Leaving Peru, border crossings, cool bus trip!

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End May 07, 2008

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, October 22, 2007

Got to La Paz early Monday evening after a comical bus journey and ferry crossing. We got a Deccie Dillon special bus from Puno at 7 in the morn. We thought we had selected our own seats only to find people sitting all over the shop. Fair play to Paul, he´s never short from a small row in these situations and he argued with half the bus before we decided that at least leg room was acceptable. Health and safety would have a field day in these countries. We were basically locked into the bus from a small door seperating us from the driver and his trusty sidekick. Connie wasn´t feeling well and whenever the bus stopped everybody had to first scream and shout to be let out for the toilet and secondly had to scream and shout so the dope of a bus driver wouldn´t drive off without those who had gone to the toilet.

We got to the border of Peru and Bolivia and had to get off the bus with our bags. A couple fo official stamps and thankfully no cavity searches later we were on a tiny minibus for 7 people heading to Copacabana. They tied the rucsacs to the roof on this one. Eyes were on the rearview mirror the whole way. At Copacabana we had an hour to kill so the girls lounged in hammocks while Paul treated Conor to a hammering at darts. The next bus was much the same as the first. Deccie Dillon special. Funniest was seeing it on a pontoon at the ferry crossing though. They made everybody get off the bus and about 25 of us squashed onto a small 14 foot boat with a small outboard engine while we wathed the bus (and our bags) cross on a makeshit pontoon like thing with an equally small outboard engine. Madness but we all made it and it added to the giggle factor of just about everything we´d seen to date.

Edd had kindly booked us all rooms at the Loki Hostel in La Paz so when we arrived we only had to catch a taxi straight there. The view coming in over the city from the top of the valley was spectacular. The entire city is set in a large valley and the buildings and roads run all the way up each side of the valley. The Loki Hostel is part owned by a guy from Kill, Co. Kildare ´we were told and the place was great apart from the really bad damp in the matrimonial (double not marriage) rooms. First night in La Paz though (one of the highest cities in the world) and of course we all went out and got drunk in another Hostel, the Wild Rover, also part owned by an Irish Lad called Davey. Sound fella. Conor had a serious head on him the next day but still managed to crawl out of the bed and head off to book our Pampas tour and flights to Rurrenabaque in the Amazon Basin. After that we spent the next while looking around the markets and for at least the second time we were eyed up by potential thiefs. Steph noticed them fairly quick following us (two skinny little farts) and Conor kept throwing them the eyes. They knew we knew what they were at by this stage and the kindly fucked off. Truth is you´d break them in two with one hand but they also know that so deffo have some sort of knife. Daft bastards. May they meet a wall at high velocity some day. We even toyed with the idea of being one step ahead and maybe attempting to rob them first. Hehe.

We ended up spending the next 4 days waiting to get to Rurrenabaque because the Military airline (TAM) are a bunch of muppets. Cancelled due to rain on the first day. Cancelled because they wanted to use the plane for other people on the second day. Cancelled because it was too hot on the third day (20 degrees!!!!) We kept meeting Paul and Cony in between and they were laughing at how we still hadn´t gone yet. Ended up hitting a bar called Olivers Travels in the meantime and having some nice grub though and many more games of shithead. We eventually got there on the Saturday morning though. We flew in a small Fokker F27 with 32 seats and it was mad exciting. Only an hour flight but you drop from about 5000 metres to 250 in the space of about 30 mins after clearing the snowy peaks around La Paz. We had heard of people going deaf cause of this but we were all fine apart form a couple of people grimacing and lobbing 12 chewing gums into there mouth. The landing strip is just a grassy long stretch of a field with a small building at the end. Excitement factor 90 coming in over the trees real low. Nothing mattered though cause we were here and were delighted to be out of La Paz after all the bullshit waiting. La Paz is fine but a city is a city after all and that´s not what we came travelling for. (Apart from Buenos Aires, Sydney, Auckland, and many others)

Off to the Pampas with us.......
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