Last days in La Paz

Trip Start Nov 17, 2010
Trip End Feb 27, 2011

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Where I stayed
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, January 2, 2011

03/01/2011 - Sunday
As I mentioned earlier, the Bolivian president Evo Morales decided to double the petrol price, so transport in the whole country went on strike, until Evo did a backflip and halved the prices again.  This in turn caused huge amounts of delays, and was even used as an excuse to increase the price of bus tickets.  It also meant that we couldn't find any available spaces on buses out of La Paz until the 4th, so after looking at a few companies we booked a ticket for the afternoon of the 4th, headed for the town of Uyuni.  The bus would arrive early in the morning, which would give us plenty of time to find a three day salt flats tour.

Halfway through my spanish lesson I heard what sounded like really heavy rain, and it turned out to be a really sudden hail storm (hail == granizo).  In no more than 10 minutes, the rooftops and streets were covered white with hail, and looked more like a winter setting rather than the middle of summer.  My spanish teacher Adriana said that sometimes the hail is so bad and sudden that it causes flash flooding, leading to fatalities.

I also remembered that I had left my shoes up on the hostel rooftop to dry, riding under the waterfall on the Death Road trip had left them quite soggy.

It was also Stacey's last day at Loki, she was moving to a long term accommodation as she was doing volunteer work in La Paz for the next month.  We said our goodbyes and had dinner at our "local" chifa.

04/01/2011 - Monday
I had my final spanish lesson early in the morning, then we said goodbye to Liron and had a cheap 9 Boliviano lunch.  Our bus wasn't scheduled to leave until 7:30pm, so we hiked up to a mirador (lookout) to check out the view of the city.  It was quite the hike, up very steep hills, but I convinced myself it was good training for the Inca Trail.  The view at the top was spectactular, and worth the hard climbing.

Leaving Loki was almost like leaving home, we had been there for over a week - the longest stay in one place, and had made many friends there.

The only two seats available on the bus happened to be next to each other, but they were in the last row.  Boarding a bus in Bolivia (and several other countries) isn't as straight forward as just showing your ticket.  First, you have to give your ticket and ID to the ticket office, where they check your names off the list, either on paper or via computer.  Next, you go and pay for departure tax, where they give you another receipt, which you show the person at the gates, and then you can line up before going through and storing your bags in the storage compartments under the bus.

The sun was setting as we left the bus station, and I almost felt sad that we were leaving La Paz.
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