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WT09 your two favourite gap-yearers make their way around the world armed only with a sense of adventure and a photocopied lonely planet guide to the mekong. wish us luck!

eating for cheap and risking our personal safety (once more) in the world's highest capital city

BOLIVIA | Tuesday, 8 December 2009 | Views [1248]

on the world's most dangerous road

on the world's most dangerous road

vivienne and i were not feeling particularly intrepid when we dragged our sick and half-starved selves onto an aerosur flight from cusco to la paz, having opted for a 50-minute flight over an 18-hour bus ride and keen to escape reminders that we had missed the exciting nightlife of cusco having spent the past 4 days in bed (the inca trail having nearly killed us, for those who haven't read the last blog).

ANYWAY, we rolled up in la paz to discover that one more day in bed resulted in a score of NASTY ILLNESS 0, VIVIENNE AND IONA 1 (although it was a very prolonged battle). we could finally stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get out to see a new town.

a few delicious meals later (there's nothing nicer than the taste of food after a few days on bread and water) we did a fantastic trip to chacaltaya, a mountain next to the paramount pictures mountain (you know the one at the start of movies? who even knew that was in bolivia?) where we skidded across a glacier in converses (they managed the inca trail, they could definitely handle a glacier), saw a really nice view for about 3 seconds before the clouds came over, and went to a field called the valley of the moon which, as the name suggests, basically looks like you're on the surface of the moon. snazzy!

after the excitement of seeing a man in a jacket that said IONA across the back and having a really good meal for 25c each (saltena is where it's at, if you're ever in bolivia), disaster struck when vivienne realised some sneaky thief had stolen her camera, the faithful friend that despite the occasional lens error had happily snapped photos across the world. upset and annoyed we spent the afternoon shopping for a new camera, which was delightful as V discovered she had payed less than half the aussie price for a great new nikon. alas, it wouldn't bring back the photos on the stolen camera but it definitely made the loss hurt a bit less.

determined to celebrate our return to full health, we decided (as one does) to mountain bike down the world's most dangerous road- a windy track that saw so many fatalities each week that the media gave up reporting them, but has calmed down a bit since a new road was built around the other side of the mountain and is now populated by enthusiastic mountain-bikers and locals too stingy to pay the toll on the new road. slightly nervous about returning home with some difficult explanations about new injuries to make, we were reassured by the fantastic safety gear the company decked us out in and made it down the road with just a few sore spots and having managed to not fall off. nice.


the bolivian presidential election fast approaching (bolivia being a country that prevents people from voting twice by banning all motorised transport, rather than checking their names off on a piece of paper like everyone else), and la paz on the point of coming to a complete standstill, we got out of there ASAP (although not because we hadn't enjoyed ourselves, we definitely had!) and jumped on a flight to buenos aires. low altitude was just a few hours away!


about a million years and a very expensive departure tax later, we turned up in BA to sadly discover it wasn't as hot as we were expecting, but that we were at last in a city where we could breathe easily, drink good coffee and get irretrievably lost all at once (because it's a big city, obviously, not because we're retarded).

but vivienne can tell you about that one.

x iona

Tags: paramount pictures mountain, presidential elections, worlds most dangerous road

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