My Love/Hate Relationship with Bolivia.

My third month on this journey was in La Paz, Bolivia. I have a love hate relationship with it. Hate it because I was sick shitting my pants for 10 days in a row. Not cool Bolivia. Not cool. Loved it because it was so different than any place I’ve been too. I just wish I could have had less time being sick and more time to enjoy it as I missed out on a lot.

LOVED THE UYUNI SALT FLATS: One of the best and surreal things I’ve ever seen in my life is Salar de Uyuni. The world’s largest salt flat reaching over 4,000 square miles of gorgeous bright white landscape. Anyone can look epic in pictures here even people you think smell like 20 day old lasagna. I plan on giving this side trip it’s own love with it’s own blog post soon because there’s to much to talk about.

I also shot my third Film here about “The Salt Flat People.” It was a gorgeous place to shoot. Jonathan my actor below is a trooper as he’s coated with white paint on his body.

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HATED GETING SICK FOR 10 DAYS: I had Altitude sickness, food poisoning, coughing insomnia and crapped the bed for 10 days straight. I wrote a whole blog post about me being sick and living off Coca Tea if you want the sad details.

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LOVED THE WITCHES MARKET: I thought this was going to be bigger and crazier with witches stirring cauldrons with llamas blood, creating potions of inca kings and sidewalk sacrifices of baby goats. But it was more chill and felt more like a tourist thing than something that was dark and scary. But it was still very interesting as they had dried up baby llama and baby llama fetuses. They also had colorful candy looking things that you put as sacrifices with candles. And figurines that are supposed to have special powers and stuff.

Below is a little statue that Remote Year gave to us which is supposed to protect you and stuff. This statue made me feel a bright colorful power around me. Oh wait, that was just me vomiting in the toilet over and over from being sick for 10 days straight. Apparently this 3 headed baby didn’t protect me at all. But then maybe I got hexed because I mocked the rope around the statue saying it looked like dyed llama pubic hair.

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HATED MISSING OUT ON CHOLITA WRESTLING: Missed out on Cholita Wrestling because I was sick. Old ladies in Cholita clothes dropping elbows on each other. My friends said it was weird in the best way possible.

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LOVED LAKE TITICACA: For starters I just love saying the name because it awakens a 5 year old boy inside me. “Hello, this is 5 year old Patrick! And I’m going to repeat Caca 20 times in a row with a side of 7 Titi’s,” said the 5 year old boy inside me.  However Lake Titicaca is far from a 5 year olds dream. It was a relaxing and beautiful side trip. We skirted along the lake on a speed boat to check out Copacabana where we saw people paying the church to have priests bless their cars with holy water. What a racket. We then went to the Sun Island where we met some llamas and caught a gorgeous sunset. I plan on writing its on blog post soon as their is to much to talk about in this recap blog.

HATED THE ALTITUDE: 12000 feet is no joke and I was huffing and puffing up like a pregnant walrus down the street. It seriously takes your breathe away after every hill in the most unflattering way. Here’s some tips for Battling Altitude from a man who loss the fight because he got upper cutted right in the groin. Drink Coca Tea. Drink lots of Water. Don’t drink beer for 4 days. Don’t do extensive exercise for 4 days. Take altitude pills. Respect the shit out of it or you will be taken down. This is not Cusco at 11,000 feet, somehow there’s a big difference. Here some sick people having a coca tea party.

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LOVED THE CHOLITAS: Cholitas are the more indigenous women who wear colorful dresses, bowler top hats and carry things on their back with bright multi colored blankets. How the bowler hat is worn tells people if the woman is married or single. The hats came into style for the women when a tradesman realized he had  shipped hats that were to small for men but fortunately the women liked them. I always felt disrespectful trying to sneak pics of them like they are a sideshow. However my friend just approached this little lady and asked her for a pic. Her modeling put Gisele to shame. I would hate to be Tom Brady right now as Gisele’s mascara cascades down her face and she hugs him ruining another one of his white GQ shirts. Also this dog is modeling better than her, I’d love to see it in a swimsuit.

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HATED MISSING OUT ON DEATH RODE: 40 miles of narrow road going straight down a mountain is called Death Rode. Two big groups from Remote Year went but I was still to sick to go. Everyone who went raved about it even the 3 people that got injured. A guy scraped up his arms falling off, a girl broke her nose falling off her bike, and the last girl fractured her collar bone. She whizzed by a guy in our group riding down the mountain and said, “Eat my dust, Andy!” Moments later she’s on the ground eating her own dust. I joke about it because she’s fine and has a great attitude about wearing a sling on her arm for a couple of months. But they say beginners can do it, just go slow down the mountain. But it’s called death rode for a reason because people actually die on it.

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LOVED THE GRAFFITI: The street art was pretty good in La Paz and had a variety of interesting styles. 

LOVE/HATED THE FOOD: Food poisoning was rampant in my group. I wasn’t the only person who was put to sit on a porcelain throne for days. Fear of trying any vegetables or fruit was a real thing and my fiber count was low for the month.

But then there was food that I really enjoyed and their beers were good like Huari pictured below. They were usually a darker and more flavorful beers.

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SALTENAS: There version of Empenadas were Saltenas. Which are a sweeter and I didn’t enjoy them as much as empenadas. Which is probably why you see empenadas all over the world and don’t ever see Saltenas. They weren’t bad but just not at the same level as empendadas.

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FRIED CHICKEN. If you don’t like fried chicken it’s probably because you smell like a camels fart. Who doesn’t like fried chicken, Boliva sure did as it was on every corner. Yeah, it’s not healthy and I’d prefer grilled or roasted but it was damn good. There was one right next to our hotel that everyone in our group probably indulged in more than they should. I didn’t take pictures of it because I was ashamed I was eating it.

PEANUT SOUP: I was expecting more of a thai peanut flavor but this was a lot lighter and was absolutely amazing. I loved it. Probably my favorite food in Bolivia by far. It had chicken, noodles, potato in a light peanut broth.

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WATER BAGS: They sell water, juices, milk and more in bags. Which is something I’m not used to and I found interesting.

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HATED THE SMOG: The Smog in Bolivia is the worst I’ve ever experienced in a city. I’m sure there is worse, I hear China sucks a fatty on smog. But when you are sick and battling a nasty cough the smog becomes debilitating.

One cool thing they did have was short buses and they were everywhere. It’s not really a tourist thing it’s more for locals and costs almost nothing to ride. I got to try one out with a local but if I was left with my spanish skills I wouldn’t attempt it.

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LOVED THE VIEWS: The views in Bolivia are amazing. Bolivia is shaped like a giant bowl with houses all around it.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS OF MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WILL BE DONE IN A POEM :

Dear Bolivia, I love/hate you. I want to look deep into your beautiful snow white salt flat eyes. Say Lake TitiCaca 10 times in a row to awaken the 5 year old inside me. But damn girl, you treat me like a llama’s ass hole. Shitting on me. Or worse making me shit all over my hotel bed. You want me to be your king but I don’t want your porcelain throne of food poisoning. When I see you I’m a loss for words because your altitude is suffocating. I loved you and wanted your mouth watering peanut soup to keep me warm at night. But no you had to make me look like a fool, instead of me projecting my love for you I am projecting vomit all over the place. Why? I ask why my little Cholita? I love/hate you.

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