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Bolivia, Travel

Day 54 – 57: Tarija

The last city of my two month adventure was Tarija! For those of you that know me, the choice of city is obvious, but even the rest of you can appreciate the location: Bolivia’s wine country. Tarija touts the world’s highest wines where the altitude makes quite a difference in the flavor and cultivation of the grapes.

Our flight to Tarija actually got cancelled and we ended up staying in Sucre one extra night. This made is a Saturday when we reached Tarija instead of Friday, which actually made an unfortunate difference. Saturday was a holiday in Tarija so most places were closed. For tourists, that pretty much sucks. We found a restaurant and lounged there before trying to plan a winery tour for the following day only to find out that all the wineries except one was closed on Sundays. We did go check out this winery the next day, Dona Vista, which was actually pretty awesome. The place was absolutely packed with live music and lunch offerings. It was a gorgeously warm day and we enjoyed ourselves for about 4-5 hours before heading back to town.

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After having travelled often, I’ve gotten pretty used to rolling with the punches when traveling as there are always some traveling obstacles, but since Aiasha was only here for 2 weeks, we was pretty bummed out at the roadblocks we face in Tarija given the holiday and Sunday closures. Monday was our last day in Tarija and also Aiasha’s birthday. We were able to figure out accommodations for a private tour even though most of the tour agencies were closed for the day so we were pretty happy. The tour stopped by 2 smaller wineries, 1 large one, a specialty wine retailer and a singani distillery (which is a liquor made from grapes).

DSC_0540 DSC_0564 DSC_0556 DSC_0560 DSC_0548 DSC_0529 DSC_0525 DSC_0524The wine tour was truly awesome. We had a great time getting to know our driver and tour guide as well visiting some nicer wineries. While some of the wines were good, particularly the Malbecs and Cabs, I mostly enjoyed the tour for the ambiance and company. The valley outside of Tarija where all the wineries are located is beautiful. The weather was perfect as you just see hills of vines and greenery as far as the eye can see. There were even some canyons with small lakes surrounding them, super awesome.

Our driver was nice enough to race us over to the airport and we were mere minutes away from missing our flight to La Paz. We promptly fell into a drunken slumber on the plane. A perfect way to end our time in Tarija. When we arrived in La Paz we went to this adorable french restaurant Chez Moustache, which was delicious for Aiasha’s birthday. The owner lived and worked in San Francisco for about 8 years so we chitchatted with him over some house distilled pear liquor. It was a great end to a birthday abroad.

I spent the final two days of the trip in La Paz just shopping for some gifts and relaxing. Overall, I must say, these two months of travel far surpasses my other traveling experiences. I think I was mentally in the right place to just enjoy my trip. I had no preoccupation for the future or baggage left back home to stress me out so I could really live in the moment these two months. Thank you to all the friends and family that joined me in some way through my trip (whether physically or via FaceTime and texts), you made it an unbelievable two months! Thanks to all of you following along via blog and enjoying my updates. It’s great when something that I enjoy doing can provide some entertainment or enjoyment for others.

As I’m about to start graduate school, I do not have many plans for upcoming travel but I’ll be sure to update you as soon as I can squeeze another trip in. 🙂 Until next time!

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