Home > Uncategorized > La Paz Part I (July 19-20)

La Paz Part I (July 19-20)

We arrived in La Paz in the early afternoon on July 19th.  We were a bit disoriented upon arrival as the bus didn’t arrive at a bus terminal, but rather pulled over in front of some hotel on a seemingly main road.  So we grabbed our bags, took shelter in the lobby, before eventually pinpointing our location on the map.

It turned out to be better than getting dropped off at the bus terminal, as we were literally 1 block from the witches market… The sort of central area of La Paz.  We had previously enquired about rooms at some of the bigger known hostels in La Paz (Loki, Wild Rover, Adventure Brew) which were all full.  So we dedcided to go for Hotel Fuentes, a more pricey, but definitely cleaner/central/(luxurious?) option.

Lonely Planet’s recommendation was our choice for dinner: The Star of India.  This place is known for it’s ridiculously hot Vindaloo.  If you finish it, they give you a free t-shirt so you can boast of your triumph.  So in we march, and Paul sizes the place up, before deciding he’s gunna go for it.  Me, well I just sat that one out… No point risking blowing out my bowels from that sort of spice in a foreign country.  Not to mention i’d feel more comfortable doing so on my own toilet.

Me at the Star of India

None the less, the night was about Paul.  The waiter made the event scarier by noting the precautions and such.  His advice: eat it as fast as you can.  So Paul promptly went to it.  Almost immediately sweat formed on his forehead.  I think he was trying to show off to 3 American girls who we were chatting with about the event before it happened.  He made it about half way before he ran out of beer and had to stop.  He took a stick of gum to settle things down.  The funny part was the waiter was completely ignoring him.  It’s as if he wanted Paul to suffer.  After a good 10-15 mins the waiter apologized and brought him a new one.  Paul then downed it all, finished his beer, and sighed.  The waiter then took him over to claim his prize.

Mid-eat

The prize: a t-shirt...not the American Girls

After this we headed back to the hotel, where we watched an episode of Mad Men before hitting the hay.

The next day was a chores type of day.  We had to get our airfare to Brazil booked.  If we couldn’t get a flight then we were gunna have to go straight to the Paraguayan embassy to get a visa, and we would then have to make a long (48 hr) drive accross Bolivia + Paraguay to get to Brazil later in the week.  Lucky for us we were able to find a good price: $390.  The only drawback was a layover: July 29th 19:30 fly to Santa Cruz, Bolivia (1 hr flight), July 30th 04:00 we then fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The other to do thing was book our tour to the Amazon.  In Bolivia the region is called the Pampas.  We booked ourselves in to a 3 day, 2 night tour of that.  We were worried about being over budget, so instead of booking the $75 flight to the town of Rurrenabaque (where all the tours leave from), we took the cheaper ($10) 20-hr bus option.

We basically chilled out for the rest of the day before heading out for dinner.  Our initial plan was to go to a recommended steakhouse, but it turned out they weren’t really in touch with the backpacker budget.  So we went to our backup plan: Thai food.  It was also sort of pricey, and in my opinion not really worth it.  After going to Thailand last year, i’m pretty high on Thai Cuisine, but this place was completely lacking… It didn’t even have Pad Thai! How can you call yourself a “Thai” restaurant and not have that on your menu!  None the less we chowed down before heading back to our hostel to pack our small bags for the amazon trip.

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