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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The journey to La Paz

We had about 4 hours to kill before we left Uyunini to La Paz so Ben and I decided to get something to eat with a guy we met on the tour. Sadly for me we made an unfortunate choice. Now in addition to being sick with a head cold that I can't seem to kick I also have food poisoning/stomach bug. I spent 12 hours of our bus ride to La Paz in constant pain and on the toilet. Bolivia is a very poor country so outside of the major city centers paved roads just don't exist. Bolivia is now tied with Cambodia as having the worst roads I have ever traveled on. So as you can imagine that journey was not fun for me at all. Thank God I brought my own toilet paper and light because there was no light or toilet paper in the bathroom. 

We finally did make it (almost) to La Paz and our bus broke down. (not to surprising since we only paid 20 USD) for the whole journey. But we were technically in La Paz so I started talking with a lady who spoke only Spanish and we managed to piece together that she wanted to share a taxi was us so Ben and I along with her got a taxi into the city and even though she spoke no English and my Spanish is minimal we managed to make it to a good hostel where we are now thanks to her help. The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me.

La Paz is a loud busy city with everyone shouting at you trying to sell you things (very similar to Asia) but its good here. Just a little culture shock coming from New Zealand. I adapt quickly though. The buses/taxi just shout out where they are going and you board anytime/anywhere if you want too. They are dirt cheap and always packed with people. I have managed to get some good sleep and a shower and tried to hydrate myself so I am feeling a little better now. Not as bad as before hopefully this is only a 24 hour stomach bug. La Paz is also the highest capital city in the world so altitude is also something of a factor. But I am alive so I will make it.

The only other thing I wanted to mention is about unauthorised peeing. Back on our salt flat tour I had to go pee really bad but they were charging 50 cents USD for the toilet so I thought I would be sneaky and go in the bushes. I am a guy right? no harm there. So I peed close to what looked like to me just a big pile of rubble. I was wrong. Apparently it was some lady's house or something. I kinda pieced that together from her angry Spanish. So she proceeded to take all the Bolivianos (the local currency here) that I had! It equaled out to $4.50 USD for a pee! That is the last time I do that... and it wasn't even on her house! But live and learn I guess.

Talk at yall later,Ty

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