Breathless in La Paz
19.07.2012 - 25.07.2012 16 °C
La Paz is dizzying in every respect, not only for its well publicised altitude (3600m), but also for its quirky beauty.
Heard that before? Thats cause its straight out of the Lonely Planet, but a great opening line i wanted to use.
We have used our time in La Paz to recharge the batteries after a crazy few weeks in Peru. Even managed to catch a couple of movies whilst here with our buddies James and Andrea. The movies with subtitles of course. My question for you is though, if you go and see a movie that is half in English and half in Italian with Spanish subtitles then what the hell do you do when the Italian bits are on? Thankyou Woody Allen for this gem.
But it hasnt all been putting the feet up...quite the opposite actually. Our highlight so far being the Gravity Assisted Mountain Bike tour down the world´s most dangerous road - ¨Death Road¨. A crazy 60km bike ride that takes you down from 4700m to 1100m in altitude at adrenalin pumping speeds...just dont look over the edge!
The adventure begins...
The last thing you want before Death Road is a shot of 90% alcohol to get the blood pumping, but tradition is tradition so we obliged.
This monument was built to remember all the Paraguayan prisoners of war who died whilst building the road back in the day. They have had the last laugh as way more Bolivians have since died on the road they built.
An example of one of the many many crosses that litter the road. Sometimes you even see a group of 20 or so crosses from when a bus went over.
And finally...we made it and had survived the world´s most dangerous road!
What they didnt tell us what that half the adventure was surviving the bus ride back up the road...hairy stuff indeed.
The next few days were far more tame as we checked out everything La Paz has to offer.
Moon Valley was a strange place indeed. Just a bunch of rocks really, but quite an interesting place to visit anyway.
Went to the Cholitas wrestling on the Sunday night. Was pretty excited about the prospect of watching women´s wrestling, was slightly disappointed to see they werent the greatest athletes going around. Picture watching WWF which is lame enough in its own right (sorry Killer), then make it 1000 times lamer and you have what we witnessed. Some funny moments in there though.
But the bus ride up and back was worth it just for the view overlooking La Paz.
The next day we stumbled across the infamous San Pedro Prison. For those who havent read Marching Powder (what have you been doing), this jail is a corrupt haven where inmates create, sell and traffic the purest cocaine going around. They also run cafes and restaraunts in there making life in the slammer really tough indeed.
As with every person ive ever met who has been here, we had a crack at getting in. Loitering around watching the goings on at the front gate for ten minutes or so before the following exchange with a machine gun clad security guard.
Guard (in Spanish)- Is there something you are looking for?
Me - Yeah we were just wondering if we could come inside have a look around, maybe chat with some inmates and try a bit of your cocaine.
- Note - my response was both performed in English, and inside of my head
We quickly sped off around the corner...but yes we tried to get in.
Back to the real La Paz...
This Coke machine says ¨The machine of friendship¨cause you need a mate to boost you up to get a drink.
Righto after a week of fun in La Paz we are heading off tomorrow to Cochabamba. Adios amigos