The pretext/excuse for the whole thing was visiting khalinche in Cochabamba, Bolivia. And that was where we arrived after about 36 hours of flights and waiting in airports. Edinburgh-Gatwick-Madrid-Santa Cruz(VVI)-Cochabamba. She is a most lovely and gracious host; we spent much of our time chatting, drinking tea, eating local food in busy cafes surrounded by happy Bolivian families, and hanging out at the street party. The Sunday we were there was the twice-annual day of pedestrianisation, in which cars are banned from the city centre during the day. So a street fair/party pops up, which was great to walk around in.
She introduced us to the local creative space "Martadero", containing a hackspace with some adorable enthusiastic kids making Pi-controlled dinosaurs. Everyone very switched-on and friendly. The place is surrounded by great street murals:
Despite the heat, we coped pretty well with the moderate altitude (2800m), jet lag etc.
Tourist attractions: Palacio Portales, the European-style former house of a local tin baron. Extraordinary internal decor: Alhambra-style billiards room and Vatican-style painted ceiling in an upstairs gallery. We dithered about maybe seeing the Cristo Concordia statue, but were short of time and effort and warned about thieves by the taxi drivers.
Notable food/drink: raw pressed sugar cane juice (delicious), coca tea with stevia (tastes a lot like green tea), pique macho (spicy stew with udders), ch'arki, giant corn, coconut with straw and cocktail umbrella stuck in it. All of this was very tasty and washed down with the local fruit juices and beers.
Avoid: burger place at Madrid airport (raw).
On next week's episode of Mysterious Cities of Gold: La Paz