They live in La Paz and they all have one thing in common: they carry Bolivia in their hearts. In this series of portraits, Thaki Voyage invites you to meet Bolivians, both born and bred, who travel in their own country and share with us their vision, their treasures and a few secrets.
Who are you, Alice? What is your relationship with Bolivia?
I arrived in Bolivia with the dream of walking in the Cordillera Royale and climbing a summit! That’s how I discovered Thaki Voyage, and as I also wanted to experience working in an incoming travel agency, I extended my stay in La Paz.
As far as I’m concerned, Bolivia is an incredibly culturally diverse country – there’s a reason why it’s called a ‘plurinational’ state! That’s what impressed me from the start, marvelling at the different customs, and what always surprises me when I see how relations between communities in the same country can also sometimes be conflictual.
Tell us about your latest trip to Bolivia?
I was lucky enough to discover Sajama Park and the communities that live around this impressive volcano, the surrounding lagoons, and of course the traditions around llama and alpaca farming, which are the main activity of the local people.
What's your favourite thing about Bolivia?
The round hat, so typical of women here! But there are lots of other kinds, and they vary from region to region, not to mention the ceremonial hats you can see at certain traditional festivals, which are real works of art!
And your favourite place to recharge your batteries in La Paz, or anywhere else?
I’m a big fan of Coroico, because when you live in La Paz you can sometimes feel like you’re lacking vegetation… Just 3 hours from La Paz, you get a complete change of scenery, a tropical atmosphere, 2000 m less ascent, you can breathe deeply, it’s an abundance!
What's your favourite culinary speciality here?
Joker? Being a vegetarian, I had a bit of trouble getting used to the local cuisine at first … So I’d say that what I like most here are the fruits and vegetables that you find in the markets: papayas, mangoes, avocados… And in the kitchen, I like the way they serve pan-fried plantains as an accompaniment to their dishes.
Ton meilleur souvenir de voyage en Bolivie ?
Although I didn’t think I’d be visiting it at first, I really loved the Amboro park: its tropical forest, the incredible relief of the Codo de los Andes, and the charming village of Sampaipata!
Finally: a book, music album or artist to recommend to future travellers?
One of the books that fuelled my wanderlust was an original novel by Henri Gougaud, “Les 7 plumes de l’aigle” (The 7 feathers of the eagle). It tells the story of Luis Ansa’s wanderings from his native Argentina to France, marked by his encounter with the sorcerer El Chura, the guardian of the ruins of Tiahuanaco!