Sorry for the last not so inspiring journal entry. I considered not uploading it but decided a journal is for both the interesting and not so interesting! I momentarily thought I’d found a loop in this theory when STA decided to change the site and call it a blog. Sounds more like a block!! Something most travellers wished they had when visiting the banjo, but overrated as its uninspiring, time consuming and doesn’t lead to quite as many interesting dinner conversations.. mmm, lovely thought!
After arriving in Copacabana (Bolivia) and sorting out all general necessities we decided on a 17km walk before crossing over to the famous Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca where the Incan Sun God was born! On the day itself we let ourselves be talked into getting a boat straight to the North part of the Island instead of taking the walk….we were not that hard to convince! The boat that took us there was a local boat which unfortunately means; it gets there 2 hours late, is loaded full of people and suffocates you with fumes for 2.5 hours! But the sun was shining and waiting wasn’t such a bad thing…
The town on the North part of the island was very small with one basic hostel where we got ourselves some food and wine, played cards by candle light as the electricity had failed on us and got a little tidily before going to bed with a bottle of water! With the great sunset views and candles it was all quite lovely! In the morning we left for the ruins and walked from the North to the South in the sunshine! It can be cold up at those heights but when the sun shines its perfect for walking…
After spending another night in Copacabana it was time to leave for the big smoke, La Paz! Its hard to find buses in Bolivia with toilets so anyone that knows me well can imagine what I was like…Anyway, we arrived in La Paz having had no accidents! Had booked a hostel, Loki, which is currently under construction but guess what.. the very cool and friendly owners said they’d get our shower and bedroom ready and we could stay for free!
La Paz is the highest capital city in the world at around 3.800m and has a population of 1.2m and growing fast! Its quite a relaxed place and we just pottered around there for a couple of days. I also decided to do a mountain biking trip down the ´Worlds Most Dangerous Road´ (WMDR) where only a week before someone had died cycling off it…
The WMDR started at 4.700m up in the surrounding barren mountain tops! After getting wrapped up in all the mod con gear and receiving our oh so important double suspension bikes we blessed mother earth with a 69% alc. drink and set off down the asphalt towards the WMDR! The WMDR basically consists of gravel paths going down the mountains some 3000m (unfortunately there were also some ups!!!!!!). As you can imagine you don’t see much of the views! There are two possibilities- 1) go fast so you are less likely to crash, but if you do it’s a lot harder on the arse, or 2) go slower so you are more likely to crash, but it’ll be less painful! I choose for the more exciting option number 1)! Well, who wants to get left behind and feel like the pratt of the group, not me! On the way down the landscape changed from barren freezing mountains to green luscious vegetation and very warm temperatures! Once at the bottom we got a beer, hot shower, buffet lunch and to talk to the monkeys, parrots, cats etc! One of the best rides I have ever done!!
Although we would loved to have stayed at our hostel for the opening party and St Paddies celebrations we have a tight schedule so we left on the forth day to get to Uyuni and the Salt Flats on time! For all those lazy people looking to get fit using one of those vibrating platforms found at gyms, I have found an better alternative option – the wibbly, wobbly, vibrating bus from La Paz to Uyuni which sends you 12 hours across dirt tracks!! Your guaranteed to feel like a James Bond drink, shaken but not stirred, by the end of it!!
And just for you Marc – hostel in South America is spelt as hostal! Have you never heard of the saying, when in Rome do as the Romans do?