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Perdido (Lost in Peru) Notes when I can get them up, on trip to South America

Week 5 Bolivia

PERU | Friday, 14 November 2008 | Views [256]

13-Nov Caranavi Bolivia Week 5 Hola from Caranavi, Bolivia. The weather here is hot and sticky, a far contrast from the the snow covered rock covered mountains in Peru. I think I can safely put my beany and scarf at the bottom of the bag. From Arequipa in Peru we decided to detour to the coast as there were road blocks and some riots at Tacna blocking our path to La Paz in Bolivia. WE´re told you have to experience at least one demonstration or civil unrest to experience Peru. We´ve come across two so far. A good detour to the coast. The map said we couldn´t go that way but maybe it was wrong and if not, a few days at the coast and the dispute at Tacna might be resolved. Had to cross a mini desert to reach the coast at Mollendo, spend a night in a bit of a coastal ghost town at Mejia and took a bus for a few hours on a coastal road not marked on our map to the pretty fishing village Ilo. An Oasis. Sampled some nice seafood here. A local marinated fish dish Ceviche was very nice . From Ilo we headed for Bolivia via a night in Moquegua and then the border town of desaguadero. This route we had to glean out of locals as all the main bus routes went directly back to Puno on Lake Titicaca and we did not want to return to Puno. Desaguadero was another interesting but dirty town. Lots of trade going on and three wheeled carts loaded with produce lining up to cross the bridge into Bolivia. Next morning took us a couple of hours to figure teh routine for crossing the border and we jumped an overloaded bus for La Paz. La Paz we stopped in our first english speaking hostal. Just one night then into our usual cheaper more foreign habitation. La Paz is huge and busy. I had someone here try and sneak a hand into my bag on the street here and Christine had been warned about teh palce so we are both on the allert. I dubbed the place city of thieves. Probably unfair. Organised visa`s for Paraguay here. On our way now about 18 hours north to spend a couple of days on a tour in the Pampas or Madini nacional parks. We have broken this lego f travel up by stoping in coroico where we rode mountain bikes along 60 km of downhill mountain road with many near vertical cliff and drop off on iether side. They market the ride as "The worlds most dangerous road" but I don´t think the marketers have ridden Military road. What was pretty scary was that the bikes had there brakes set up on the wrong sides of the handle bars! More than once I grabbed a hand full of rear brake only to nearly lose the front end. WE stopped the night at the end of the ride instead of returning to La Paz and in the morning waved a bus down and got a front seat ride (on the unpadded box between driver and co-pilot as teh bus was full for 3 hours on an even more dangerous looking road to this very tropical village Caranavi. Spent the night here and this afternoon we should be on a bus through the night (for the first time) to Rurrenabaque. Ciou Toby

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