03.05.2012 - 27.06.2012
It's the first week of June in Bolivia, which means it's wintertime and it's cold (-12*C). We weren't prepared at all, in terms of knowledge or equipment. When we got to Tupiza we had to buy quite a few things. The tour company gives you a list, but I don't think they stress the importance of warm. However, they say that usually people come prepared. Good for them. I hope with the list I've provided you'll get the idea, in case you thought maybe salt "deserts" were warm. Haha. Keep in mind we're coming from The City of Eternal Spring in Mexico and you might not get as cold as easily as we do.
Sleeping bags for below freezing temperatures
Bottles of water, especially for the first day
Altitude sickness medication
Gloves, hats, scarves
Fleece or cuddly warm pajama pants
Coca leaves and catalyst
Extra warm blankets (most places provide you with at least 2)
Hand sanitizer and soap for when you have bathroom access
Music (mp3 or whatever- keeps you sane)
Toilet paper (at least 2 rolls, you might get a runny nose)
Any meds you need- aspirin, drammomine, cold meds, Pepto Bismal, etc.
IDs and passport
Really warm clothes- for us that meant at least 3 or 4 long-sleeve layers (at a time) and 2 winter coat
We did our shopping at the local market (we each bought a winter coat for 100-180 bolivianos, 15-30 USD) and then we went to the second-hand American clothing store that is a few shops before the market. You'll notice it right away because it'll probably be packed with women sifting through the piles. We each got a second winter coat for 40 bolivianos, (5-6 USD). That gives you an idea of how cold we get.
It's too cold to wash anything, so make sure you bring enough changes of socks, etc. This is the only moment during the trip that I wish I had one nice really warm North Face jacket so I didn't look like I'd gained 20 pounds in all my pictures. The best way to pack for this trip is to pretend that it's the coldest you've ever been in your life. Like I said at the beginning, it was -12*C at night and in the morning. I'm so going to th Caribbean for my next vacation.