October me says: What the, did I take these beautiful pictures? Was I there? And then I look through again, and it seeps in, the mental images.
2 layers of llama coat
Did that happen so I got to catch local scenes like these? They were very interesting, and the kind of street bustle here was different from that of the city centre in La Paz.
this doesnt quite capture it.
mi amiga de Bogota, Colombia
I remember asking her several times if Colombia was dangerous, after all that I heard / read about. No! She insisted. It was safe, and it was gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. I met another Colombian who said the same. I felt assured after speaking with them, and felt a jab of sadness that I don’t have the time to visit this trip. Partially also because I preferred to shun away from the supposedly dodgier areas. Well after speaking with them, I really do feel like my doors to Colombia have opened.
Biked down Death road, supposedly the world’s most dangerous roads. It got its name because .., now it’s filled with hoards of tourists daily. Was pretty nervous the night before but honestly, the bus ride back down the mountains – the dust smog that clouds the windscreen and its visibility – is worth greater anxiety.
My October self: I was so nervous the night before though, questioning if I made the right decision. I had to wake up groggily at 6am or something so the bus could pick me up in the wee hours of the morning. I was cold and rather nervous, and I remember being the only Asian in the male-dominated bus, which if I might add, actually made me feel rather sheepishly proud of myself. Lame, but it’s true.
On hindsight, I’m glad I went for it. I’m almost glad I faced the wave of nausea, that resulted in my abandonment of the city tour, and the extra time to look for the tour operator for the next day. I’m always curious about how things work out the way they do. Of course, this is me, happily uninjured, safe, and I’m glad, just glad I went ahead with it. It’s exaggerated though, this whole ‘death road’ thing, considering there was a German father (athletic, if i might add) who brought his 16(?) year old daughter along. She was volunteering in Bolivia for a year. Such a life-changing year it was going to be. I’m truly envious. I wonder if the rest felt nervous like I did.
spotting wildlife on boats
quite impressed with the new compact camera i bought with the 20x zoom – the monkeys were like 10m away
crocodile hunting in the night
Such a beautiful day!
we groan – we had to get our pants wet murking around the murky waters. I secretly felt a rush of excitement because it reminded me of muddy mangroves in Ranong, and the recent fieldwork in Cambodia.
This was an interesting fruit = apparently the Incas once used this as a form of ink. When you first poked into it it was invisible juice; after scribbling on another surface an hour or so the blue ink starts to appear.
Like those invisible ink we play with. But nature, nature always provides ~
they looked like a bunch of leaves from far
meat – piranha bait
Someone caught one! Check out that set of teeth.
riding towards the sunset
this was the sunrise, where the mosquitoes KEPT buzzing, attacking us relentlessly. It was impossible to soak in the romantic atmosphere of the sunrise. Impossible. Not with all the scratching, swiping and cursing away.
This was the later part of the sunrise. Miraculously, the moment the sun risen higher, shedding their yellow-white glow over the land, the (INTENSELY annoying) mozzies disappeared. Wow. We heaved a sigh of relief, and watched at ease, rewarded for the wait.
When I first got off the plane and collected my baggage:
—Draft 2 – post-trip me does not have the energy to compile both into a neat stack
Trying to brush up on my grammar, came across this on the site
“One last stereotype to keep in mind…
Gosh, it is true, that makes so much sense because everyone gave me directions AND there were a couple of times (ESP in BOLIVIA) where I’d walk towards this direction for 5 mins, ask another person only to have him/her saying it’s the complete opposite direction. There were times by which I circled to and fro because the different (and many!) people I asked gave me conflicting directions. Sigh. In Bolivia, after getting lost for an hour, helpless with directions, I took a taxi back (one by which I flagged by the streets – needless to say I was pretty panicky on the taxi because I was afraid it’s some non-radio-cab that was gonna drive me to some strange place) Pretty amusing on hindsight hahaha.
This brings me to realise things about Singapore I do take for granted, not realising how it could otherwise have been. I cherish being able to flag taxis at ease in Singapore, knowing that if I (ever) get lost here I can easily get home with money. Streetlights too – the dark streets of Chile and Argentina triggered much anxiety in the nights, even if it’s only 8pm. Here the streets are always (largely) lighted. I hear these in national day songs and stuff, but it sinks in a lot deeper after experiencing that element of fear when walking home at night along the dark streets.
There are some moments by which I’m sitting somewhere on an ordinary day and I suddenly recall random scenes of my trip. This morning, the scene that flashed was the time I sat by Briana in Sao Paulo eating bread (pao de quieso). We sat in silence, a silence of mutual understanding, munching quietly, using Google Translate when we needed to speak. We sat by the window, the sunlight seeping in to fill the white table and the cool tiled floor.
Just like that. Just a flash of a scene.
This. This is the city I found myself most lost. Almost pathetically lost, running around in circles.
Gosh, this. This stirs up memories, I even know where it’s taken from – that bridge. La Paz stirs up memories. Probably because the emotions are so intensified here, especially the times I ran home at night (3x up that slope, in this altitude I could barely run too). Also, I stayed here for 2 days longer than planned. All the times I got lost because my sense of direction is extremely bad (proven in this place) and the worst part is many people kept pointing me to different (wrong!!!) directions!! LOL
I learnt to ask twice – once Person #1, and 5 steps later Person #2, and at times even Person #3. Just Every. 10. Steps.
I had a map, but the map was honestly difficult because the streets were narrow and readily cut into one another. I think I have a copy, I’ll take a picture.
la paz and its steeply sloping streets
in fact, it’s so steep i saw a driver take out a piece of brick, placing it at the back of his wheel, much like a door-stopper, to prevent the car from rolling back
and in this altitude, with the ladies carrying the large pink bags that they do behind their backs, they must be pretty fit indeed
Spotted: a Bolivian wedding!
mi amigo de israel
we had fun gaping at llama bones
cutie bolivian boy
i asked for photography permission – that’s him posing! muy adorableeee
and yet!!! there’s something pretty Chinese about him, no??? there’s some historical connection in our descent, is it???
they look like spells in a bottle
the night and the glittering city
Look at that adorable baby peeking out from the ‘sack’. It’s not an uncommon sight, I wanted so badly to buy that cloth (i got a small version) imagine carrying things everywhere with that! sigh. I would stand out in Singapore.
wow so korean fashion is keen over here as well?
Spamming pictures of cactuses because it’s so weird but cool
THIS!!! THIS!! WAS BASICALLY ONE OF MY KEY ANTICIPATION OF MY TRIP
THE ELUSIVE SALT FLATS I HAD SEEN IN PICTURES AND BLOGS
seriously, this bolivia
Some souvenirs they were selling
i remember that pasta
played taki, the israeli version of uno
look at that layer of snow gently peppered at the tops of the mountains like sugar flakes
INTERNATIONAL JEEP TEAM
scooping food from the back of our magical jeep
fixing flat tyre in the middle of nowhere
watch out for wild foxes
Yes, people live here
sigh, freezing in those nights (coldest nights EVER!!!!!!!) but the food, the food always perked us up
sneak preview to salar de uyuni
waaaahhhhhh imagine this view in real lifeee
my happy jeepmates, fun-loving girls who are incredibly nice, taking food for each other, buying sweets to share. sigh
IS THIS REAL