I knew before arriving in lapaz that both the wildrover hostel and Loki hostel had quite the reputation, but the cab drivers first words being both those titles confirmed that they were the place to be. I'd previously been emailing the guys at wildrover since back in cordoba keeping them up to date with my travels so they could have a bed ready for me and hopefully a bit of bar work too. As I arrived quite early noone from management was there and reception told me to come back and meet jack in a few hours. Got some wifi and managed to get a hold of Leahmo; him and aggz were up having breaky around at Loki so they didn't have to ask twice to get me round there. Was awesome to see the boys and share some stories. Agro was battling crook but was still up and about while all bar Leahmo were in bed after an intense bender. Had a feed and went and checked out the San Pedro prison. Having read the book "marching powder" i was pretty pumped just to be sitting out the front and telling tall tails with the lads. Finally back at the hostel I met jack the chirpy young irish wildrover manager Back at the hostel who then pushed me onto Diego the Bolivian bar manager. Both the guys were really helpful and keen to have me come on board. They explained it was a two week work minimum which I was happy to oblige to given they could guarantee me getting to cusco by the 15th. They assured me that would be no problem. The only problem was initially were was I going to sleep. I moved my stuff into the staff room and Diego said he'd sort it all out. He later said there was a free bed but was quickly taken away as that was still Christine a Danish girls bed who was not leaving just yet. Diego apologized and said he had a spare bed in his room were I could crash the night- I wasn't worried, given it was my first night in lapaz I was in for a belter!
Staying at wild rover bar till close, then to the club Hard Rock Cafe and then to the infamous route 36 where patrons could purchase more than just an icey cold beverage over the counter.
Stumbled back into the hostel around 8am and walked around in a zombie like fashion looking for Diego's room. Finally one of the girls from reception came to my aid and showed me his room but the door was locked. Decided to go lay down in the tv room to get some rest. It was already occupied by a few people watching a movie and snoozing. I dozed off pretty quickly but was woken an hour or so later to the sound of Diego snoring on the bean bag beside me... This was all the norm apparently- what was I getting myself into !! 2 weeks of this mayhem, I was already questioning my survival. Later that day Diego gave me the key to his room and said by the next night i will have a bed- the hostel was always in such high demand that bedding was a constant issue.
Had another crack that night with all the shire boys coming for a drink at the rover..... Then kicked on with some of the young English gap year lads; Woke up on a mattress in a hallway a few doors down from Diego's room.
Next night officially got a bed but not in the staff room yet, regular dorm for two nights. Got my roster and was working the following 4nights. Met soo many legends while working here that it would be impossible to name everyone. The loosest character i surely met was Hanson, a crazy kiwi who could get away with anything in the rover. Such a funny bloke! Constantly had me in stitches... The staff quickly became my new family:
Siel and Eran from Israel
Christine from Denmark
Joost from holland
George from England
matze from Germany ...
All absolute legends ! A couple more came along but these guys were among some of the coolest I'd ever met!
My first shift was sick, I got really drunk and Diego said I did awesome... I loved working behind a bar. Even with no experience I was whipping up sex on the beaches, White Russians, baby Guinness's and mint cornetto's with only the first instructions needed. Mojitos and caprihnas were a little more difficult but by the end I had them down pat.
Me and Diego hit it off big time, hysterical little alcoholic Bolivian that you couldn't help but love the cheeky w***. The other two permanent Bolivian bar staff Fernando and victor were great guys too, always having a joke a defiently knew how to party.
With a job description of an evening that consisted of playing drinking games, standing on the bar and pouring shots in people's mouths, dancing like an idiot with Diego behind along with the general service it was easy to see why people often extended their stay at the wild rover.
I was destroyed after the initial nights out then coupled with my first 4 shifts which saw the partying escalate even more. I was thankful for my three day break i got and was looking forward to recovering some brain cells. After those initial nights out I was actually pretty tame. I could see money vampire lapaz would turn into if you let it!
First day off I spent with Johnnie M16 (called him that because it was his bed number which was used for tab payment). Cool kid from England. We went to the which markets and bough some cool gear including my alpaca cardigan. Ill never forget when we got caught in the rain and had to find shelter in a little restaurant. We were hungry so decided to eat. It was a set menu so had to pay 10 bolivianos up front. 10b is less than $2 ... We revived a plate of salad, a roll, a big bowl of soup (think it was lama meat) and a huge plate of chicken and rice- so good! For less than 2 bucks , crazy.
Got back to the hostel and started planning with Matze to do death road on my next day off. One of the best perks of the working at the rover was I didn't pay for any of my activities: death road and urban rush both for free, massive financial help! I was soo excited but pretty nervous at the same time too.. Night off the drink and was in bed early; I wanted to be able to attack the worlds most dangerous road feeling at my peak!