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SOUTH america: readerS’ experience
xcuse me while I kiss the sky: site at Tiwanaku, about an hours drive


alar de Uyuni. from La Paz. Our guide told us many
Uyuni was very rich interesting facts and figures about this
– once. Its wealth was due to civilization, which predates the Incas
its proximity to the Salar de and ruled over an area just as vast.
Uyuni, salt lakes that contain There is a lot to see and do in La Paz,
oodles of minerals (it currently has the with plenty of nice restaurants – you
world’s biggest stores of lithium). Where could quite easily come back and fill a
the money went, we’re not sure. couple of weeks here. One evening we
The day after we arrive, we go on a went to a Pena, to watch a performance
day trip to the ‘Salar’. After passing a of traditional Bolivian music and dance
train cemetery (erm....), quinua plants – well worth seeing if you get the chance.
and some llamas, we arrive at the edge Like every other South American country,
of the salt flats and they are, sincerely, football is king here. The two main teams
‘out of this world’. We only see a part in La Paz are Bolivar and The Strongest.
of them (they’re about the same size as While we were there the former played
Belgium apparently) and because it’s the in the Copa Liberadora, their equivalent
rainy season they’re under about 10cm of the Champions League.
of water – but they’re one of the most
amazing things we’ve seen in South lake TiTicaca
America so far. Because they’re at such a We leave La Paz the for Lake Titicaca, the
bOOk iT! SOUTH america
high altitude, the clouds seem very low highest navigable lake in the world, and
in the sky and everything is reflected a sacred place for Incas, Aymaras (the
While david and kirsty travelled on a kumuka Overland Tour
against the white salt and water so the indigenous people here) and Catholics.
through brazil, argentina and bolivia, there are also kumuka
horizon almost disappears and the Although several hours long, our
Small-Group Tours, which take in bolivia and other areas
whole place looks like a Salvador Dali journey isn’t half as arduous as that of
of South america, to choose from. Transport, hotels, many F
painting. Your sense of perspective gets the thousands of pilgrims who walk the
meals and most activities and sights included. fo
all messed up too, and you can do all 150km from La Paz to Copacabana (the
sorts of camera tricks… town on the lake that we’re headed to).

After arriving, we find solace in a SOUTHern deSerTS and SalT
la paz lovely dish of baked and stuffed trout lakeS: Overland TOUr
The first glimpse of La Paz causes a sharp – straight from the lake! It’s Good Friday SanTiaGO – la paz - 14 dayS
intake of breath – not entirely due to and we mill about with the pilgrims to £300, €450, aU$765, nz$885, US$630,
the altitude, we should mention. It’s have a look at the very grand cathedral cad$690, zar5100
more the sight of the sprawling city and make the effort to climb the Calvario cHile, bOlivia
– built inside a canyon – with its houses (the big hill which overlooks the town
spreading up the hills on all sides. The and the lake). Fourteen crosses mark alTiplanO explOrer:
city is a real mixture of the modern and the passage of Christ up the hill, and we Small GrOUp TOUr
SanTiaGO – la paz- 15 dayS
The whole place looks like a Salvador dali painting.
£300, €450, aU$765, nz$885, US$630,
your sense of perspective gets all messed up
cad$690, zar5100
too, and you can do all sorts of camera tricks….
cHile, bOlivia
andeS TO cOaST: Small-GrOUp TOUr
the ancient. The mercado de las brujas watch while people throw small stones la paz – lima - 21 dayS
(witches market) sells all kinds of weird at them (we’re not sure why). We watch £700, €1050, aU$1785, nz$2065, US$1470, cad$1610, zar11,900
concoctions and the stalls have llama some bizarre Catholic/Aymara rituals bOlivia, perU
foetuses draping from them – yes really! which involve being sprayed or having
They are supposed to bring good luck. your car sprayed with beer. Weirdly, you andean HOrizOnS: Overland TOUr
The other end of the city, known as the can buy miniature houses, cars, dollar SanTiaGO – la paz - 21 dayS
Zona Sur, is just like any other modern bills and even suitcases (to symbolise £480, €720, aU$1225, nz$1420, US$1010, cad$1105, zar8160
city, with shopping malls and lots of travel), and have them all blessed too. cHile, arGenTina, bOlivia
posh houses. As our guide on the city The next day we take a boat to the
tour told us: “there are no poor people Isla del Sol, a very important site for inca HearTland: Overland TOUr
living in this area.” the Incas and the Aymaras. The Incas la paz – lima - 21 dayS
During our stay in the city we believed that this was where their first £650, €975, aU$1660, nz$1920, US$1365, cad$1495, zar11,050
paid a visit to the coca museum and emperor appeared and the Aymaras bOlivia, perU
discovered lots of eye-opening facts believe this was where the sun was
about how important the plant is to born (the moon was born on the SOUTH american HiGHliGHTS: Overland TOUr
traditional Bolivian neighbouring Isla de la Luna). It’s riO de JaneirO – la paz - 28 dayS
culture and also very pretty and we do a three-hour £660, €990, aU$1685, nz$1950, US$1390, cad$1520, zar11,220
about how Coca Cola hike from the north to the south brazil, arGenTina, bOlivia
here still uses coca of the island where the
in its recipe today! boat takes us back to
We also visited the Copacabana. n
call US TOday! Uk 0800 092 9595 ire 1800 946 843 USa/can 1800 517 0867 SOUTH aFrica 011 881 5765 Online WWW.kUmUka.cOm
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