Since we had just left Oruro, we were only about half way to La Paz, but the road towards La Paz should be paved and two lanes – and it was. It was amazing to be able to drive 70-80 km/h for a while, being able to kill more kilometers.
Getting closer and closer to La Paz
We made good time, and decided to stop at Valle de la Luna, which is situated 10 km from downtown La Laz
Valle de la Luna isn’t actually a valley at all, but a maze of canyons and giant spires. The formations, composed mainly of clay and sandstone, were created by the persistent erosion of mountains by the area’s strong winds and rains. It is similar to another zone of La Paz that is known as El Valle de las Animas = The Valley of the Souls (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valle_de_la_Luna_(Bolivia)).
The mineral content of the mountains varies greatly between individual mountains, so the sides of the mountains are different colors, creating striking optical illusions. A majority of them are a clear beige or light brown color, but some are almost red, with sections of dark violet.
Though the land itself is quite barren, several species of cactus do grow among the rock formations, including the San Pedro cactus (hallucinogenic Choma)
There are two circular walking tracks to choose from at Valle de la Luna each spanning different view-points. Devil’s Point (the most spectacular view-point) is located toward the end of the longest track, which takes around 45 minutes to complete. The other track is much shorter, taking just 15 minutes to complete (Source: http://www.lapazlife.com/places/valle-de-la-luna-moon-valley/). We took the short one first, and then walked the longer trail.
We probably spend about 2 hours. We loved how they have built a trail in this impassable landscape
The sun was moving towards the horizon, and we had to find a place to wild camp
Now we have 3 days with no pictures , so what happened? We found a nice place to wild camp on www.ioverlander.com called “Nature wild camp close to the city center”, but the next morning I woke up, and my stomach was up set. In the beginning I only had to use the “bathroom” several time, but it got worse adding stomach cramps and nausea. Esben quickly booked a hotel room with a private bedroom through www.booking.com, for the night, and within 30 minutes we were at the hotel. It must have been something, that I have eaten, and not Esben. I quickly thought about the market in Oruro, where we had lunch (this is were Esben had the sleep jaw). I had eaten rice with few vegetables, chicken and eggs. Maybe it was the rice and vegetables? Anyway I will spare you for the details, but I was sick for the next 48 hours splitting my time 50/50 between the bed and the bathroom. FOOD POISONING! In total we send 3 nights at the hotel, before I was ready for the “van-life” = no bathroom again. While was at the hotel Esben went for a walk to get something eat, look who he meet, Lance’s cousin still in service ready to safe life in La Paz.
I did get my appetite back, and we visited one of the local markets
Some stands have a little bit of everything, while others specialize in limes or avocadoes
For the nutrition geeks like me
In the upper right picture you see a cocktail avocado. They have the nickname “avocaditos”, which means small avocado. They are simply the result of an unpollinated avocado blossom. Cocktail avocados have a narrow elongated shape, like that of a baby cucumber. They are approximately five to eight centimeters long and have a thin olive green skin that is completely edible. Most notably, the creamy inner pulp of the Cocktail avocado lacks the typical large central pit, and in its place is a hollow papery sheath. They are otherwise quite comparable to fully developed avocados; smooth, creamy, and pale yellow with a green tone closer to the skin, with a buttery consistency with a rich flavor. The nutrition value is the same as any other fully developed avocado. The avocado is a native of Mexico and Central America, and has been appreciated and utilized for at least 10,000 years. Cocktail avocados have likely shared the same history, but have only found commercial relevance in recent years. Some farmers have developed methods to actively inhibit pollination for Cocktail avocado production (Source: https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Cocktail_Avocados_9491.php).
We also bought two sandwiches for 16 BOB (2.3 USD or 15 DDK)
But what is our plans for La Paz? First we La Paz, the city is very interest, and we want to get to know it better. Second we have BIG hiking plans, we want to hike the mountain range “Cordrillera Real” (the Royal mountains). Before getting to the preparations for the hike, we will give you “The teleférico experience of La Paz” in the next post.