Bolivia

Bolivia, Part 3: Vinto

I spent two weeks at a HelpX farm called Vinto Lindo, located just outside Cochabamba.  It was nice to be out of the hustle-and-bustle of the city and work with my body in the garden, pulling weeds, getting calluses digging post holes, planting fruit trees, harvesting corn by hand, and sharing hour-long lunches with the other volunteers and our host.    

view from the farm

view from the farm

Two teams being led by local farmers in the corn field

Two teams being led by local farmers in the corn field

building with the volunteer kitchen and tool shed

building with the volunteer kitchen and tool shed

garden extension and greenhouse

garden extension and greenhouse

Main garden with lettuce, pole beans, onions, potatoes, strawberries, and squash

Main garden with lettuce, pole beans, onions, potatoes, strawberries, and squash

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I met some people that were very genuine souls: a Tim from France who made a killer Bechamel sauce (used in vegetable lasagna..nom nom), Caitlin from England who had been travelling South America for the past few months, and Anneliese from Canada who did advanced-level woodworking and knew a lot about permaculture from WWOOFing in New Zealand.

Tim playing his violin

Tim playing his violin

famous vegetable lasagna with Bechamel sauce, my first meal at the farm

famous vegetable lasagna with Bechamel sauce, my first meal at the farm

Caitlin bonded with this little creature who followed us home

Caitlin bonded with this little creature who followed us home

Quinoa plant

Quinoa plant

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Cactus and its fruit,  tuna   

Cactus and its fruit, tuna  

plant outside the volunteers' quarters

plant outside the volunteers' quarters

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The stars at night were gorgeous, a glimpse into the southern hemisphere's night sky

The stars at night were gorgeous, a glimpse into the southern hemisphere's night sky

All in all a satisfying, rewarding, and challenging stay.  To have a look at my first HelpX experience in Costa Rica, click here.  To read Part 4: Carnaval in Oruro, click here.

Bolivia, Part 2: Cochabamba

I travelled to Cochabamba after landing in La Paz.  It's a beauuutiful city.  I saw the Cristo via Cochabamba's own cable car, saw the movie Paddington dubbed in Spanish in theaters, ate ice-cream in the plaza 14 de septiembre, bought flowers in a market in Quillacollo, and waded through crowds in La Cancha - a huge market known for its pickpockets.   

the beautiful hills of Cochabamba

beautiful rays of sunshine

here's where I was:

 

The less glamorous side of travel isn't as fun to talk about, but here it is... I walked on packed sidewalks with a broken backpack, sweaty and tired, arrived at 1am on a bus with no air conditioning, and received my share of stares as a mochillera (a backpacker).  

panorama of cochabamba after a rain - with a cloud settled into the hills

intersection of Av. Aroma and San Martín, deceivingly empty on a holiday 

Cristo de la Concordia in the distance, a statue of Christ 40m tall on el cerro de San Pedro

35mm film. taken in Sacaba, a suburb of Cochabamba. 

35mm film. taken in Sacaba, a suburb of Cochabamba. 

35mm film. 

35mm film. 

35mm film. taken in the Botanical Gardens of Cochabamba

35mm film. taken in the Botanical Gardens of Cochabamba

I like to stay in one place for a long time as opposed to bouncing around day after day.  It's more relaxing that way, and I get a deeper understanding of that place rather than the flash highlights from a guidebook. Staying longer means experience more of everything, the good, the bad, the awkward, and the amazing.  And now I know how to use the Bolivian trufi (8-person vans) system...mostly.

35mm film. taken in the Botanical Gardens of Cochabamba

35mm film. taken in the Botanical Gardens of Cochabamba

continue reading: 

  • Bolivia, Part 3: Vinto here
  • Bolivia, Part 4: Carnaval in Oruro here