Bolivia South America

The 1980s

Discover Bolivia Magazine...

In our room at the hostel in La Paz was an ancient tourist information book, called Discover Bolivia, or something like that. It claimed to have been published in 1991, but it also included helpful information about the country such as “the currency of Bolivia is the peso…” which hadn’t been true since 1986.

In amongst the adverts for VCRs and other state of the art gizmos, I found this gem selling British Airways to the tourists of Bolivia. It’s not quite like that these days.

At the back of the book there was a page that said something like: “this copy of Discover Bolivia magazine is here for you to enjoy because other tourists have left it behind. Please do the same and leave this in your hotel room. If you would like to order a copy of your own, please fill in one of the attached tear off cards…” and, on the adjacent page, there was space for 6 detachable cards for tourists to fill in and send to the publishers with a cheque for $19.95. And even though the book had (presumably) been in the hotel room for almost 20 years, only 3 of the cards had gone.