Bolivia has always been one of those destinations on my bucket list. The diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history were all things that I wanted to experience for myself. And, of course, there was the Cholita wrestling, a unique and colorful form of wrestling that is an integral part of Bolivian culture.
Despite warnings from people in La Paz and online research that El Alto, where the Cholita wrestling events were held, was a dangerous neighborhood for tourists, I was determined to make the journey on foot and witness this unique spectacle.
My voyage began in La Paz, where I started my journey on foot toward El Alto. After a short, uphill hike, I arrived at the Teleferico, a cable car system connecting La Paz with El Alto. This was my first time taking a cable car, and the experience was exhilarating as I was lifted high above the city and had a bird’s eye view of the sprawling metropolis. The trip from La Paz to El Alto was breathtaking, and I felt as if I was soaring through the clouds.
As I stepped off the Teleferico in El Alto, I was immediately struck by the city’s stillness. The streets were empty and quiet. I felt like I had stepped into a different world.
Despite the warnings I had received, I felt safe and welcomed, and I quickly set out to find the venue where the Cholita wrestling was to be held.
After a few miles, the streets slowly became more crowded, and I was greeted by the sounds of a carnival in full swing. There were vendors, food stalls, and people. I was surrounded by the vibrant energy of the city. I wandered through the crowds, taking in the sights and sounds of the carnival and feeling the city’s pulse.
Finally, after spending some time at the El Alto carnival, I arrived at the Cholita wrestling arena, and I was disappointed to learn that the event was closed for the day. However, I didn’t let this dampen my spirits, as the carnival more than made up for the disappointment.
In conclusion, my journey to El Alto, Bolivia, was shorter than I anticipated but no less exciting. The Teleferico provided breathtaking views of the Andes mountains and La Paz, and the carnival in El Alto was a delightful surprise. Although the Cholita wrestling was closed, I could still experience the city’s vibrant culture and energy. If you ever find yourself in Bolivia, I highly recommend visiting El Alto, as you never know what adventures you may encounter.
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Cycling across Salar de Uyuni on my Surly Ogre bicycle was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will cherish forever. It was a challenging yet rewarding adventure that allowed me to experience the magnificence of the natural wonder and learn about the region’s culture and history.
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I’m in Laos. I’m on the other side of the world riding my bicycle. Everyone I know and love is over 8,000 miles away. Most of the time it gives me a thrill to focus on this. Other times, I’m overwhelmed with loneliness.