Bolivians are crazy!

Trip Start Dec 25, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2013

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Flag of Bolivia  , Arequipa Region,
Saturday, June 1, 2013

Our first day in La Paz, the second highest city in the world, you can really feel the air is thin!! Bending down to tie my shoe laces made me feel like an over weight trying to run a marathon..

We head to San Pedro square for the well recommended La Paz walking tour.. (With a stop for lunch of a four course delicious meal for only $2.25, Bolivia, I love you!!) Standing outside the famous San Pedro prison, walking through the witches market and many other interesting places around La Paz, the guide fills us with lots of facts about the jail, Bolivia and its people.. Some of which make you think.. 'Bolivians are crazy!!'

Fact: CocaCola are the only company with the rights to sell their product within San Pedro prisons walls.

Fact: In Bolivia they grow 400 different types of potatoes and because of this the local people are nicknamed 'Chicotos' which means potato head.

Fact: (Sometimes, it's been known) The judicial system judge decides his verdict by reading coca leaves.

Fact: A case can take 5-8years before the verdict is given of guilty or innocent. (Whilst in La Paz there were two raids on a hostel where 15 Gringos were arrested.. Bribes are also favored, let's hope they have enough US$ to cover that one)

Fact: To bless a building and give back to Pacha Mamma (Mother Earth) for building the building they offer a Llama fetus or a drunk man, depending on the size of the building, by burying them (the man is passed out so he is buried alive) in the middle of the building site before they start the build. (They still practice this today!?!)

'Bolivians are CRAZY!'

To add to the crazy we head out to watch the Cholitas wrestling.. Cholitas are the local ladies who dress with big skirts that flash their huge carves, shawls, long plaits in their hair all finished with a top hat.. Bolivian men think big carves are sexy because it means the Cholita is a hard worker.. Although the fighting was OBVIOUSLY all staged.. It was a fun night regardless with water popcorn and mandarins peeks bring tossed into the ring and then back into the audience..

Death road is the infamous road which traces a path down the side of a very steep mountain.. Pretty much the whole way down there is a sheer drop to your death cliff to one side.. Many vehicles have fallen to fatality on this road with an average of 150 people dying per year! An unsealed gravel road with S bends that are specifically named death corner.. It is on this road that they now run down hill mountain biking for stupid Gringos.. It is on this road that we successfully raced down to the bottom hitting speeds of 60km or more with Solomon managing to get some good air on some jumps!! Luckily there was no injuries for the day with Phoebe making sure she never went over 10km an hour as to not repeat the bloody incident in Colombia!

Adventure never stops when traveling with Solomon, Natasha and Phoebe.. We decided the day after death road to try climb up Huayna Potosj.. Huayna Potosi is 6000m high above sea level!! With a three hour gradual hike up to the high camp where we would be sleeping for the first night it was a nice and easy start to what was later described by Solomon as the hardest thing he has even done!! All ready for bed at 5:30 in the evening we head to try get our last hours of shut eye before the hard part commenced!!

At 1:00am armed with layers of cloths, cramp on's and an ice pick all tied together by a single rope we beginning the trek..

I am going to add here that Phoebe and I had both been suffering from the flu for the last day or two and to start climbing a mountain let a lot a snow cap mountain was a really dumb idea!! Because of this we managed to get to 5600m before I decided I didn't want to dye of pneumonia and would be turning back for the sake of my health (really I let the cold get to me but I think it was for the best) Phoebe joined me and Solomon continued on with the guide and his trekking partner Flo.. Together they made it to the summit!! And I will be back to concur Hyuana Potosi another day!!

After a tough couple weeks we decide to have a few down days of catching up with sleep and enjoying the markets before heading to the jungle..
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