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Published: September 26th 2010
Wow, were we surprised to see this in the middle of the Bolivian rural area!!
After spending almost two weeks in Sucre (because of a blockade and awaiting delivery of 2,7 kg snus), we finally arrived at the highest capital in the world - La Paz.
Along the way we had met up with a enthusiastic, funny Irish bloke named Max. Since the blockade in Potosi acted as a problem for most backpackers who wanted to enter Sucre, Max, Thomas and I more or less had the hostel for ourselves.
We then decided to hook up, and took the plane up to the heights.
There is really not much to do in the city center, besides the witches market - a real treat for those who like to shop, even though every boutique sells the same stuff. well, not exactly everybody... We found places where they had llama fetuses on display, this is meant to be buried under the door step when building a new house - just for good luck.
Well, La Paz is a good city for party enthusiasts if that's what you're after...
Besides a bit of shopping, karaoke and dancing, we went to do the death road - on friday the 13th. Oh yeah!
Not really superstitious, but when you know
two way lane? Muy interessante!
you're gonna cycle down "the worlds most dangerous road", it's pretty cool to say you survived it on this day eh?
The roads weren't all that scary, but when thinking about how it was before they opened up the new road - it makes one think.
It's hard to imagine that two vehicles actually could manage to pass each other, hence the name of the road!
Thomas, who's without fear was one of the first in our group all the time. Jumping and doing cool stuff with his bike..
I didn't want to be a sissy, so I tried the best I could to keep up with the boys in front.. But, when I asked one of the guides what was wrong with my breaks (they squeaked all the time), I blew my cover as a cool chick! He said that I was using them to much.. well..
Anyways, the "death road" as it is called used to be open for traffic both ways.
After they opened the new road, only those with special interest drive this route both ways. In our case, the company we went with were one of those..
Glad that this only appeal to some, as
the roads are so narrow that two meeting vehicles only have a small margin of maneuvering.
I was sitting on needles, Thomas was taking pictures while some (to name name -Max) were sleeping most of the way back to La Paz.
Some days after this, tired of the noise and cold weather up in the Andes, we decided to go to the amazon basin of Bolivia - Rurrenabaque.
We booked a 3 day trip which was to take us to the lowlands by bus, and from there we were to spend 3 days on one of the many amazon rivers to our final destination.
We went with "honeytours" (office opposite of WildRover hostel) and paid 1250 bolivianos.
I must admit that the experience could have been better, with another guide!
Well, he wasn't exactly a guide, he was hired to work as a translator.. Even though he didn't exactly speak that much english.
And by the way (not that it's anything wrong with that), quote Thomas " this guy is gayer than a fruit bowl".
He wasn't exactly amazon guide material! The first day on the river he asked us if we could swim, and if we wanted to
go into the water - of course we would.
Who do you think we saw splashing frenetically in the water, almost being washed away with the current?!
Thomas went into the water again and said calmly, I think I have to save this guy.
Well "guia" managed to save himself before Thomas reached him.
After this episode, he told us that he was afraid of the water. A real security for us who were gonna spend the next couple of days on the RIVER with this guy!
The crew on the boat was another story, they were more or less borne and raised on the river.
El Capitan in front - grandpa, knew this water like his own pocket.
His son in the back was a real Jackie Chan look a like, which just by the looks makes you feel secure.
Our first night we camped on an isolated beach, and of course "guia" asked us if we could help him make a bonfire.
Help is a relative word.. as he was actually not participating in this, rather checking his mobile for reception.
anyways, we had invited "Ron" on the trip (he's never far away), so we all sat by
the fire and drank good "Abuelo run" and cervezas, listening to music and chatting with boat crew and such.
The next day we spent most of the day on the boat, which was quite relaxing besides the annoyance from all the sandflie-bites. Thomas actually counted app. 160 from his knees and down.
On the tour were also some Americans. They had of course bought 100% DEET, only in America!
Our repellent was a lousy 28%.
After dark, we camped on the riverside near the "jungle". And of course we were to do some night trekking.
Our "guia" was freaked out of his mind, telling Max that he actually wasn't fit for this. Oh, like that's something he wants to hear!
The last day we made it to "Madidi National Park", where we were promised a guide into some of the area and up to the "balcony", in order to get a good view over the river.
What I've learned after several weeks in Bolivia, is that nothing is like it's said to be.
Entering the park, we found out there wasn't any guide for us. So, Jackie Chan (the good guy that he was) decided to lead us up
the hill to where he taught the balcony was..
Anyways, there was no sighting, just more jungle!
Tired, sweaty and fed up with "guia", we arrived Rurrenabaque early in the afternoon on the third day.
Rurrenabaque is a small city that is totally dependent on tourism (now). Even though there are many gringos staying here, it doesn't feel like a tourist kind of place.
People are tranquile, easygoing, openminded and last but not least FRIENDLY!!
We stayed at a fantastic hostel called "El Curichal", which is highly recommended. They have a gazebo in the backyard with eight hammocks, and they are also some of the reason to why we stayed in the amazon for almost two weeks!
Besides chillin in these, we went on two pampas tours.
Two, because the first one was an experience out of our world (totally different from anything we've ever done). and the second one, because we actually wanted to feel like being pampered in the pampas..
All about this in the sequel - Rurrenabaque Wild (life)!!
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