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Published: November 16th 2015
Straight out of the 80s BMX movie RAD!
After an unforgettable month in Peru we hopped on a bus and headed for Bolivia. The over night ride wasn't too bad since we slept most of it but when we arrived at the border crossing things got a little more interesting. Our bus driver stopped the bus and made everyone get off and we were told to walk across the border where we could get our visas and the bus would be waiting for us on the other side In Bolivia. Before we got our Bolivian visas we needed to get our exit stamp from Peru and the slip of paper we needed to present at that time with our passports was in our backpacks on the bus so we needed to get out of line, exchange money and buy new ones and fill them out again. We were a little on edge at this time bc we werent sure where our bus was and if they would leave without us if we didn't hurry up. Our books were stamped and we were safely out of Peru, whew, that wasn't too bad and now all we needed was our books stamped in Bolivia. Piece of cake.....nope. We ended up waiting
Hey Kristine! Look what I can do!
in line for 3 hours fending off people trying to hop in front of us and and hearing people yelling at eachother to get in the back of the line. The building was a dump and we saw a condom on the floor, graffiti on the walls and watched a dog urinate right next to us inside the room we were all waiting in. It wasn't the typical border crossing. During our wait our bus driver located us and was waiting so we felt more at ease. After what seemed like an eternity we got our stamps and got out of there as fast as we could walk and said we hoped to never see that place again.
La Paz is the 3rd most populous city in Bolivia and driving down from the mountains you can see why. It looks like the entire city was dropped into a valley and the only way to put more apartments or housing was to build up and that's exactly what they did. It's also the worlds highest capital. It was sensory overload walking around the streets and if you were not watching your step you'd get hit by the crazy drivers thoughout
Deadliest road in the world
the city. It seems like there were no driving laws and the only lights were on the main road through the center of the city.
On our second day in La Paz we booked a mountain bike ride down the infamous Yungas road, aka death road. It was given that name by the American media after hearing about the high number of deaths each year from driving up and down the road. There are hundreds if not thousand of bikers that ride down the road each year now and our guide told us since they started doing tours 20 years ago there have only been 33 deaths from biking compared to the hundreds of deaths of drivers. The road, at its widest parts is big enough for two small cars to squeeze by at at its tightest point, a single car length wide and a few hundred feet of vertical drop down on the one side the entire way down. Riding our bikes down wasn't that nerve wrecking unless you rode close to the edge, however, driving the Yungas road would have even the coolest cat wishing for their mommies. We made it down with no injuries except for
Deadliest road part II. Another view
some sore asses from the seats but aside from that it was another fun experience in Bolivia.
While looking for other things to do in La Paz, we stumbled across another blog and its title, Highest Golf Couse in the World. wha wha what!? So we looked into it and although it was a little out of a backpackers budget we knew there wouldn't be another chance to golf at the worlds highest golf course. We hopped into a taxi and got dropped off at the front doors of the clubhouse. After getting shoes, a caddie, and clubs that would i would use as my own back home, we were off to the first tee. My first swing wasn't as bad as I'd expected it to be after more than two months of not golfing. There were some shots I'll remember for a lifetime and many more that I'd like to forget but given the chance to play there again I wouldn't think twice. The views were beautiful and it reminded us of Utah the way the mountains were colored dark red and brown and had an arid landscape throughout.
On our final day, before heading to Sucre
Keep to the right and try not to die is what that means
for a few weeks, we took a trip to the outskirts of La Paz for what might be the most unique experience so far for both of us. It was called Cholita wrestling and it's Bolivian women wrestling eachother in an abandoned high school gymnasium trying to do their best WWF impressions. The entire production was highly entertaining and it had all the locals hooting and hollering and playing into the drama of each match. Some of us were pulled from the stands to dance with the Cholitas themselves and sent off with an awkward kiss as a parting gift. At the end we got to take some fun pics with the wrestlers before taking off and hoping on another overnight bus to Sucre. All in all, it was a great way to end our adventures in La Paz.
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