Few places have made me consistently go “wtf?” as frequently as Bolivia. In La Paz, it was the culture. The city was chaotic and few things made sense to a foreigner like me. Old lady wrestling matches, dead llama fetuses, witch markets, it goes on. I could tell right away that Bolivia was not going to be adventure as usual.
Once I got out of La Paz, the surreal natural landscapes of Bolivia grabbed the baton, firmly stating that it was their turn to make me consistently go “wtf?”. From islands of cacti in the middle of endless salt flats, to red, pink, green, and white lakes, it was just one knockout punch after the other. Nothing made sense about what I was seeing. We were 12,000 feet above sea level in one of the harshest and least livable environments in the world. It was freezing, windy, and the only tree that grew was a large rock that had eroded into the form of a tree. And what animal had decided that that unwelcoming environment would be the best place to settle?
Nope. Not some obscure prehistoric bacteria that thrives off of acid or something like that. A fucking flamingo.
A flamboyance of flamingos makes it home in the toxic wastelands of Bolivia. An island of cacti has formed in the middle of the vast Salar de Uyuni. There is a lake that is just red and pink and white surrounded by mountains in the middle of the desert. There are natural hot springs formed by volcanic activity. And all of this takes place 12,000 feet above sea level.
Bolivia is a weird, ethereal, surreal, extraordinary place.