Good and bad times in La Paz

Trip Start Feb 04, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
San Pedro prison
killi killi lookout

Flag of Bolivia  , La Paz Department,
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I left Puno on a bus to the border of Peru and Bolivia and it was there I found out Bolivia was a pretty easy country to get into no matter who you are. No bags scans just a stroll through the gates across the border and back on the next bus. I had to then cross the Bolivian side of lake Titicaca in Copacobana by boat before continuing on to La Paz.

There was some amazing scenery on that part of the trip while traveling through the mountains to La Paz at 3200m above sea level. It was St Patricks day when I got there and my hostel, Loki, was having a big party. Most people were pretty cheerful when I got there from drinking all day. Because I was late I had to do a baby Guinness shot and get my face painted like Gene Simmons from Kiss to get a St patty's party shirt. They lined the bar with these flaming Irish shots for everyone to set a Loki St patty's day record for most shots at once. It was such a fun crazy night. The next day I went exploring the town and booked some trips. I went and saw San Pedro prison made famous from the book Marching Powder. It looked pretty corrupt just watching it from the outside with prisoners being able to pass items out windows to friends on the outside. I also went to the local market. When I was going back to the hostel I got my camera pick pocketed which pissed me off a lot cause I lost a few photos, so I had to get a new one that night.

The next day I went mountain biking down death road, the steep narrow dirt road that goes over the mountains from La Paz to the jungle. Cars and bikes going over its steep cliffs isn't uncommon as its such an unstable road. I started 4900m above sea level and went down to just over 1000m in a few hours. It is such crazy experience, you start on tar road then going onto dirt getting up to some pretty high speeds flying around hairpin corners. I had a few hairy moments where I nearly lost it in the loose rocks and went off a cliff but I manage to find out that not braking on loose rocks or corners means you're right.

In some spots you pass under waterfalls and through creeks with jungle surroundings the whole way. You end up forgetting there's a huge cliff on your left that you could fall off and die. Dan and linger would love it. At the bottom we went to a nearby hostel for a swim and a feed then went back to La Paz.

La Paz is built with its city in a valley and the residential houses around it on the sides of the surrounding mountains, kind of like a cone shape. I went up the top of the city to see the great views with snow capped mountains in the distance.
I've found Bolivia to be so cheap to buy anything. Most meals cost between $2-$6, beers $1-$2 and accommodation $4 - $15 in hostels.
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