Published: December 7th 2009November 12th 2009
...after the mines we decided to continue our travels with Tanja and Francisco and went to Sucre
. A beautiful town/city just noth of Potosi and the Bolivien capital. The bus drive here was fantastic, winding our way through the Altiplano along a dried up riverbed on the side of red soiled mountains speckled with trees.
After 6h we arrived in Sucre and found a hostel to stay in. We then set off to find something to eat.
We came a cross a nice looking and from our guide books recommended French resturant. This must have been a Bolivien upper class resturant as the locas sitting there were all business men, dressed in suit and ties. As we looked at the menu we realized how cheap Bolivia can be, the main dishes were around 5 Euros, alot for them but for us its cheaper than a maxi menu at McDonalds. The food was one of the best we had yet on our travel.
The next day Diana, Tanja and myself were planning to leave to La Paz in the evening. We spent the day eating (once again at the french resturant for lunch), sitting in the sun and admiring the wonderful colonial
das Modell wie es irgendwann mal aussehen kann
buildings. These, by law, have to be washed and painted white once a year. The main plaza was fantastic and just the place to relax in the sun and watch the world go by.
After some time Francisco joined us and persuaded us to enter a Museum, Casa de la Libertad
. It turned out to be amazing. Here is where the war of independence started in South america, where the declaration of independence was signed for Bolivia and where the swords of Antonio Jose de Sucre
(Also being the person who the city is named after) and Simón Bolívar
(guess what was named after him?). Also on show is the first ever Aregentinien flag. Which is in fact inverted. The two outer lines being white and the center blue. Also the sun is not on this flag. The first Bolivien flag can also be witnessed along with the original declaration of Independence.
Our guide was very passionate about their history and it was he who explained that Sucre is still the capital of Bolivia, stated in some book at paragraph ? and so on.
Later that night we travelled to La Paz with Tanja, Francisco wanted to
get to a national park in the east of BOL. Apparently one of south americas best national park for flora and fauna, the down side being that there are no raods leading there so that the trip itself is an adventure. In the end I dont think he got there.
La Paz is the highest city (capital) in the world. It could also be in my opinion one of the most digusting citys in the world.
We arrived early in the morning around 0630, the streets were already packed with cabs and minivans all banging their horns. The pavements were crowed and it stank of fumes and other unpleasent things. Passing through the slums towards the main center we saw from the bus, a dead pig in the sewage system (an open drain pipe running beside the road) a man having a shit at the side of the road and other nice welcoming sights.
The city is set in a valley,surrounded by mountains, and it looks like some giant has poured loads of cement down the slopes creating one huge concrete bath tub. The buildings in the city are not nice, simple half finished brick buildings (in the slums they
dont have windows) with rubbish as a garden. Even the nice colonial building seem to have dissapered, if the Spanish were as stupid as to build some here in the first place. The only nice buildings that one can stumble across, if you are lucky, are some churches and a few Plazas.
The hostel we were staying didnt help cheer us up and change our view of La Paz.
It was an Irish hostel, it had loads of rooms with good beds, the toilets were very clean (cleaned each hour) and the food (including shepards pie, bangers and mash and irish breackfast to name but a few) was cheap and good, but as I said it was an Irish hostel. Drinking was the daily programm till 0200am and then out to a disco, back at 6am, sleep to 5pm then start again.
We meet some people that have been staying here for over a month and belived La Paz was great? Well it is cheap and could be a good laugh for drinking but a month? One guy was a bit unlucky though, he had one night/morning gone to bed drunk and fell out of his bunkbed and broke his
leg. Since then he was (nearly) forced to stay in La Paz for over a month, but he hadn´t stopped drinking, either because of him being Irish or just to cope with the city I dont know.
I might sound a bit boring here, but I did drink alot back in Hamburg and have had some drinks over here, its just that my idea of travelling is to see different places and different things not to spend my daily budget on beer and drugs. Oh well maybe its just me.
So what did we do in La Paz then?
One day we took a trip to one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, Tiwanaku
. This was interesting but no as good as we expected. As Bolivia is the most poorest countries in SA, they do not have any money to pay for all the excavation and restoration. Therefor only a 1/10 of the site was actually visible. The entrance fee is donated and it pays for the locals to help dig and work, but this project would also need some people with experience to help. Oh well, its a shame, as this is the birth
place of the Incas and was the capital to one of the most powerful civilizations around, the pre Incas. Next to it was another place, belived to be the harbour once on Lake titicaca, but this has only been revealed to 1/20. It was sponsored by a beer company but that has pulled out now, so all the work has been stopped.
