22 Oct Bolivia for two weeks and Austin for ACL
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This was my second time to Bolivia, last time I went was in 2013. I love Bolivia’s landscape of mountains and colorful scenery. Have you been to Bolivia? The highest elevation capital city in the world is La Paz at an average of 12,000 feet. Are you familiar with Altitude Sickness? Have you ever experienced it? Well if you are apt to experience it or if you have ever had it Bolivia is a great place for it. This time I flew into Cochabamba at a bit over 8,400 feet so I was only slightly light on my feet and winded when walking up hills. The reason for this trip to Bolivia was extremely personal. I went to visit a woman I met last year in Buenos Aires who lives in Cochabamba. She traveled from Cochabamba to meet me in Thailand in November and we traveled together for 17 days through Thailand and Cambodia. Unfortunately we were unable to get past our one roadblock in our relationship-she wants children and I do not at this point in my life (she is 33). My trip was for two weeks and I hoped to stay only in Cochabamba with her but my back up plan (which I executed) was to travel to other cities in Bolivia for the second week.
Cochabamba is a nice city, not too big and not too small with a the largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world being its most famous landmark. (similar to Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro). One of the things I appreciate so much about Bolivia as a photographer is that it has one of, if not the highest percentage of Indigenous populations in the world. The women especially wear traditional clothing and it is so photogenic. Also the markets in Bolivia are extensive and packed with food, cheap clothes, phone accessories and lots of people. The city is surrounded by mountains and a short drive out of the city brings you to lots of nature which is another something that I strive for once I get out of Florida or New York.
From Cochabamba I flew to La Paz, I have been to La Paz before and I love the elevation and mountains surrounding the city. In 2014 La Paz finished the first leg of their cable cars in the city called Mi Teleferico. This was new to me as when I was there in 2013 it was not completed. The cost is about 15 cents and it takes you through and on top of the city which is spectacular. When I hit a city I walk a lot and La Paz was no exception but with its elevation and its hills it is not an easy city to move through on foot only. It also has the best markets and I would say is probably one of the most crowded cities I have ever been to, there are people everywhere on the streets. Be WARNED-Drivers in Bolivia do not care where you are walking, they will hit you if you do not move out of the way. The city is also crowded on the mountains and hills with houses, look at my photos to get an idea.
Santa Cruz is a flat city which is an anomaly for Bolivia and the weather is very pleasant there too. Like other big cities in Bolivia they also have these huge markets with women selling all kinds of food. A highlight was to go out to the desert with its sand dunes but I didn’t quite do it right. I hired a driver to take me there which is about an hour drive outside of Santa Cruz. In Lomas de Arena Regional Park where the sand dunes are located you can not drive to them unless you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, we did not so I had to walk an hour each way in 90 degree weather through sandy roads. It was a killer of a walk but I felt I accomplished something when I got back-that I actually survived. My recommendation, do a proper tour, it is worth the money.
When I got back from Bolivia I had one day to repack and head over to Austin for Austin City Limits Music Festival, ACL. For the 2nd time to Austin I did not take any photos-too much socializing. This was my first (and last) music festival, the highlight was Paul McCartney and also X Ambassadors. I prefer concerts over music I do not know but that’s just me. The best part was being able to see 25 of my fellow Meraki’s from last years travels with Remote Year. My friend Tim hosted all of us in his three apartments that he owns, we slept on blow up mattresses and it was a blast, so much fun. Speaking of Remote Year…I leave for Mexico City and Oaxaca on October 31st for a “Day of the Dead” celebration there. It is a side trip hosted by RY and I paid to go along with 30 people for the celebrations in Oaxaca, it is a week trip. It should be colorful and really exciting to experience it firsthand. I also made my 2nd payment for my trip in January along with booking my ticket to leave to South Africa on December 28th. Speak to you soon…
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