The City of adrenaline rushes....
Nuestra Señora De La Paz, Bolivia
At altitudes of between 3,100 m- 4,058 m above sea level La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. This meant even walking up the stairs had us gasping for breath. We kept on telling each other it was good practice for the Inca trail in a couple of weeks time.
We had flown from Sucre which felt a little bit like cheating but the buses don't really do toilets and the flight reduced it to a one hour journey (via Cochabamba) instead of at least 16-18 hrs on a Bolivian bus, which made Bee happy!
Our first impressions of the city were traffic clogged and fume filled streets chock a bloc with beeping cars and mini vans whizzing by. In hindsight the mini vans are an excellent and ecological form of transport. They basically work as communal taxis fitting up to around 12 people in each, they are also super cheap and allow you to get about for only 20p.
Bolivian food was a big hit with us, we'd got in the habit of hunting out tasty means for under a £1. Tim also appreciated the 'salsa de chili' that came with everything. We found our "Mama" on the street for dinner, hearty platefuls of rice, potatoes, beef steak and veggies, followed by a yummy soup broth.
The first night we remembered what it felt like to be really cold again (sleeping in ski thermals felt strange). The hostel had a micro brewery attached to it and each night you got a free beer, this inevitably led to more beers been consumed. Bee couldn't drink the beer so Tim benefited although his head didn't the morning after.
La Paz offered a number of exciting adventure excursions. The main one we were both keen (scared s#%€less) to try was the Death road bike ride down the worlds most dangerous road (El Camino de la Muerte) . It started early with a trip above the clouds at a chilly 4,700m at La Cumbre for the start. We then descended 64 km down to tropical jungle level in Coroico 1,700m. The view was simply breathtaking as you can hopefully see in the pictures.
We had excellent guides who would stop you and warn you about the more tricky sections. It rained a lot though and the conditions were pretty treacherous, we were both pleased to get to the bottom although Bee took 'slightly' longer than the rest of the group. To her credit she didn't get off and walk although she did have to do the last 10 minutes in the back of van due to the rest of the group finishing ahead. We'll wear our 'we survived the death road' tee shirts with pride for years to come. See a video clip of Tim here http://tinyurl.com/kbkavyb and Bee here http://tinyurl.com/njs9j24
The next day in case we hadn't had enough adrenaline rushes the day before we headed to Urban Rush. a crazy and unique experience where we were taught how to rappel out of a hotel window face first (17th floor, 50m high) , then we got 20m of free fall before going back into the hotel and through the lobby and dining area in full fancy dress costume (much to the amusement of the 5* hotel guests) to do it all a second time! Check out the video here http://tinyurl.com/lpqh8lz
Our week in La Paz was starting to feel like something you'd see on extreme sports TV, a couple of days in the Amazon jungle would be the perfect antidote, or so we thought......