LaPaz and Marching Powder Fantasy
Trip Start Aug 23, 2008
19Trip End Sep 28, 2008
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Back on to a different bus.. I guess the Peru bus wasnt allowed into Bolivia.. and it was another couple of hours until we reached the lovely lakeside town of Copacabana. Cynthia tried to head us all to a restaurant for lunch but Rob and I wernt hungry...(probably all the junk food wed been eating for the past 2 hours!...sigh... we didnt know we were having a hours or so lunch stop!!).. so we wandered off by ourselves and found a little restaurant with a lovely sunny courtyard and sat to have a coffee...
This was one of those lucky decisions as sitting at the next table were a couple (geez Ill have to go back in here and edit cos I cant bl..dy remember their names.... how rude of me!)
... anyway....they must have heard our accents as they started to chat while we had our coffee and it turned out that the girl was an aussie from country NSW who'd been living in the UK and Spain for years and for the past 3 years shed joined her boyfiend and they both had been sailing the world...as a job.. theyve been everywhere!
We found out a couple of days later when we met up again -that for work they had been sailing the world - him as the captain and she as the cook/crew. Theyd been working for a rich guy looking after his boat. They would just hang around doing maintence on the boat or whatever until he gave them a call and he tell them to have the boat in Nice in France in 3 weeks time where hed fly and met them and so theyd sail it down there and then crew it for eg. his 2 week holiday. Hed then fly back to the UK and theyd sail the boat to the next place he instructed... and hang there until they heard from him or his relatives again...they did insist that it was harder work than it sounded.heee hee.
We arrived into LaPaz late afternoon. Coming into the city was fascinating as it sits in a deep bowl surrounded by steep hills.. so as our bus zig zagged down the hills LaPaz sat waiting for us at the bottom... all brown in colour and once again a unique place not like wed seen before.
We checked in at the hotel and off we all went for a walk around the city... looked in at San Francisco church which is right opposite our hotel and then up to the Plaza de Armas where we came across all the riot police... Many places in Bolivia had been rioting the day before (common occurrance here and often disrupts travel). 30 people had been killed in one of the cities. We were told that one of the unpopular politicians was coming to the Plaza for a press conference so the riot police were clearing everyone out.
We all took a few quick photos... cameras often get taken from you in these cities if they see you taking photos of something they dont want you to..so a couple of quickies as we were walking away as those guns are pretty impressive.
Our group all had dinner together that night and then bed for Rob and I as we were exhausted from the bus.
Next day there was a 6 hour tour to some ruins so Rob and I decided to give it a miss and just check out the city.
Years ago he'd had a spanish girlfriend for a few years...hence the spanish.....anyway.. they had come to the hotel to say they had checked out what the go was in La Paz during the day and found that the International Jazz festival was on in the city and they were going to a jazz club that night did we want to go?... .. and the next day... yep that was planned too.... did we want to join them for the day and just share the taxi price..(wed get one for the whole day as it makes it relaxing to go where we say and wait each time) -sounded great! we're in!... A fluent spanish speaking Pom and an Aussie who were both fun.. how lucky was this.
The only thing I told them that I had really wanted to do was go and have a look at the outside of San Petro Jail as I had read the great book Marching Powder - true story of a Pom and an Aussie in the Jail - and just had to see what this prison looked like! - Doug (Im sure thats not his name!...sigh) ... Doug got all excited... he said no probs wed take the taxi there first as hed already gone there that day as hed read the book too! He was rapt to go again as his girlfriend hadnt read the book like Rob so hed been high as a kite going there that day but had to enjoy it by himself as she didnt "get it" - So he said yeah yeah well go again.... anyone whos read the book would appreciate the excitement of seeing the place! ...hee
So a great day and night was had... We went to San Pedro.. it was exciting! just imagining everything from the book ... I could even see washing up on the roof that had been put out through a skylight window to dry... would definitely be in the 5 star block!!! - and as we walked the perimeter, the side door was open and I could see a red sign -
Lovely couple of hours of lunch in a truly authentic restaurant with no stress as Doug did all the ordering... hee hee
Then onto Moon Valley which has amazing rock formations and only 15 minutes outside of LaPaz... very strange and beautiful.
Ok were exhausted.. back to the hotel for a shower and then we met up again for dinner .. Rob and I told our group back at the hotel where we were going and they all turned up so a good night was had..... and hopefully Ill remember this great couples name and Ill add it here!!! keep posted..hahahaha. They are planning on coming back to Australia in about a year to settle down so maybe theyll get in touch in the future (so it would be good to remember their names then...sigh)
alert alert alert....I found the paper with "our friends" names and email details! (thank god - very frustrating)... Doug! (good old rob got it right) and..... Karina!!!!.. feel free to insert their names into the appropriate places when reading..heee
Where I stayed