Bolivia and La Paz

We made our way from Puno down the side of Lake Titicaca into Copacabana and then across Titicaca via boat (while our bus was put on a seperate barge) and then into La Paz.

Coming into La Paz is an experience. Buildings start appearing on the landscape. Then people, then more buildings, then more people and suddenly its just absolute bedlam with traffic and people and houses everywhere. Our drive in got interesting when the freeway was blocked and our driver did a ten point turn and drove the wrong way down the freeway to find an alternate route.

While I was there I did the Death Road. If you're in the area, do it. Great fun, easy and breathtaking at the same time. It's a 61km downhill bike ride from snow to the jungle down a road which is/was considered one of the most dangerous in the world. Luckily most of it is now closed to traffic, with the exception of semi-insane tourists.

La Paz was also the scene of the one and only hiccup in the travel plans. The day we were scheduled to leave we piled off onto the bus, took off towards the airport. The driver had to stop for directions which is never a good sign. Then the freeway was blocked by a protest, so we all grabbed our gear and ran along the road. (The joys of a high altitude run - lots of wheezing) Our tour leader abandoned his bag on the road and chased down a taxi. We all crammed in, with our bags and hot-tailed it to the airport.

We arrived at the airport with 45 minutes to spare. There was a big sign telling us we had to check in 30 minutes before the flight, so it was all good. Our guide goes to check in for us and he just got the wonderful look of dread on his face. The flight got shifted from midday to 8am... and they did not tell anyone. So we missed it by over three hours.

We went and had a coffee (iced chocolate in my case) while he figured it out. So we ended up having an extra day in La Paz. Walking around is great fun. Lots of things to see and do - the Witches Market where any self respecting witch gets their supplies from, although I just liked walking around watching every go about their business

La Paz was an experience. The location is strangely surreal. Why build a city there? It is a city and I much prefer the smaller places, but worth the trip.

The following morning we heading for Bolivia
9:45pm 5th March 2012
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This is looking back into Peru
10:55pm 5th March 2012
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And forward into Bolivia
10:55pm 5th March 2012
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Welcome to Bolivia
10:56pm 5th March 2012
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The gang at the Bolivian border
11:09pm 5th March 2012
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I saw my first suicide shower in Copacabana
12:11am 6th March 2012
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At Tiquina we all get off the bus and go across Titicaca by boat while the bus gets its own boat
2:27am 6th March 2012
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First glimpse of La Paz
4:52am 6th March 2012
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Just a shot showing the chaos that is La Paz traffic
5:08am 6th March 2012
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We visited the Witches Market
5:53am 6th March 2012
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But no one had dried llama fotuses on their list, so we didn't pick one up
6:01am 6th March 2012
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A lovely day for a bike ride
8:21pm 6th March 2012
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Yeap, lovely weather
8:22pm 6th March 2012
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Lovely day for a bike ride
8:23pm 6th March 2012
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Welcome to sunny Bolivia!
8:23pm 6th March 2012
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Me at 4700m at La Cumbre Pass. Lovely weather for a ride
8:23pm 6th March 2012
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Slowly getting below the clouds on the Death Road
10:50pm 6th March 2012
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I look serious in my bike gear
10:50pm 6th March 2012
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Looking back up the Death Road
11:08pm 6th March 2012
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Looking down the Death Road
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Everyone questioning their sanity at on the Death Road
11:08pm 6th March 2012
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Netsumi and Tina on the Death Road
11:09pm 6th March 2012
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Notice how waterfalls fall onto the road
11:28pm 6th March 2012
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Just below the cloud line
11:54pm 6th March 2012
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Jansen is a victim of the Death Road
12:04am 7th March 2012
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It's not very wide and next to no guard rails and up to 600m straight down on the other side
12:25am 7th March 2012
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Getting further into the river valley
12:50am 7th March 2012
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Just a nice section of road - you can see workmen if you look hard enough
1:12am 7th March 2012
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It is prone to the odd landslide
1:12am 7th March 2012
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The successful conqueror of Death Road
1:30am 7th March 2012
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A big, pink orchid
2:17am 7th March 2012
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A not so pink, but just as big, orchid
2:18am 7th March 2012
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No idea what this is
2:43am 7th March 2012
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Big and red
2:43am 7th March 2012
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These look like they're from a Dr Who show
2:44am 7th March 2012
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Orange, red and with a fly
2:44am 7th March 2012
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Another yellow flower
2:45am 7th March 2012
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A white whispy flower in the jungle
2:45am 7th March 2012
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These are from the ginger family
2:47am 7th March 2012
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The white, whispy flower again
3:29am 7th March 2012
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At the bottom of the Death Road, about 5 hours after getting started in the snow
3:42am 7th March 2012
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This is coming back up the new road
4:48am 7th March 2012
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Back in La Paz, the view from the hotel
8:38pm 7th March 2012
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La Paz is packed in like nothing I had ever seen before
11:22pm 7th March 2012
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View of the street
4:20am 8th March 2012
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Same view at night
7:43am 8th March 2012
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Behind the hotel at night
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The city really lights up the sky
7:52am 8th March 2012
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I would hate to deal with this mess of wires
9:39pm 8th March 2012
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Che Guevara in La Paz
10:11pm 8th March 2012
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Kei makes another friend
10:32pm 8th March 2012
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