Trip Start Jul 19, 2010
Trip End Aug 13, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, July 19, 2010

Arrived in La Paz at 5:50 am and it was beyond freezing, which I was not prepared for. As a newly turned 18 year old girl, I was naive enough to think that I had done my research, but the truth is that at the thought of "South America" I immediately imagined hot summer days. Reality check after touching down in Bolivia, where it can reach -23 degrees. It was so cold, and I was slightly concerned that all the locals, which at the time seemed like everyone on the flight was local apart from me, were wrapped up head to toe in massive leather coats with multiple layers on, and there I was sat so unprepared thinking of all the vests and shorts I'd stupidly packed, so I quickly took the airplane blanket. One thing I did research well was the fact that you need to have the Yellow Fever jab in order to enter/leave Bolivia, however I didn't need to worry about immigration at all, it was all really simple with no visa/yellow fever checks. Good 200 pounds spent...

The flight was long and tiring as I just couldn't fall asleep. I was worried my bag wasn't going to arrive because of the transfer in Miami, but luckily it did, and then I found my pre-ordered taxi man. Time to switch to Spanish mode.

It was dark outside but on the journey to the hotel we drove past so many Bolivians all wrapped up in their traditional inca clothing, with the children tightly wrapped to their backs in what can only be described as colourful rugs, were walking the streets and some were setting up their market stalls. I checked in at the hotel and immediately met 2 English people and it was easy enough to talk to them which is good, despite the fact they were on their gap years and I was just this 18 year old girl by myself.

Luckily I found an Internet cafe in the hotel and I went on at about 7 am and sent mum an email, then went to bed. Woke up at about midday I think, showered and stuff, then went on the internet again because I was too scared to go out on to the streets by myself which just screamed poverty. I read the gapadventures poster which was downstairs in the lobby and I realised I needed a photocopy of my passport so I was brave and ventured out, pretty scary as there are quite a lot of people in poverty staring, so I quickly ran back. Now to find some friends.

Decided to go on facebook, talked to Sal and had another cry :( just need to meet some people, the place is deserted. Where is everyone? Is this going to be harder than I expected?

Just met everybody I'd be spending my last weeks of the summer with, and they all seem lovely- Canadians, English, Irish, Swedish, an Australian, American, Danish, but they all spent the day together I think, so that's annoying I missed that- ah well. I'm the youngest too, obviously.

It's 8pm and I'm going to bed to get up at 6:30. Group leaves at half 8am. Here we go!
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