La Paz and a bus ride from hell
La Paz Travel Blog› entry 3 of 21 › view all entries
My travel partner and I took a bus from the Bolivian border town of Villazon to La Paz. After the 27 hour bus ride we took to get to Bolivia, we figured another 19 hours would be easy... in the end it turned out to be one of the most horrific traveling experiences, but hey.. thats what backpacking is all about sometimes. The roads frrom Vallazon were pretty much just windy dirt roads that lasted for about 15 hours of the trip.. At one point the bus had a flat tire in the middle of the BOlivian wilderness and we sat around outside for about 40 minutes. During this time, a wondering indigenous woman approached our bus from the wilderness.. Since the bus was full, she sat on the floor next to my friend and was almost spooning the poor guy. We didnt sleep the entire night because the seats did not go back and the road was far too bumpy. We stayed up the entire night chewing coca leaves to try to battly altitude sickness as we approached the highest capital city in the world-- la Paz.
La Paz is incredible!! Its situated in a valley which is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. We got off the hell bus and went to start looking for our hostel. La Paz has extremely steep roads thoughout it and after climbing the first one of these hills, i imediately felt the effects of the altitude. This is a city to pace yourself.. if you trry to walk around too quickly, it is likely that you would pass out from lack of oxygen. The Bolivians seemed to have no problem tho.. they walk all of the place, hoisting giant bags of produce and babies slinged on their shoulders.
Our hostel is fantastic here.. we are staying in the Lobo which is an isreali place.. all the signs are in hebrew even. The people are really nice though, expecially considering that most of them have been to war in the past year! I met a nice looking girl about my age, and i was shocked when she told me that she taught people how to drive tanks and fire canons in Isreal!!
Today we wondered to the central plaza which was packed with people there was a huge red carpet laid out.. soon we found out that there was some formal presentation of embasadors.. at one point we heard some people shouting and then we saw Morales, the Bolivian president, emerge for a brief moment.. it was a pretty cool moment.
Gotta go for now, because the hostel is about to cut off our internet.. tomorrow we head to Puno, Boliva and Lake Titicaca.