Good evening La Paz!!

Trip Start Jul 09, 2011
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Trip End Jul 09, 2012


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Where I stayed
The Wild Rover Hostel

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 1
 The bus company said the journey would take 12 to 17 hours, well it actually took 19!! It involved 2 taxis, three bus changes, a (easy) border crossing, a change of time zone and a ferry ride across Lake Titicaca, the worlds highest salt lake. The put the boat onto a barge to cross the lake and it was that rikity that I wouldn't put my bike on it, let alone a 50 seater bus! We also got caught up in a massive parade, it was like the Bolivians version of Patrick's day! The views were pretty amazing. 

We got into La Paz and jumped into a cab to the Wild rover hostel, if you have not guessed, its an Irish owned hostel. La Paz is a manic city, where traffic lghts are mere guidelines and not rules, j walking is a no no here unless you want to become a bonnet ornament of some lunatic bolivian driver!!

Went for an Indian that night, which was awesome and cheap as chips! There was a free tee shirt for anyone who ate the vindaloo, I thought long and hard about it, as that is the kind of tee shirt you would wear to a job interview! (The following night an aussie guy we are friendly arrived back into the hostel with one on him, sickened)

Came back to the hostel, had on beer, and went to sleep at 9:30, hardcore or what???

Day 2
Annie's birthday today!! Got up, had breakfast and watched the 1st half of the utd arsenal match and then went to the markets for the day!! Eventually, I got permission to go to a coffee shop and watch the highlights of the utd match and Annie continued buying all round her! (Where she is going store it all is beyond me!!). We then made our way back to the hostel, had a few drinks with an Irish/aussie couple, and then went to a steakhouse to celebrate Ms Mc Garrells birthday! We ordered two steaks which were massive, easily 4 inches think, washed them down with some lovely red wine and then trundled back to the wild rover for a table quiz with the intention of going out afterwards! The bar staff then called Annie up onto the bar (not to it, but  up onto it), and proceeded to feed her shots as the whole bar sang happy birthday to her! Needless to say after the shots, Annie was not too quick with the answers for the quiz!! 30 minutes later, Annie and another girl were caught by the bar staff on the computes outside the bar googling answers, because it was Annie's birthday, she got away with it but the other girl was taken into the bar, and the staff threatened to throw her out of the hostel, (Messing) a night on the streets of La Paz would be a little harsh for cheating in a table quiz! Stayed in the bar for the night as the craic was good and went to bed in the wee hours!!

Day 3
Not a lot to report fro today due to sore heads following the birthday celebrations!! In the afternoon, we finally got our act together and went out for a walk around La Paz, we walked up to San Pedro prison, you can take tours of the prison but we did not have the cojones  to go in, we walked up to the main gate and looked in! The prisoners were waving and shouting at us to come in. The one gringo that was in the crowd of prisoners had a tee shirt on saying, 'Fuck the Rules', I wonder was he being ironic or was it his life motto!!We then walked through the witches market and booked our trip down death road for the next day. Had dinner in the hostel, played some pool and had an early night as we had a 6:30 am start the following day!!!

Day 4
Up at 6:30 and made our way down to the meeting point for the tour. We had coffee there and met our guide for the day, Cody. We then took off with our group and instructors and drivers in a hiase van. We drove 45 minutes up to the top of death road. We got suited up and given our bikes and instructed on what to do and what not to do. We then cycled for 45 minutes on a tar mac road to get used to the bikes, paid our entry fee to some park and headed on down the worlds most dangerous road!! The road is 45 kilometres long, al downhill, has a gravel surface, has a cliff face on the right hand side, is full of bend and twists and turns, is 3 and a half metres wide and a drop of 600 metres the other side and is lined with crosses the whole way down!! Now when we took off, I was slightly apprehensive and thought there was a good chance that my name would be read out on the deaths on northern sound, Thomas Mc Cabe, County Monaghan, Fucking Eejit tried cycling down the world most dangerous road!! But our guide was really good, the bikes were top quality and we could go as fast and as slow as we wanted to go. There scenery was also something else, not that we could pay much attention to it with a road of gravel and a small matter of a 600 metre drop on our left hand side, oh and we were instructed to cycle down the road on the left hand side!! We stopped along the way where Cody pointed out to us where  various people went over the side, Pedestrians, Cyclists, Lorries, Cars and in one instance 3 leaders of opposition parties, that's how Bolivian dictatorships operated in the forties!! Anyway after about 4 hours of cycling, we ,made it to the bottom and went in for lunch with in an animal sanctuary (Just to clarify, we were not eating the animals in the said sanctuary!) We then got to spend an hour with the animals which included, a variety of monkeys, snakes, turtles and parrots. We then jumped back into the Hiaise and set off back up Death Road to La Paz, now the driver drove the van up the worlds most dangerous road like he was late for Mass!! We met a few lorries on the way back up, to say it was scary was an understatement, the pictures speak for themselves!! Thankfully we made our way up to the top of the road and got back to the hostel, had dinner with an Aussie/Irish couple and had a few drinks and ended up playing killer pool with a few English lads that were on the tour with us today!!!

Day 5 
Woke late with sore heads, checked out, and walked around La Paz, got lunch, picked up our bags and jumped onto a night bus to Uyini. Not much to report from this day!! Salt Plains here we come!!
 
 
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Comments

guys on

A wonderful end to a great south american birthday....thankfully you were finished your trail ..all your friends at home are getting ready for back to school so give them a thought when you sober up !!and lap up the joys of the year out

Guys on

Photos are amazing ,Daniel would have great competition with that pitza...Did you cycle that Death Road ....what a route

thomasandannie
thomasandannie on

yeah we cycled down death road...was pretty scary alright but think the bus ride back up it was worse as there was heavy fog and the driver didnt seem to take any notice of it

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