Well, we have had some time to reflect about our 6 weeks in Bolivia and write some blog posts of our impressions. First, I had to get off my chest what annoyed the crap about of me about Bolivia. Now it is time to write the happy post about all the things I really enjoyed about Bolivia. It is a very interesting country. You can decide for yourself whether or not you want to travel there, I´m not going to recommend it or discourage you 😉
#1. DOGS! Everywhere You Look!
This might not be everyone´s cup of tea, but it was one of my favorite things about Bolivia. There are dogs everywhere! And they are, for the most part, friendly. The ones that don´t approach you for love or meat, will just ignore you. We didn´t have any dogs bark at us or growl, unless we approached them, which we probably shouldn´t have done 🙂
The thing about street dogs in Bolivia is that a lot of them actually have homes. The Bolivian method of dog ownership being somewhat different than the American way, it is normal to leave your dog outside all day while you go to work. The dog then strolls the neighborhood, or just sits on your doorstep, waiting for you to come home and feed him at the end of the day. In this way, most of the street dogs are well fed and happy, albeit totally dirty. Lots of Bolivians have purebreed dogs as well, and these ones you will not see on the street wandering, especially the girl dogs. Of course, with all these dogs wandering around, there is a lot of poop everywhere as well, so watch your step.
#2. The Price is Right
Bolivia is cheap. You can go out for all your meals and take Spanish classes and rent a nice room for very little money. It´s fun to be traveling and not have to worry about money. Of course, there aren´t a lot of nice things to buy so sometimes you just want to pay for a fancy hotel room and you can´t find one anywhere, but whatever, you can save your money for another country.
#3. So Much Sugar to Eat 🙂 and Potatoes
There are some really delicious things to eat in Bolivia, although I might have tried to convince you otherwise in my last post. Most of the extremely yummy things in Bolivia are made of sugar. These people are crazy about sugar. There are candy and snacks everywhere and everyone is eating them. There are also a lot of dentist offices….
They do also make some tasty things about of potatoes. My favorite is the papa rellena, or stuffed potato. It´s more a less mashed potatoes that are formed in a ball around some filling. The filling could be meat and veggies, hardboiled egges, cheese, or platains. Then the ball is dipped in batter and deep-fried. Yum! The lady across the street from our house sold these covered in a delicious stewed onion salsa and accompanied by cole slaw. So good. I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too busy eating.
Another typical Bolivia dish is called Pique Machado. It consists of 3 or 4 different kinds of meats, mine had beef, chorizo, and hot dogs. The meat is piled onto a dish of french fries (never forget the potatoes) and covered in fresh tomatoes and onions. Oh, and there is hardboiled eggs and fresh cheese surrounding it. Yes, and the whole thing is covered in delicious gravy. Yum!
#4. Oh, the Wonderfully Genuine People You Will Meet
If you get past the tourist rabble, offering you questionable tours of things they think you want to see and hear, you will meet some amazing people in Bolivia. The staff at Biblioworks where we volunteered was the nicest group of ladies around. The kids we met at the school were incredibly sweet and kind little beings, adding beauty and light to the world.
#5 Sucre is a Kick Ass City
Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, and while I´m not sure what that means exactly, it is an amazing city. They really have everything you could need in a little city and it´s beautiful, clean, relaxed, and normal there. It isn´t overrun with tourists, but tourists are a part of the city. It has a vibe of people just living their lives. It has a university and lots of young people. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so it has lots of history and charm. There are great grocery stores, a movie theater, fun bars from all cultures, and amazing natural beauty all around.
#6. There is a Ton of Dinosaur Stuff in Bolivia
The dinosaurs were here! The area that is currently Bolivia used to be covered in dinosaurs and there is lots of evidence of that still in the area. Plus, they love dinosaurs so there are lots of parks and fun dino themed things around. Kristen is a little obsessed with dinosaurs so this was a big plus for Bolivia.
#7. Bolivia has Amazing Natural Beauty
There are a ton of beautiful natural places to see in Bolivia. We didn´t even make it to the Amazon part of Bolivia and we were blown away by it´s natural splendor. Here are some shots of what we thought was a pretty amazing country to see, even out the window of a dangerous busride along a windy road.
It might be hard to get to Bolivia, and kind of annoying once you do finally reach Bolivia, but still, it is quite a beautiful country. We have moved on to Chile and are now in Peru. It´s hard to believe that 3 months have already gone by on the road on our South American adventure. We will be back in the USA next week!