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Big Small Journey Off on the adventure of my lifetime: 5 glorious months of sun and snow in South America, then the UK for further fun and frolicking.

A note on my well-being

BOLIVIA | Monday, 28 April 2008 | Views [651]

Me, I was sleepy from the altitude

Me, I was sleepy from the altitude

3 months of travel now, how am I? Pretty good actually.

Physically, a bit bloated from eating out all the time, sampling the local cuisine. Irregular exercise, and carrying my massive bags (around 25kgs I think), I´m feeling strong but unfit (does that make sense?). Expecially here in La Paz, 4000m high up, the air is thinner, less oxygen, it´s a huge effort to go anywhere. Am constantly puffed out.

Mentally, I don´t think I´ve been healthier. Lots of time to think, figure stuff out. Meeting lots of people and hearing their stories, learning new things all the time. Being in foreign countries, landing in a new place every 2-3 days forces you to be resourceful. Finding information about a new place: where to sleep, eat, place to see, stuff to do, how to get to the next destination, when the buses run, prices (cheaper to fly?) what to bring, what to pack, what to prepare, what to buy, what not to buy, how to avoid being robbed, watching out for dodgy figures, places to avoid etc. Of course, most of this has to be done in Spanish. It´s less scary now, to get to a new place, and not knowing anything or anyone. Yeah, I´m feeling kinda brave.

I´m a little mixed about the locals. Some of them are extremely nice, friendly, eager to help. They want to talk to you, find out your story, what you think of their country, etc. But on the other hand, they´re also more than happy to rip you off, take you to their friends so they can make a few bucks out of you. It´s hard to tell who´s a friend, and who´s potentially dangerous, so I walk around with a somewhat cynical, paranoid attitude. Especially here in Bolivia, really have to watch out for the thieves and other more dangerous characters who have elaborate scams and will rob you at gun point. I´ve heard stories about travellers being kidnapped, forced to take money out of ATMs for a number of days, and then shot. There are also stories about tourist being taken to out of way places, robbed, and then shot. You get the idea.

The language barrier also stops you from getting to know the people, conversations are pretty superficial, and my moving about so quickly doesn´t help either.

All in all, I´m experiencing something totally amazing, the sights, people, smells, stories are awe-inspiring. I´m also tired, weary from being weary. Really looking forward to getting to London, to settle in one place and build something again. Yay London!!

 

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