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Bolivia is the poorest country in South America, but what it doesn’t have in GDP it makes up in character. They have 37 languages, the largest indigenous population on the continent, a fearless entrepreneurial spirit, and offer the best bang for your buck.
You know you are in Bolivia when….
– Chewing coca leaves is more popular than gum (top)
– When the cities are typically 4,000 meters above sea level.
– When a religious holiday involves Mardis Gras style costumes, firecrackers at your feet, and a beer in every dancing grandma’s hand…at 10am
– The border crossings are so remote it takes 3 full days from when you leave Chile until you enter Bolivia.
– When your bed has six alpaca blankets because no one has a heater.
– When you fuel your fire with dried local mosses and gasoline and lighting it nearly costs you your eyebrows.
– You can eat a dinner (chicken, rice, veggies, unlimited salad bar, big soup, and desert) for under $3.
– When you order grilled trout and it comes out only lightly fried.
– When people literally do not understand the concept of a credit card, let alone accept them.
– Tablecloth doubles as a backpack Baby Bjorn, grocery basket, and cement hauler.
– Bowler caps are more popular than baseball caps.
– Women are working in the fields in crushed velvet and sequin laden dresses (and bowler caps, of course).
– The wolf packs rival those found in Argentina (we had three dogs escort us 12km on a waterfall hike).
– A day at the office (aka mine shaft) involves heaps of coca leaves, a headlamp, 192 proof liquor, no safety standards…and dynamite.
– There are more gold teeth grills than a rap video.
-There are so many mountains and jungles that the idea of a straight road is a pipe dream.
– You can take a bike ride from snow at 4,700 meters to tropical jungle at 1,000 meters ASL in a matter of 4 hours and only take your life in your hands 8 times.
– You hold the title of the World’s Deadliest Road at an average rate of 26 fatalities per year.
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12. A list of everything we packed