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South Americian Adventure

Leave me Breathless (La Paz)

BOLIVIA | Saturday, 11 April 2009 | Views [904] | Comments [4]

On the plus side we finally managed to get a plane from Santiago to La Paz.  On the down side the flight was at 6am which meant 4am check in and 3am start.  So we arrived in the highest city in the world very knackered.  We had booked into Loki hostel so grabbed a cab there and had some breakfast before crashing for a while.  We arrived on Friday, which we took slowly while we got used to the altitude and polution.  It make´s you very short of breath!

Saturday was spent deciding what to do - go to Cuzco the scenic bus route via Lake Titicaca, head to the Amazon Bason or go down to the salt flats.  We settled on the sat flats as we both wanted to do that and the amazon was pencilled in for after the inca trail. 

First though we had to cycle the worlds most dangerou road!  We booked that for Sunday and set off around 7:30 to the start.  It begins with a sealed downhill bit where you can really fly (if you are heavy enough - the light people didn´t even have to peddle and were still at the back!).  You then get back on the bus to start the unsealed bit.  The road basically snakes down a cliff so the drop off is into nothing.  The tour leader kept up with the injury´s and deaths which didn´t help my nervousness but kept the gung-ho boys in check!  We were kitted out well and the bikes were a dream.  Roy is now really wanting to get a bike when back in Aus and even brought a cycle vest!  I´m not too good on the unsealed road bit - it´s a control thing :-)

The ride started about 8/9´ish and there were regular stops for water and lunch.  We arrived at the bottom (all intact) around 2 where we had a shower and food at an animal sanctuary before the slow drive back up to La Paz.

Monday we had booked a tour out to the lunar flats, unfortantly we got a complete idiot on the bookings desk and this was one of the bits he got wrong - the tour doesn´t run on the first monday of the month.  The problem was by the time we got where we needed to be, waited for nothing to turn up and then trapsed back again most of our day was wasted and there wasn´t really time for us to do much else as that evening we were heading to Uyuni to see the salt flats.

We had booked on a night but to head to Uyuni which left at 9.  The journey started well and then hit unsealed road.  There was no chance of sleeping - it felt as it your teeth were going to be rattled out your head.  It was a long bus ride and we arrived in Uyuni at 8am.  The problem was the tour didn´t leave until 10:30 so we had some time to kill.  Roy curled up on the sofa in the tour office and tried to sleep while I went for a wander and then sat in the sun.

The salt flats are the largest in the world and stretch for miles - it´s a bright white everywhere you look and there are people out there all day harvesting it.  We headed across the flats to a cactus covered island (the flats are covered in water during the wet season) where we had lunch and a look around.  This tour was a lot of driving with a few stop of points.  On of the stop off points was where the water was bubbling below the salt flats and had come through in some places. 

We had just chosen to do the day tour and that night dragged ourselves back on the night bus back to La Paz (another nightmare journey with no sleep!).  We arrived back in La Paz around 8am and walked back to the hostel.  After 2 nights without sleep we were knacked and as our room wasn´t ready we found a couple of sofas and tried to catch up on sleep.

The problem was that the next morning we had a 4am start for a 7:45 flight to Cusco.  (We keep trying to avoid these early flights and they always end up being the only option!), so we arrived in Cusco knackered too!

We have now been here a couple of days - I love it, it´s a really laid back place and very picturesque.  We have been on a tour of some inca sites around cusco and today move hotel´s to join our inca trip - the thing that started all this!

Although we are just over half way through our travels it doesn´t feel like we have much time left.  We are going south through Peru after the inca trail, then to the Amazon, followed by the Galapagos and the Buenos Aires before heading home ;-(

Happy Easter



What a trip of a lifetime your both having.
It's exhausting but a lifetime of memories are being earned...through blood, sweat and tears no doubt!
Very jealous of you both, but wishing you a safe and happy journey. Alan says it must be the bugs biting Roy that is getting him out of bed so early. We are passing your blogs on to Mom so she can keep up to date with your journey. Keep safe :)

  Alan Jackie and Catherine Apr 13, 2009 1:05 AM


If you are surviving this trip, you can handle anything!
Its great hearing about this, even if we are green with envy. Its also great reading about this while we are seated on our large behinds (which are getting larger thanks to all the easter chocolate) while no doubt you guys are getting so much exercise and leaner than ever!
Keep safe and keep writing ( you too Roy!)

  Livia & Bruno Apr 14, 2009 11:25 AM


It sounds as though you are having a wonderful time. I'm quite envious not that I would be fit enough to cope with what you are doing.
At least I went to Holland last week to see the bulb fields. That was superb but very gentile!!!!
Take care,
Much love
Aunt Ivy

  Ivy Peacock Apr 23, 2009 5:56 AM


Hey you have to be home soon!! ?? We missed you - give me a shout when you're out of your jetlag fug!!

  Juliet May 21, 2009 3:43 PM

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