Published: June 16th 2012June 16th 2012
Been a great week or so since my last blog! Had a tour round La Paz with Dany on Thursday - good to see a few different parts of the city before leaving after this weekend. Wandered round a couple of crazy markets and headed up to El Alto for more spectacular views over La Paz. Went to see Matamba (one of Bolivia's biggest reggae bands) supporting Los Pericos on Friday, the latter being the biggest reggae band and perhaps the biggest musical export to come out of Argentina. In an open air venue, the atmosphere was awesome, and Matamba certainly got the crowd going with their funky beats, rocky solos and stage presence. During the cross-over between bands the rain started falling, followed by heavier rain and hail stones!! Everyone went crazy for about 10 minutes, jumping over barriers to get forward and scurrying around for vendors selling plastic ponchos! After an hour or so, Los Pericos finally took to the stage, and were brilliant! Definitely worth a listen for anyone who enjoys a reggae rock sound. Me Deshan and Rose braved the conditions to stay until the main PA system blew because of the water - worth the waits and weather for one of best live reggae shows I have seen. Ended up going out with Toni, Taylor and Deshan after the concert and a shower to Target where we caught the second half of an ATAJO set - the second time I have seen them - loads of fun!
Headed to Namaste on the saturday where a couple of times a year a big electronic/house night is held. The place is usually a vegetarian restaurant and has cool decor and layour which worked well with the music. Keep recognising people from different places at other venues, which is interesting - guessing similar crowds head to similar venues!
A lazy sunday followed during which deshan cooked chorizo and meatballs with pasta for lunch and I cheffed a Shepherds Pie for dinner.
With the euros in full flow, had people round for the England game on Monday before me and Toni took a minibus to the Yungas for a couple of days. Spent the first night in Coroico at a beautiful hostal, with the most spectacular view across the valley. Amazing to wake up and see that in the morning! We had a noctural dip in the pool the night before - not the warmest but still managed a few lenghts before we went out for dinner and a had a wander round the town. The next day went to los cascades (waterfalls) for a little swim and a picnic before hiking up a near cliff (there was a path!!) to get some incredible views across the Yungas. After that we went to see a Shaman who lived above the village, slightly dissapointed he only conducted a small ceremony for us with Coca leaves but still an experience. Think Il visit some more in Peruvian Amazon!
We spent the second night at Sol y Luna where we hired an awesome little cabin for the night. After a delicious Trucha at a restaurant we headed up to our secluded cabin where we got a campfire going and cracked open a bottle of vino tinto. More amazing views from the cabins balcony in the morning - a paradisical spot hidden amongst banana trees and coffee bean plants that spring up spontaneously throughout the Amazon basin.
Had the best strawberry milkshakes Ive ever tasted in Coroico the next day before heading to La Senda Verde (the refuge I wrote about) where Toni got to see the monkeys and other animals before we headed back to La Paz after another walk along the river.
Had a chilled out 'Down by Law' evening, and the next day went for lunch and shopping in the witches market to buy some stuff before I leave La Paz. Had a great meal cooked by Rodrigo and Helena in the evening for Toni's leaving do before heading to Malegre for Afro-Carribean music, which included about 6 guys playing djembes, bongos and other drums!
Took Toni to catch her plane yesterday for a sad farewell, and then caught the rest of the England game at the airport with Deshan and Dani.
Deshan's birthday night out tonight, and Im heading to the jungle sometime next week. Might be out of touch for a little while as I dont think wifi is readily available in the heart of the Amazon!!
Anyway, the end of an era in terms of the trip in that Im permanently leaving La Paz and the Bolivian Express - quality time here and some amazing trips around Bolivia particulary Lake Titicaca, Uryuni and Coroico :)
Time to spread the wings before California - Ciao