Have you ever felt like work is getting to you? Like there is no chance that you can concentrate any longer, and you really need a break? All of us need to take some time off from work, irrespective of what capacities we work in. There are always annoyed superiors to placate and miffed clients to appease. I certainly felt that the pressure was getting on me, and I decided that I just had to take some time off and take my family and go somewhere far away for a while.
We all have families that we always wanted to spend time with, we may always get stuck with work or something or the other. I always wanted to spend quality time with my family since they are the backbone of my existence. So I decided to take the time off with my family, but the next intriguing question was where to spend it all. I know of a few places that my own friends have recommended to me as great holiday destinations, but I wanted to try something out for myself. Besides far as I’m concerned, the research and anticipation is half the fun. The only thing is, sometimes the anticipation can let you down, because you expect too much from a place (mostly because of trumped up posters that holiday planning companies put up as advertisements). Above everything else, I really wanted to avoid this sense of anti-climax but at the same time have a great vacation. So, I decided on Bolivia.
Sitting on the plane with my family, I was going through a couple of travel guides and maps of the South American nation Bolivia which is officially called the ‘Plurinational State of Bolivia’. I had decided to explore this nation and enjoy its beauty by myself. I was flying to the capital of Bolivia, which is Santa Cruz.
Briefing about Bolivia from my research work back at home, I found that, Bolivia is a landlocked country in the South American continent. It is a developing nation and has a lot of natural resources. Due to this reason the local government is encouraging tourism to a great extent, which is a real boon for me and my family. The Bolivian landscape ranges from high icy caps to salty lakes, swamps, steamy rain forests and beautiful beaches. This nation has got lot of cultures and ethnic groups inhabiting and all that is due to its natural diversity that acted as a magnet and attracted various civilizations. Due to all these diversities there is a wide range of languages too. Bolivia has over 30 official languages. But for a tourist like us knowledge in Spanish and English is enough to survive for vacation in Bolivia. With this homework and my own tour itinerary I reached my destination. I got off the flight and touched the soils of Bolivia. I could smell the rich culture of it. Few hours of sound sleep my family and we freshened up and went out to explore the capital city. We visited the Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo, it the main cathedral in the capital city, I personally was stunned by the architectural beauty as it is one of the oldest building I have seen. Then my family and I spent our first beautiful evening in the country at few beach of Santa Cruz enjoying the local delicacies. I personally loved the food and culture of the people here and was sure that I was going to enjoy my family vacation in the majestic nation Bolivia.
Next morning we started off to a place called La-Paz and went out browsing through the streets enjoying its rich culture. On the way we saw a show where the local music and dance was being performed. I couldn’t resist watching, and was standing there and enjoying the show. After the show I went to the famous Madidi National Park. Well where do I start? Near the basin of Amazon River with snow clad mountain peaks on the background and tropical rain forests is just the tip of the iceberg. Four thousand hectares of natural beauty can’t be explained with words. While I was enjoying the natural beauty my kids where having their fun time watching animals and different varieties of birds.
The next day, my family and I decided to check out the Lake Titicaca. It is a lake in the Andes which has a lot of history attached to it. It was the main point where the Inca civilization flourished and one can find many remains of the great civilization here. It is the second most expensive commercial lake in the world pertaining to its history and richness. We went into the lake on a boat and i could see why it was so famous. There were floating islands on it which were inhabited by a group which are said to be from the Inca civilization.
The next stop was Potosi. I was very interested in visiting this town Potosi which was declared recently as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a town which once was had more number of inhabitants than in Rome, Madrid or Paris and all because of a mountain called ‘Cerro Rico’. We walked through the streets of Potosi looking at the buildings. They were made by the Spanish in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but its beauty is still unblemished. The colonial buildings in the mountain valley, brings in a rustic feel. I heard from the locals that there is a mining camp in the mountain where the Spanish people are mining silver for about three centuries. Then we went to the place called Salar de Uyuni. It is the world’s largest salt water lake bed. It was in the morning that we reached the spot Salar de Uyuni, which is a desert of salt. It is said that once lake was part of a sea, but later it was lifted along with the Andes to a higher altitude. Over the years the water dried off leaving behind a seemingly infinite bed of white salt. ATVs or the all-terrain vehicles are active here for tourists. We took one and went on for a ride over the lake. The contrast of the blue sky and the white floor with a small yellow sun looking on was just wonderful. The travel guide on that lake said that salt lake would look even more beautiful after a rainfall with rainwater reflecting the blue sky. Then we went on to visit the hot springs, natural geysers, red and green lakes. The colored lakes were just so perfect and the presence of flocks of pink flamingo and vicuna just added more color to it.
Next day we went for our final destination in my trip Sucre, which is the constitutional capital of the country. This city is also a world heritage site declared by UNESCO. It is one of the best cities in South America and it totally deserves the title. We went to a paleontological site few miles away from the city. There I saw the foot prints of dinosaurs on limestone and fossils of over 50 dinosaurs preserved. I was thinking about the world before humans existed and the kids were so excited on seeing the giant foot print.
All in all, Bolivia is a place of contrasting cultures and several centuries of great architecture. No words can describe the beauty of those sharp cultures or the tranquility that some parts of the country offered. There are some truly picturesque spots in this place, and I am sure that the memories I have of Bolivia will say with me forever.