Published: July 17th 2012July 17th 2012
We arrived in La Paz, a bustling and hectic city, yet quite a site, set in a valley surrounded by contrasting desert and snow caps. We arrived at our hotel and set out for dinner, most of us having a traditional dish, I chose the Andean soup (every soup I have had in South America has been nothing short of delicious) and this one did not disappoint. It was a relative early night, as Nick, Phil and I were to be up early to tackle Death Road (worlds most dangerous road) on mountain bikes the following morning. We were ready and waiting at 6:30am and so began the journey out of La Paz high up into the Andes. We met a lovely Aussie couple, Kate and Angus, who we instantly got along with, the 5 Aussies all having chosen the better quality bikes too. When we reached our starting point we tested out our bikes before hitting the downhill, the first part being bitchumen, I lent over the handle bars to gain more speed and flew off behind the guide. Sweeping through the hairpin bends and taking over the traffic was definitely a thrilling feeling and when we reached our first
stop point the guide and I had a bit of an adrenalin filled laugh and once everyone had caught up we were off again. After finishing the bitchumen part of the ride it was off to hit the dirt! Again it was the guide and I at the front for most of the way and aside from a few near misses the ride was just as adrenalin pumping, if not more so than the first part. I had a bit of an altercation with a rock at one point, my head actually breaking the rock, leaving me with a headache and covered in a decent amount of bruises, but that only made me more determined. The good thing about me being so far in front of everyone is that no one saw it either, although I think it would have been quite hilarious to see (luckily we had really, really good helmets). After my little stack it was back to it,and after 64kms of nothing but thrilling downhill biking we were finally finished (unfortunately). After the ride we headed down into a village where the was quite the scenic restaurant and a pool for us all to cool down in.
Kate unfortunately had a stack too so we were able to compare bruises. After our little relax it was back on the bus for a 3 hour journey back into La Paz, absolutely exhausted, but it was definitely well worth it! That night was a tame dinner with Jenny, Phil, Nick and Gaspar, as we were parting ways the next day (except Nick) who was flying home the day after. The next day was spent looking around La Paz and we bumped into Angus and Kate, so went and had lunch with the at Dumbos, which is any sweet tooths heaven, everyone in Australia think Cold Rock and Cheesecake shop combined, but with more options,they also have regular food too. Then I spent the afternoon relaxing and catching up on some rest, having arranged to meet Kate and Angus for dinner, as well as meeting up again with our Irish friends, Aiden and Maeve (you can guess where this is going). We all met up atOliver's Travels (an English Pub) and had a delicious meal, and a couple of drinks. The staff then brought out ski shots (free of charge) and things went down hill from there, apparently it was dress up night so racks of costumes came out and we had a great deal of fun with those. After dressing up it was time for dancing (on the bar),but it was great fun and luckily no one fell of. The staff got into the spirit too,dressing up and dancing with everyone. It turned into quite a late night and so the following day was spent resting up and having a wander around La Paz, as well as an early night.The following day was spent having my final look around La Paz before getting my bus ticket to Potosi...where I am now. Looking forward to the next few days of a silver mine tour and checking out the salt flats :)