looking up in La Paz (thro a pint glass…)

… the horse medicine is definitely working, all I’m left with now is an annoying fatigue… but still enjoying myself, the danger is the proverbial wind is rapidly leaving my sails as I settle into a comfortably lazy routine here…

Sunday being a case in point… first in Olivers pub at 9.30 for a reassuringly homely breakfast and couple of coffees I could not refuse the free pint offered at 10.30am.. bit early but still. It was very quiet yesterday morning but how time flies with interesting conversation.. and all of a sudden it was time for a lunchtime pint.. and a spot of lunch. I only dragged myself away for siesta at around 1.45pm.. been a long time since I had a Sunday that lazy. Being particularly unimaginative I went back around 6pm.. simply because I knew I could have a good time with people I’m rapidly getting to know… and a beef & ale pie with mash and peas :-)

Conversation last night was fascinating in it’s breadth and depth… from Bolivian politis and the Panama canal to the low incidence of house fires in La Paz and deviant sexual practices… sometimes all at once. Hmmm. Seemed to be a lot of 12yr olds drinking at the back last night.. either backpackers are getting younger or I’m just getting older… I think I’m Ok with the latter because of course it means I’m wiser, cooler, and, ermm, wealthier… relatively… :-) I did the super budget thing years ago and nice to not need to stay in a fleapit and live off crumbs. £10 in La Paz has got me a really nice gaff :-)

Today still low on energy but I had too much to drink last night for the restful night’s kip I really need… my own fault :-| Could be worse, I could be stuck in a stinking hot and smoggy place like, ummm {scratches head} oh I dunno…. Hyderabad perhaps waiting for the volcano in Iceland to stop doing it’s thing, lol!

The city center today is full of military police and coppers in riot gear, I came out of my guesthouse just as a column of ’em marched past down the road in their green combat gear, full face helmets and transparent shields… “ooh, how exciting I thought” and trotted off after them.. but despite the vast numbers of all it looks like is some ceremonial thing to do with a guy in a white Navy uniform with a bunch of ribbons on his breast…. very disappointing… maybe they just got a new rowing boat or something…. (the Bolivian ‘Navy’ currently has four ‘ships’ forming a lakes & rivers force). Seriously I do sympathise.. since Bolivia lost it’s coastline and hence access to the sea, to Chile in 1879 the economy here isn’t going anywhere fast…

Canadian James left town yesterday morning… hopefully recovered from his epic hangover of Friday night.. wouldn’t want to do that climb with a thick head :-) We went to see the new Furia de Titanes (Clash of the Titans movie on it’s opening night in town… a good flick in a mindless way… brilliant monsters, dewy eyed maidens (and well muscled men in skirts if that is your thing) :-)

Sunday was also market day here, many of the streets behind my place closed for a street market. Some of the stall-holders as friendly as you like but others refused even to acknowledge the presence of a gringo.. preferring to lose a sale even at the end of the day. Consequence of being in a tourist town I suppose, and I can understand some resentment.. amongst the high rises and tourist-driven business there is also crushing poverty, at times heartbreaking to see. A constant reminder of just how bloody lucky I am to have been born where I was, when I was and to have been able to make for myself the life I have no matter what problems I sometimes think I might have…

p.s. seeing as so many people asked me this question or similar.. regarding the Yungas Road, aka “The Worlds Most {allegedly} Dangerous Road”… I looked into cycling down that way as an out and back trip to Coroico but since the Bolivians closed it to traffic a couple of years ago.. and made it into a proper fee-paying tourist attraction… independent cyclists are not allowed down it. So I looked at the pictures and video.. and decided not to bother. I have ridden much similar stuff in the past in various places around the world.. Himalayas especially, and have no desire to strap on a dayglo safety vest and be guided as a group on a rented bike, much happier on my own bike doing my own thing and often on more ‘interesting’ terrain than that :-)

2 thoughts on “looking up in La Paz (thro a pint glass…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: