Ok, heres another late blog supposedly from La Paz (we are now in Peru), I hope i can remember everything! Following the Uyuni tour we caught an overnight train to Oruro, a town 3 hours from La Paz, and then hopped on the first bus out to the capital. More comfy than i expected, and before we knew it we were driving through the vast suburbs of La Paz. We were shocked and surprised at the sheer enormity of the place, the city is built into a valley which is definately not big enough to contain all the buildings and people, this was urban sprawl on a mass level. Houses for as far as you can see up the hill, perched on steep drops.
We booked into the Adventure Brew hostel but the main building was full, so they put us up in the Annex (an overflow of the main hostel) I think this was the better deal, there was a rooftop bar with amazing views over the night skyline and beer baths! (yes, you can bathe in 30 litres of beer, coincidentally brewed at the highest microbrewery in the world!)
We then set about booking our trip to mountain bike down the worlds most dangerous road, a 60km, 6 hour bike ride down the steep valley from La Paz to Coroico. We booked with Gravity Bolivia, who really are the best company out there, all the equipment is new and highly recommended. Up at 7am, we got in the minibus and headed to the summit of the tour. Snow capped mountains awaited us, and it was surreal getting ready to race away down the hill. The first section was tarmac roads, fast but helped us get used to the bikes. (Although Rae took it carefully, i admit i sped off like the typical boy i am) After 2 hours of riding in the rain, the weather cleared up and we reached the dangerous part - 40km of landslides, narrow roads, waterfalls, and the site of 300 deaths a year.(although now the road is closed to traffic, its much safer now, we promise!) The next few hours were exhilarating, tiring, scary (for Rae) and exciting, one of the group tried to do a trick on his bike and found himself 25metres down the rock face with a badly damaged bike! No injuries though, it was a lucky escape, needless to say he had to sit in the support van for the rest of the day for being too cocky! A well deserved meal at the bottom awaited us, and so was the end of our extreme day. We definately slept well that night.
I must mention at this point how cheap Bolivia is - we ate a three course meal for 60p! The hostel was fully booked after 3 nights, so we had to move to El Solario (hostel about 5mins walk down the hill from where we were), and on the way we discovered Olivers Travels! A great fake english pub, we spent a whole sunday (yes, breakfast, lunch and dinner) in there playing cards with Dave and Ben our travel buddies from Cornwall. The pint glasses of PG tips and Tetley appealed to Rae, whilst i enjoyed a full english breakfast, battered mars bars and bangers and mash. The whole day (3 meals, various drinks) cost us about 7 pounds each - serious value for money)
The following day we headed to Tiwanaku, an archaeological site of interest 1 hour out of La Paz. It was cold, wet and we skipped breakfast which made looking at pots and skulls a bit tiresome. It was still interesting though and we ate a lovely lunch of chicken before heading back to La Paz to catch the bus to Lake Titicaca.