After over 3 hours of another bureaucratic nightmare we were granted access to Bolivia and found ourselves driving towards La Paz, giving rides to locals along the way. We actually ended up driving more than usual that day just trying to get to a town because we were low on gas and some of the food supplies. We got rid of or ate fruits and vegetables before the border, but that was unnecessary because no one bothered to check what kind of food was brought into Bolivia in our van. The first actual town in Bolivia that we reached was Patacamaya. With the population of 8500 people and elevation of 12,500’ it is situated about 100 km south of the capital, La Paz. We filled our rig with gas and had to pay the foreign rate. Apparently, foreigners in vehicles from outside Bolivia have to pay twice more than the locals. We also stopped by a market and a food joint which is difficult to even call a cafe, but we ate good food and were entertained by the kids of the lady who was cooking our meals.
We parked for the night in one of the quiet neighborhoods and after putting on a few sets of pajamas, getting under a blanket and into our sleeping bags we tried falling asleep. It took us a while though, because as it turns out, one of the altitude sickness symptoms is insomnia. And that being mixed with cold weather (umm...my first time sleeping in below zero C temperatures) definitely turned into a mostly sleepless night for all of us. In the morning I developed a bad headache and knew that I was done with high altitude tourism for the moment. Patacamaya, however, was still below some of the elevation points we had to travel through before crossing into Peru and then getting to the Peruvian Pacific coast. To read full story click link in bio.
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