We also went to a curry house, "probaly the worlds highest curry house" to eat the hottest Vindaloo in the world. We meet up with the brother and sister we meet down in El Chalten (arg) and Salta to try this. They however tried it two nights before, and warned us not to eat it. They couldnt manage one portion with four people. So we skipped that and I went for the chicken tikka masala. Lovely.
Half way through our meal, four pissed up british arrived and went for the Vindaloo. Two of them didnt like spicy food, one had never eaten a curry before and the otherone was so determined to get the T-Shirt at the end that he didn´t care how hot it was going to be.
After eating a bit, they did not look
healthy, all of them went to the bathroom at least twice. When I joined them for a smoke, they could hardly breath, their faces were white and covered in sweat and I founbd out that they all had been sick in the toilets. But they didnt want to stop there, the T-Shirt was the prize for them. After 3 lassies, 4 cokes and loads of Naan bread later the determined one actually finished it, followed shortly by the guy who had never eaten curry before. The over two quite.
On Saturday we visited the witches market. Well Diana did, I wanted to get back to watch the Ireland-France match. Pitty Ireland lost this one as the mood sunk dramaticly then.
On this market one can buy all types of Herbs and remedies also Lama fetusis. One buries these strange looking creatures under the house for good luck and if you are wealthy you can also bury a whole living Lama, its the same really just that it brings more luck.
We also looked for a tour along the Yungas Road
. Tanja and I wanted to do this, Diana didnt fancy paying a fourtune for "just riding downhill". The
problem was that no tours leave on Sunday, so we had to do it on Monday meaning leaving on Tuesday. After already spending 3 days here we wanted to leave, but not before I have done this road. So we waited.
Diana visited some ladys wrestling on Sunday with Tanja.
Das war im grossen und ganzen nicht sehr spektakulaer, aber auf jeden Fall sehr witzig.
Es gab diverse Typen in furchbaren Kostuemen die ganz furchbar schlecht gekaempft haben.Es war ja eh nur Show, aber so eine schlechte...
Die Bolivianer die in den hinteren Reihen sitzen mussten (damit die netten Touris vorne die besten Plaetze haben) hatten auf jeden Fall einen heiden Spass und haben die ganze Zeit ihre Lieblinge angefeuert.
Es haben auch vier Frauen gekaempft in ihren traditionellen Kleidern ud Roecken was sehr witzig aussah, besonders wenn sie irgednwo runtergesprungen sind.
SOOOOO ein Quatsch!!!!!!
Sie haben auch mit diversen Gegenstaenden die sie gefunden haben auf sich eingepruegelt.. unter anderem mit einer offenen Limonadenflasche, was, wenn man wie ich in der ersten Reihe sass, zu unangenehm feuchten und riechenden Klamotten gefuehrt hat.
Aber was solls, den Spass war es wert.
Monday and bike day.
in a minivan up to the top of a 4600m high hill, we were then instructed in what we have to do; how we should brake, where to ride when a car is coming and all the different hand signals from our two guides. After that it was 62km downhill, droping over 3500m to reach the end at 1100m above sea level.
This was really fun, the first 20km was on a paved road going through the mornig clouds. We ended up saoked. At first I was slighty nervous as I havent really ridden a bike in years and it took some getting use to going that fast downhill, but still it was fun. After the paved part we came to the original "worlds most dangerous road".
The tempature was rising, not just because we were travelling into the subtropical areas of Bolivia, the confidence in the bikes/brakes was increasing, for some people it was actually to high. After Tanja got a puncture she tried to catch us, wizzing down and trying to over take me...."left, left, no I mean right, right." The next corner she was up over the handle bars.
Luckly nothing serious happend, just a bruised arm
and some sore knees. A few moments later the next person fell. Just under steered the corner, the good thing was, it was hill side not the side which has a few hundred meters drop.
After 3h of racing down this beaitiful hill (I couldnt enjoy the view as much as the eyes stay fixed on the road) we came to the tropical jungle huts to have a nice cold beer. We then went to a hotel to use the showers and the pool and then had a massive buffet lunch. Great day.
That was it from La Paz, the next day we were leaving to Copacabana on Lake titicaca. At last out of La Paz...
There are more photos below