Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bolivia, started with the left foot…

As you read, we did not start Bolivia very well due to some extortion that happened in the border. Of course, Brian and Deya won this battle… if you want to read more about it go to: or

Bolivia is very economical and has a lot of good food; however we did not get to explore much since we did not spend much time in Bolivia. Here are some things we found, but before that the exchange rate: about 6.5 Bolivianos per USD.

Of course beer…
For eight Bolivianos you can get this non-tasty beer called PACEÑA, it tastes like Budweiser… HORRIBLE…

Tamales de llama.
Yes llama, this cute animal that looks like a camel. Llama meat is awesome, tastes like lamb but harder. I don’t know how much the tamales cost because we got them in our tour to the Salar de Uyuni from our tour guide. Really really tasty… corn and llama is a great combination.
Anselmo, our tour guide, gave us another dish made with llama meat and boiled corn. I did not like it because it had chunks of blood and it was really unpleasant for me. Brian loved it…

In other words empanadas from Tupiza, Bolivia. These empanadas are sooooo goooood… You can find them with chicken or beef, vegetables or a combination. Each salteña costs 3 Bolivianos. Do you like spicy? Then ask for the rocoto sauce…

Snack time.
We found a variety of snacks in Tupiza for a reasonable price.
Pasancaya- pop corn but really big, you can buy any amount from 5 Bolivianos up, we got 10 Bolivianos and it was a lot. Brian’s mouth has been full of this snack for days, really full.
Fideo- wheat spaghetti of different sizes covered with chocolate. We got 7 Bolivianos and again it was a lot.
Arbeja- roasted peas, really tasty. We got 5 Bolivianos, a small bag.
Habas- my favourite snack, it is a big roasted broad bean. One kilo costs 40 Bolivianos, I just got ½ kilo and we ate them quickly on the road. Habas suppose to wake you up when you feel sleepy.
Quinua (quinoa)- this is an excellent snack. Quinoa covered with chocolate, a small bag for 8 Bolivianos.

More beer: HUARI.
It was ok, at the hotel 15 Bolivianos.

Llama dishes.
We had two delicious llama dishes in Potosi, each of them for 45 Bolivianos.

Quinoa soup.
I love quinoa, in soup is excellent. This fantastic soup is part of a meal: buffet salad+soup+main dish+dessert= 28 Bolivianos and we got invited by a lovely couple from Vancouver, B.C. Canada. The first people we meet from Vancouver, we fell so happy with their company and we thank both of them, Roger and Nicole, for the lovely evening. We hope to see you again…

I almost forgot…

I have two more items from Argentina, I almost forgot!!!

Dulce de leche.
For $3.5 Argentinean pesos you can get this tasty cream made out of caramelized milk. It goes well on bread or crackers.

Coca tea.
As we approached the border from Argentina to Bolivia, altitude started to have an effect on us again. We arrived to Yavi (Argentina) and tried to walk a lot so we can handle this journey.
We heard that coca products help, in the form of tea or the actual leaves. Brian tried the coca tea and it did not seem to have any apparent effect on him. He still fell tired and short of breath. The cost? $0.50 Argentinean pesos per tea bag.
The name coca causes some ugly thoughts but for people in this entire area of North of Argentina, Bolivia and Peru, coca is like a snack… part of the culture. You can read more about this topic in Brian’s blog:

More of Argentina, leaving Mendoza… I want to cry!!!

Excellent camping, excellent people, excellent food/wine… Do I want to leave? NOPE… but we will come back.

Pasta Negra.
Pasta can be cooked easily by just adding garlic previously cooked with olive oil, so there is no recipe… I just have to remind you that if you have garlic and olive oil you can make pasta. This pasta is different in colour and delicious, it cost $540 Chilean pesos (about $1.2 USD) and we cooked it in Argentina. We also had some zucchini and hot peppers so we added them to the mix. Fantastic and the meal only costs about $4 USD including meats and other things!!!

Receipts? Nope. Facturas also means legal receipts but in this case it refers to food. Facturas are delicious sweet pastries that you accompany with coffee or just when you feel like something sweet.
You can get 12 pieces for $12-$20 Argentinean pesos depending on size and type. I love them!!!

This wine is very young but really tasty. Our friend Roberto gave us two bottles from his own Bodega “Sanchez-Salomon” and we enjoyed them through the rest of our route in Argentina.
Price? Not sure, it was a gift so priceless…

Brian’s love…
Brian is always willing to make happy… when he cooks for me he makes me really happy.
Here there is a recipe, simple and delicious. With the meal we tasted Salta beer for about $2 USD, good beer… not very strong but enjoyable.


1) Prepare the fire, Argentinean style. Cook the meat.
2) While the meat cooks, boil the potatoes (do not take the skin off). Once these are ready mash them with butter and add salt and pepper to taste.
3) Make a salad with cubed tomatoes, avocados and thinly sliced onions. Lemon juice and salt are a good addition.
4) Serve all these items and enjoy with a beer.

Dish costs= $6.2 USD, but we still had some ingredients left for other meals.