Back in La Paz after 15 days of hiking

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Here in Bolivia you will find two different flags, the one to the right is the national flag of Bolivia and to the left you see the colorful checkered flag known as the Wiphala. Wiphala is the symbol of the indigenous Andean culture across the entire continent. It officially became the second national flag of Bolivia in 2009, and was ordered to be flown next t the Bolivian flag on all public buildings (source: www.theculturetrip.com).

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So the day after we had returned from the hike I got sick again. To the ones of you that doesn’t remember I was also sick with food poisoning 3 days before we left on the hike. This time was almost the same, but we couldn’t figure out why I was sick again. We called our travel insurance (Gouda rejseforsikring – yes, it is Danish), who referred us to a clinic in La Paz. It turned out that I had salmonella (virus) and a parasite (bacteria). So no wonder why I was spending most of my time in the bathroom (no more details). To be treated for both I had to take antibiotic for the salmonella and anti-bacteria medicine for the parasite, on top of that I had to eat pills for stomach cramps and pills preventing me from throwing up and the last pills where probiotics, to protect my stomach from all the medication and to help it to recover. I ate pills for 7-10 days. Yes, a travel insurance is expensive, but I will not travel without. After 15 days of hiking we had decided to rent an apartment with internet and an washing machine on Airbnb for 5 days.

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Since I got sick, we decided to stay an extra 10 days in the apartment. My stomach was still giving my problems, so I was glad to be a place with a bathroom. Also our friends Camille and Ryan joined us in the apartment. So we spend 10 days on washing clothes, updating our blog, recovering/relaxing and having a great time with Camille and Ryan.

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The boys are cocking in the kitchen

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We found “chicharrons” (flæskesvær) for the microwave – time to relax and enjoy a movie

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As a kid I have always loved pancakes, so as I felt better, it was time to cook some Danish pancakes after my grandmothers recipe

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Walking the streets of La Paz buying fresh food, after 15 days without vegetables and fruit during the hike, it was amazing to eat fresh food again. This is just one of the many local markets in La Paz. People set up small stands, or just lay out things for sale on a blanket at the side of the road. As people come to buy and trade products, the street starts to fill up with people, busses and taxi’s honking their horn to get through.

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Locals carrying their goods – its a hard job

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Buying vegetables on the street

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Meat and potatoes – here in Peru, you can find more than 200 (probably many more) different kinds of potatoes, so a potato is not just a potato

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The local life – people eating lunch on the street

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Whatever you need you can find it here, it is just a matter of finding the right store

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Many of the markets here is like a maze, so finding the right store can be a challenge – this is just a small part of the Sunday market in El Alto 

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Suddenly we got into the area, which was selling car-parts

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How about children or chicks?

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I was more looking for Christmas presents for family and friends – shopping of things in alpaca wool, and found a really nice sweater for myself. Sorry the presents are a secret.

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There is one special market to visit here in La Paz, Mercado de Hechiceria (Witches’ market). There people by offering gifts for mother earth. The gifts is the locals way of paying their respect to mother earth and to ask for good fortune. First time you buy an offering gift, it will be a small gift, but as years pass by, the offering gifts gets bigger and bigger. You have to start small, and make your way to the bigger offerings. The offerings are lit on fire, and the better it burns, the more fortune you will get. Lama feet and lama fetus’ (yes, they are the real deal) are always a part of the offering.

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A local bus is driving by the witches’ market

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My birthday was coming up, and I had been thinking about how to make it special. Last year we were on the Galapagos Islands, and we went out for all you can eat sushi with our friends Mr. and Mrs. Smith. So why not celebrate it with our friends Camille and Ryan? More about that in the next post.

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