La Paz - Wild Rover Hostel
La Paz Travel Blog› entry 32 of 77 › view all entries
The journey to La Paz took only three hours and cost a mere two pounds fifty. It was quite cramped in the minibus full off bowler-hat topped (and ample-bottomed) cholitas but nice views on the winding roads and a little break when the bus got ferried across a lake mid-journey. The outskirts of La Paz were fairly dire: Dusty roads, people scratting around in dank storm drains for any rubbish they might get a few pesos for, houses that could have been built by five year olds and streets packed with minibuses and suspect looking police. After crawling through this part we finally made it to the hill crest overlooking La Paz proper; it was chuffing mahoosive. I made my way to the Wild Rover hostel, as recommended by practically every Brit who had passed through La Paz, checked in then went to the bar.
The journey to La Paz took only three hours and cost a mere two pounds fifty. It was quite cramped in the minibus full off bowler-hat topped (and ample-bottomed) cholitas but nice views on the winding roads and a little break when the bus got ferried across a lake mid-journey.
The outskirts of La Paz were fairly dire: Dusty roads, people scratting around in dank storm drains for any rubbish they might get a few pesos for, houses that could have been built by five year olds and streets packed with minibuses and suspect looking police.
After crawling through this part we finally made it to the hill crest overlooking La Paz proper; it was chuffing mahoosive.
I made my way to the Wild Rover hostel, as recommended by practically every Brit who had passed through La Paz, checked in then went to the bar.
After bumping into a few old faces from Cusco, and downing five 600ml bottles of Bock (which I later found out is 7%) I staggered first to the bathroom to pray to the porcelain gods then into bed.
I got the feeling that this wasn’t going to be the most cultural leg of my journey…
Day two started well - a trip to the black market (black in the sense that all the goods are poor quality fakes; unfortunately the prices were not low enough to reflect this) and a waft around the witches market. As well as selling dried llama foetuses (the gift that keeps on giving) and magic charms, the witches also stocked a lot more woolly jumpers and hats than might have been expected.
The night started pretty much the same as previously - drinks in the Wild Rover bar, a bald dude getting his cock out on the bar at some stage (not particularly big or, presumably, clever), but then I bumped into Londontown who I’d met previously in Miami and we decided to escape from penis-boy’s antics and hit La Paz.
I got in at 6.a.m and promptly passed out.
By this stage I was about ready to swear off drink. Unfortunately I got an e-mail from my Irish buddy - he was arriving in La Paz later and dying to go out on the hoy.
Again - bar - again - penis-boy stripping - then out. The hostel had arranged a group outing to Blue House, but we decided to go to a bar for a few drinks first. We ended up in a locals club that played reggae and western music and was absolutely rammed.
After a while it seemed that all three of us had a local bending our ears. The girl that was speaking to me had very good English, which was good, but I had to ask my compadres “is this a bloke?” which isn’t so good, even if the consensus is “no - she’s just a bit of a big gripper”.
Either way the banter was soon cut short as her male friends decided that I was a bad person and dragged her away.
We wandered to Blue House and got chatting in Spanglish with our shit-faced Bolivian counterparts. When we got to the club they would only let us gringos in, and the most European looking Bolivian. Nice place, shame about the racismo.
Inside there were just a few people from the hostel and some crap techno, so we headed back to the locals joint. The night passed dancing with various Bolivian girls, realizing that neither of us could understand anything the other was saying then parting ways. Then more drink, a late night bar and rolling into bed at mid-day on Sunday. It was getting worse.
So the next night I was sat in the Wild Rover bar, penis-boy was just wearing some small pants when I overheard him saying - “I’ve just dropped two Viagra..” rather than stay around to see the consequences I headed out with Londontown to the Hard Rock Café - another incredibly cultural night.
The HRC was packed and sweaty, the only highlight of the place (apart from being able to rock, hard, in a cafe environment - mindblowing) being when a girl came up to me and said, entirely seriously, “you have a beautiful nose”. I think that tops the list of strangest compliments I’ve had in my life. Though I confess I did spend a lot of the rest of the night moving my head from side to side so everyone could get a good profile view of my stunning appendage. Oh yeah, drink it in girls... check out my sexy hooter.
I’d met a lovely Irish girl at about 4.a.m in the morning, semi-helping her to escort a guy who was even drunker than me and attempting to find drugs away from her dormitory, and we had decided to meet up for a day of shopping.
Me, my Irish buddy and three Irish girls decided to head to the witches market to buy woolly tat, luckily I knew exactly where it was. Ish.
After wandering down a street filled with hairdressers and another filled with white goods I realized I’d have to use my incredible Spanish skills to get directions.
Me: “Buenos dias senoritas. Savez donde esta Mercado magico?”
Bemused fat cholitas: “Que?”
Me (making magicy movements with my hands) : “Mercado magico….woo-wooo.”
Even more bemused, but just as fat, cholitas: “No se…”
Me: “Erm, mercado con llamas muerte. Mercado magico? Llama muerte?..”
Surprisingly dead llamas didn’t ring any bells with them (although it turned out to be only two streets away) so I left them chuckling to themselves and used plan B, the map.
After endless hours of trying on ridiculously small jumpers I came away with one purchase, contributing to the group total of eight jumpers, six hats, two pairs of leg-warmers and a fridge magnet. Not a bad day for the Bolivian economy.
The night ended at the Wild Rover bar (again) with a pool competition that degenerated into massively enjoyable drunkenness and a strangely shy penis-boy, choosing only to get his arse out.
The next day I was in bed by ten. As Danny Glover said in Lethal Weapon - I’m too old for this shit.