Hi there! The blog is back with a trip that will take us through Bolivia and Brazil! I leave Cusco in a very comfortable night bus, even yep yep yep can sleep with his legs totally stretched out!

After crossing the border with Bolivia, I arrive at Copacabana mid-morning. The intention was to continue towards Sorata, but Lake Titicaca is like a magnet with its incredible bluish tones, and I decide to spend the night in the town. I take the opportunity to climb to the top of Calvario and eat lake trout in the popular dining room (“comedor popular”).

Cerro Kesanani Lago Titicaca
Views from cerro Kesanani

The next morning I go up to the “ inca gallows” or pachataka . In fact, the Spanish mistranslated it, since in Aymara it means “place where time is measured.” The “chiripa” culture, in 1500 a. C. already used this site as an astronomical observation place of the solstices, of the seasons and to predict eclipses. I continue climbing between rocks with strange shapes until I reach the top of Kesanani, at 3990 meters. The view of Copacabana and the lake is spectacular!

La Paz and its surroundings

My intention was to go to Sorata, a place surrounded by mountains and glaciers. But the rainy season this year is very powerful and the forecast looks terrible, so I decide to go to La Paz. If you want to see mountains and blue skies, avoid traveling here from December to March, as it is the rainy season, or travel slowly to take advantage of the good weather windows.

telefericos la Paz
La Paz cable cars

The entrance to La Paz from El Alto is impressive: a giant valley full of houses made of brick, which seems to be about to overflow. The contrast in the city is brutal, with the new cable cars that connect the more modest upper parts of the city with the center, at the bottom of the Valley, and aged Ford buses. Women dressed in the typical borsalino hat selling flowers, vegetables, and juices, sitting on the ground, and young people dressed in the latest fashion.
bus la paz
Curious buses from La Paz

chuño y moraya la paz
Women selling Moraya and Chuño in La Paz
From the outset, it makes a bit of an impact and I think people are drier than in Peru, there are fewer smiles, and nobody talks to you on the minibusses. The compliments to the gringos so common in Peru are over. But little by little you get used to it and learn how to get around the city. I am staying at the Iskanwaya hostel near Plaza Sucre, an ideal place since it is central but quiet.
There are a lot of things to do in La Paz : museums, markets, the Bolivian cinematheque, buildings, strolling and people watching. My favorite activities have been going around the city with the “cable car” and the excursions to the “valley of the moon” (valle de la luna) and “valley of the souls” (valle de las ánimas) , in the southern part of the city.
Taking a bus that says “Mallasa” or “Zoo” you get to the “valley of the moon”, where a path allows you to walk in the middle of some clay stalactites in a desert environment.
valle de la luna
Valle de la Luna

But my favorite excursion is the “valle de las ánimas”. From the center, I take bus 42 (or 48) to go to Ovejuyo, at 3700 m. From here you go up, following the river that has eroded the rocks, creating spectacular jagged shapes. Higher up, the valley narrows and continues through some potato fields that have a privileged view.

You continue climbing along a track, and you reach a ridge at 4,350 meters with an impressive view of hundreds of rock needles and the city of La Paz in the background. I go down a valley a little further north, that has a wide river and a few people from La Paz who take advantage of Sunday to walk their dogs.

You can find the track of this fantastic day trip here: https://ca.wikiloc.com/rutes-senderisme/valle-de-las-animas-97635868

Valle de las Ánimas

Valle de las Ánimas

Valle de las Ánimas

Valle de las Ánimas

To get out of the city a little more, I decide to sign up for the “Death road” tour, a road that once had an average of 100 deaths per year but now is quite safe. With two guides from the Barracuda company, some English, some Australians and a Brazilian, we biked down from 4,600 meters to 1,200 meters. The road currently has no traffic, it is like a green path with 600-meter precipices and spectacular waterfalls. The experience is quite touristy but fun.

Carretera de la muerte

Carretera de la muerte

Carretera de la muerte

Cyclist through water in the Death road

carretera de la muerte

Wet and happy in the Death road

I take the opportunity to stay in the little town of Coroico and enjoy the heat while people give the talk sitting in the street. This region is called Yungas, it is the forest between the mountains and the jungle.

Many people are dedicated to growing cake, much better paid than orange. This is one of the authorized places to grow cake and provides the Bolivian plateau with cake sheet. There is also a large community of Afro-Bolivians, with typical costumes.

Niños coroico

Kids in Coroico

calles coroico
A street in Coroico

You can see more photos here: photos of Copacabana and La Paz 

This is all for now, see you soon!

yep yep yep