Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Backtracking to Bolivia

La Paz, Uyuni and The Salt Flats!     (tips for sis)
Heading North? I would recommend making your way to Bolivia from BA via Mendoza (wine country) and up to the Salt Flats and (the Old South). I came down from the North (Peru) but if I was doing a trip again I would start at the more expensive countries first (i.e. Brazil, Chile & Argentina) as you appreciate everything more when your not looking back at how much cheaper the beer was in the last port-of-call. I didn't get to Mendoza either as I ran out of time, however everyone I have meet over the last few months have pointed the rolling hills of this wine region to be the pinnacle of their trip. 

After hearing some good reviews of the Salt Flats whilst in Peru I decided to jump on an overnight bus from La Paz and head down south to sus it all out. I was lucky to get straight off the bus and find a tour group leaving the same morning and with a pretty decent group of fellow travelers. Unfortunately the tour organization was not so good…in-fact the worst run tour I have ever been on! A good tour company to go with is apparently ACE Tours (got this from some other travelers) but we went with Oasis Tours who are the spawn of Satan himself so steer clear! Tours are booked from Uyuni or you can pick up something on the Chilean side however it more expensive as your pausing Chilean Pesos rather than Bolivian. I am not going to dive into it too much as my traveling compadre, Ciran the Irish Berliner, has already written such a brilliant and captivating story of these scandalous Bolivians and our shenanigans to follow over the next few weeks on the road so I shall just point you to his "Award Winning Blog" (in Ireland) - http://irishberliner.blogspot.com/

La Paz, also another party town so only a few days here unless you want to spend all your time at Route 66 - an unusual bar for ex-pats. I stayed in both the Hostel Republica and Hostel Austria (which is the cheaper one of the two and is worth a look). Both are near Loki Hostel where I spent most nights drinking my first few rounds. Make sure to do Death Road and go see JC (owner) at Radical Rides. He should sort you out and tell him I sent ya but considering the amount we drank that night it's likely he will not recall me but recommendations will get you a cheaper price! I cant recall how much we paid but it was all around the same but they had good safety gear and decent bikes. Ciran has also written some good notes on this so check it out when heading over or if you just want a laugh! 


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