The long road home
Rurrenabaque Travel Blog› entry 61 of 74 › view all entries
October 7th, 2008 – by: Xstacey
Finally, on Tuesday it became apparent we weren't flying for some time as the rain was still coming down periodically. We decided to take matters into our own hands therefore and scrambled around town for a group of people, and together bargained with an agency for a jeep ride back to La Paz. Organizing this was a nightmare as the agency changed the number of people allowed in the jeep and the cost of the ride about every 5 minutes, but in the end we were packed in and on our way, driven by a soft spoken Bolivian we dubbed Cyril Sneer, as his face was permanently pulled into a sideways grimace. He was a nice guy however, albeit an utterly maniac driver. At a few stops the road was a complete mudhole, and it was in one of these we lapped the buses who had departed earlier that day.Cyril deemed this a personal challenge to pass, and aggressively rushed past a bus in one of the mudholes, nearly scraping the side of it and causing the locals to spit on our jeep out of their bus windows. We headed on unfazed, stopping every few hours to stretch our legs and swap seats between the bumpy back and somewhat stabilized middle.
All as going well until around half 9, when our driver informed us that we were out of gas. Not only us, but the entire province! The area was having fierce problems with the gas supply and we had unsuccessfully asked 4 stations already if they had anything for us....Finally our tank gave our and we were stuck. We were also informed that La Paz had a blockade active, meaning no one was getting either in or out of city limits, we were were unsure in gasoline could even arrive tomorrow, as was planned.In addition, a huge queue of cars were parked and left empty at the town station already, so we weren't guaranteed that if it arrived, there would be enough to go around. We didn't know what to do, but luckily diesel fuel was still available and Cyril Sneer arranged a van to take us the rest of the way, driven by 2 funny Bolivians who chewed massive amounts of Coca leaves the entire journey back. We were due in at around 2 am, but once closer to La Paz we hit a fierce snowstorm, a massive change from the warm tropical weather we were all used to in Rurrenabaque! This slowed us down naturally, and it was 4 am before we hit the Loki hostel. Luckily, the blockade had cleared hours earlier and we entered the city without incident. The 8 of us grabbed a blessedly available dorm together and laughed about our incredible 16 hr journey, and shortly after were all sleeping soundly.
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