitting on a local bus a few years ago, Phil Collins power ballads where being played loudly over the radio in a quirky, pan pipe-esque fashion. There was a riot of colour adorning the passengers, intense shawls, jet black hair over beautiful brown faces, bowler hats and cowboy gear; outside the landscape was barren, a dirty grey sand, devoid of all signs of life, vast like an ocean of quiet nothingness. With high altitude places that are hard to breathe and one of the poorest countries in South America, this is the Bolivia I knew I would return to.

As a landlocked nation between 5 bordering countries, rich in minerals, but poor in dollars, Bolivia is often struggling to assert herself amongst some pushy neighbours. A small country with over 30 native languages, plus Spanish, that I hear thankfully is not so different from the Argentine accent. People that like to eat their meat, potatoes and empanadas, but wash it down with chicha instead of wine – a nasty, headache inducing alcoholic beverage, made from fermented corn. Bolivia is also famous for scary bus rides, being the country officially holding the ‘World’s most dangerous road’ title, boasting the largest lake in South America – Titicaca, gigantic salt deserts, people with an average height on the cute side, remote mountain hikes and unexplored jungle.

We’ve been in Argentina for almost 8 months now, with one month left on the visa before we have to choose a neighbouring country to exit through. After our past visa runs to Uruguay and Chile we figured Bolivia sounded like an excellent plan. I’ve hardly spent any time there, and Andres has never been, so it feels like we have a lot to explore. WWOOFing still exists in Bolivia so we’re going to see if that ‘s possible, look for volunteering jobs, keep applying for real jobs and see where we wander. We’ve been hoping for teaching jobs in surrounding countries, from as far as Vietnam to Georgia (the ‘I don’t really know much about’ country South of Russia), hoping to lock in a six month job contract. Until a real plan reveals itself, we’re heading North. Apparently living costs in Bolivia are less than half of Argentina, so that’s a good enough reason to visit in itself.

What we’d love to know is, if anyone has some suggestions for places to visit in Bolivia, out of the way hikes, towns that should be by-passed, restaurants you think we have to try, or places that you loved volunteering or wwoofing at? We would appreciate your experience. We have two weeks to offload our excess from Cordoba, work out a road through the dry heat of Northern Argentina, and then do some serious scratching of the gypsy feet!

I don’t really have a clue where we are going, but I’m totally excited and happy in that. I believe what Buddha said If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions. All I need to know then, is what I’m doing today and make sure it equals fun.


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