How to conquer the death road (and live to tell the tale)

How to conquer the death road (and live to tell the tale)

Feed Pachamama what she needs! After two hours in the bus, we finally reached our destination, a parking lot at the summit of the Death Road. The 15 of us filed out of the van as our driver spryly scampered up to the top of it and started loosening the bungie cords from the bikes. After testing out our bikes around the parking lot, we assembled around our young, be-freckled guide. He gave us the first of a series of safety briefings and afterwards, ironically, pulled out a bottle of 100% alcohol for us to consume. We all took a shot and poured a little out for a homie. That homies name was Pachamama, the Inca God of Mother-Earth. Our guide explained that it was a tradition to pour out a little liquor so that Pachamama would be appeased and wouldn’t take out a blood offering instead. Maybe we should have poured out a little more – Pachamama would have her blood offering...
Santiago de Chiquitos – A little town with a big view

Santiago de Chiquitos – A little town with a big view

Santiago de Chiquitos is stuck fifty years ago in time. But it’s not a bad thing. Come to think of it, outside of the major cities (Sucre, La Paz, Santa Cruz) most of Bolivia is beautifully stuck. Cows and donkeys have as much right to the road as cars.  Laundry is often done in flowing streams and horses are a valid form of transportation.… (Click the title at the top of the email to read the rest of this...
US Citizen’s Visa Requirements for entry into Bolivia

US Citizen’s Visa Requirements for entry into Bolivia

Arrival at Port of Entry We arrived at the dusty border town of Corumba, Brazil in our silver 2011 Chevrolet around 3 pm, ready to start our epic road trip through Bolivia. But first, the small matter of getting into said country. I knew it was going to be a pain in the ass to cross the border to Bolivia when the owner of a small currency exchange shop remarked with a shake of his head “You are American? Muy Complicado…”. Up until a couple of years ago, Americans didn’t require a Visa to visit Bolivia. However, that all changed when the president, Evo Morales, decided that it was unfair that Bolivians were required to obtain a visa to travel to the US, but it wasn’t so the other way around. “Fair is fair”, I am sure he thought. And to be honest, if you have all your ducks in a row before you get to the border (unlike me), you should get through without too much trouble. Visa Requirements for entry into Bolivia: Yellow fever certificate Economic solvency (a copy of a credit card sufficed) Passport (valid for at least six months) Hotel / hostel reservations or invitation from a host family Return ticket home 135 USD No Passport Photo was required of me, but officially they can request it Bring two photocopies of everything During my initial research on the border crossing, I had read that Bolivia’s border guards could be pretty lax; sometimes they didn’t request anything except for the 135 USD. That was wrong. They wanted it all, in duplicate, and I didn’t have anything...