So much tat to little room in my bag

Trip Start Nov 05, 2009
Trip End Apr 26, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Saturday, February 6, 2010

La paz is a very high city…in fact it is the highest capital city in the world at over 12,000ft above sea level. Nic only had a few hours before his  flight home so we popped along to the Coca museum for one last outing. It cites the history of Coca and basically is a champion for the widespread legalisation of coca. Being a huge fan of coca…I say hear hear…everyone should be able to experience the benefits of coca tea!

Unfortunately I wasnīt feeling too well by this point and poor Nic had to leave me prostrate on my hotel bed with what felt like daggers being jabbed repeatedly into my stomach.  It beat my previous stomach  issues caused by multiple days of ingesting and bathing in Amazon river water… so as you can probably imagine it felt pretty bad. Thankfully it was short lived and I was right as rain the next morning and ready to go shopping for shed loads of Alpaca tat.

When you’re travelling about in Peru and Bolivia there is a standard uniform for travellers of multiple items of knitted clothing with Llamas on and multi-coloured stripy trousers. These people no doubt have some semblance of taste when back at home but for some reason lose all sense when faced with the onslaught of Llama tat on offer. Any amount of knitted clothing with a Llama on is too many in my book but really is it necessary to wear a Llama hat, Llama jumper, Llama socks and Llama gloves?

Alpaca clothing in La Paz is so so cheap, so I went totally overboard and ended up with 3 carrier bags of the stuff which I promptly shipped home to ma and pa as my poor poor bag can take no more.

I actually quite like La paz despite the chocking exhaust fumes, exacerbated by the severe lack of oxygen at 4km above sea level. I particularly like the gangs of nutcases that they have dressed up as Zebras who direct the traffic through the medium of dance.

My only real low point was when I was happily walking down the street when I fell into an open drain up to my knee. When I pulled my leg out of the drain it was covered in muck and hair (retch) plus I had scraped all the skin off my toes. As well as being totally embarrassed all I could think about was what ghastly disease had I caught. I spotted the Radisson hotel ahead and managed to sneak into the toilets and wash my leg.  As a reward I went to one of the best restaurants in La Paz for a slap up lunch….it was almost worth falling into the drain for. I think that I’m going to like Bolivia…you can eat at a fabulous restaurant, have 3 courses plus some wine…all for a fiver. How wonderful.

La Paz was also the scene for my tearful goodbye to my very well travelled Lilo that I originally bought for camping in Gran Canaria….it was time to part ways and lighten my bag somewhat. Hopefully itīs carrying on its travels with somebody else… comfort to their weary bones.
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Nic Hemley on

Alas poor Lilo, I remember him well. A trusty veteran of the Peru floods, now in the drain with the rats and the suds.

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