Published: July 30th 2012July 30th 2012
The 45 minute flight from Uyuni to La Paz had only 15 people on the plane, even though it was shockingly bigger and classier than the little Rex plane that flies from Mildura to Melbourne. We headed to a famous Bolivian steakhouse where I tried yet another traditional Bolivian meal- a premium piece of steak which the chef bought out in flames. I only ate half even though it was delicious, my body isn't used to digesting red meat. Dad and I were simply exhausted after the few hard days on the salt flats and decided to stay in and take a nap before our final dinner with the group. Dad began feeling crook and didn't end up coming for tea. I'm glad I still went along though as Freddy took us to a prestigious sky scraper restaurant with polite butlers. Through the glass windows we could see all the city lights of La Paz, which looked like no other city I've see before at night as the lights spread across the steep valleys and surrounding mountains. I had my last pisco sour which I savoured! Followed by a margarita and dessert and simply enjoyed our groups company for the last time. We had a few laughs when Freddy stepped into his famous story telling mode, sharing stories from his many years as a guide and the mischief he has been up to. When I got back to the hotel dad was ten times worse only within a few hours. With him being on the loo for several hours, I prayed I wouldn't catch his bug! Unfortunately I woke up in the middle of the night with the same issue. We both woke up feeling weak but unable to stomach anything, and we're just grateful that we got sick at the end of the trip when not much energy was required. Looking out our window we noticed the main street had been closed off, and there was chaos and masses of people. We got ready to discover what the fuss was about and it turned out to be a parade for the nacional university of La Paz. You had to pay for front row seats so dad and I kept sitting down, then ten minutes later when asked for money we would sneakily move on to the next seating area and repeat this process. It was fun mingling with the locals and we were actually so amused by the parade we ended up watching for hours! The dances, singers, and band players streaming through the streets. Still having no appetite we decided on a fresh coconut which the street vendor cut open in front of us and we drank the coconut water. This replaced our electrolytes, and we followed it up by a drink made from coca and lemon which again made us feel a tad better. We had plans to do a day trek near La Paz this day, so we were pretty upset we both got so sick. By dinner time we had a small appetite so headed to an Asian restaurant for a small meal. All night we both had a horrible fever with shivers, then flushes of heat and woke up feeling even worse despite the toilet business having stopped. We just had our spiraling probiotic for breaky to help our gut then set ourselves a mission. We were going to hike to Killi-Killi which is the best view point of the city as it provides a 360 degree panoramic view. It took us about 40 minutes to hike up there, with many rest stops. This was frustrating but we just laughed because had we been well, we probably could have ran up there. It was worth the pain though and we rested up the top for a long while to regain our breath and energy then returned to the room for a sleep- at 10.30am. We decided we needed nutrients so we headed to a random place for lunch where I enjoyed my last ceviche (raw fish) which was probably not the best idea being ill. Soon after we headed to the airport for our departure back to where we began- Santiago. In duty free we also purchased the liquor required to make our own Pisco Sours when we get home! Arriving at our hotel in Santiago I was stoked to find out they had a gym... The first one in a hotel I'd seen since over here, so I immediately set my alarm for the next morning to squeeze in a workout before the flight to Sydney in hope I'd be feeling up to it. Dad and I also noticed an immediate improvement when arriving in Santiago which we put down to the fact we had returned to sea level- going down around 4,000m! The first thing I said when we landed was how grateful I was to have oxygen!