Back to La Paz
Trip Start Sep 23, 2010
366Trip End Jul 13, 2012
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Where I stayed
At 5.30pm we loaded up and headed down to the train station. Our bags were place at one end of the platform and we were given a ticket for them, the same as on the buses. Just after 6pm a small electric shuttle rode down the line to open the gates at the end. At around 6.30pm the train arrived and we boarded only to find that the seats faced the wrong way. They were adjustable but most people had them facing the TV at the rear of the carriage. To the annoyance of the people behind us we turned the seats round to face the right way and enjoyed the lightning show we were getting along the way. An hour or so in, a movie went on (Inception) in Spainish but witth English subtitles so we turned our seat back round too watch it. The train is much more bumpy than we thought it would be. During the film a steward came round with tickets for dinner to use in the dining car, so after the film we went to the dining car and not knowing how it works eventually got some dinner
Got woken at 1am in Uyuni where most of the carriage got off and was soon filled with people getting on. At 6.45am we were woken again when the steward came round with snacks only for the Uyuni passengers.Much to our annoyance and confusion, we didn't get any breakfast even though we were told we would. The train arrived in Oruro at 8am 2hrs earlier than we'd thought. We collected our bags from the nightmare crowd surrounding the baggage area (it took half an hour) loaded up and walked to the bus station. 20mins later we arrived at the bus station and after a big group were buying most of the seats in front of us, we finally got a seat (it was the
only bus that had semi-cama) on a bus to La Paz. At 10.30am we boarded the bus and got on our way to La Paz. We arrived around 2pm and the bus just parked in the middle of the bus station and not in a bay which made getting our bags off difficult. What made it worse was a transport police officer kept blowing his whistle to get the bus moved. So with the steward in the baggage compartment the bus moved forward a bit whilst people were still tring to get their bags off including me
After as long a lie-in as we could get with the builders next door banging around at 8am, we headed down to breakfast. Back in the room we sorted our laundry out then took it down to get it washed. We then headed into the center to get some photos burned to DVD and have a look at the southern end of La Paz. It gets a bit posher down that end and with all the embassies, a lot more police. We walked to a bridge and then walk back, along the way we found the massive USA embassy and right next door was the tiny British embassy, but I wasn't allowed to take photos so can't post them up. We got some shopping at the supermarket on the way back and then had a rest as it's all uphill from that end. After a rest we went down to the post office to post a package home and then came back to cook chicken stirfry, then a movie and bed
Woke up around 8.30am and went down to breakfast, where we sat for an hour or so chatting to a guy and his mum from Australia. We then picked up our laundry and returned to the hostel to check it was ok. It was all there, but some of it was still damp so we hung it out on the balcony to dry. They had also sown in a few strands of coloured cotton as identifing markers so we spent an hour or so unpicking these. We then walked up to the bus station to book tickets for Copacabana tomorrow. On the way back we were reminded how bad the driving is here and witnessed a man get run over by a car, he went flying in the air like a raggdoll, and landed very heavily. There was a traffic police man nearby and he and all around were just looking at the man, but I did see him calling on his radio for help and a few bike cops came over to help. What with the language barrier and more people getting involved we thought it best to let them get on with it. Hope he's ok! We walked back through the market and had lunch back at the hotel. As our hotel's internet wasn't working we went over to their sister hotel round the corner to use theirs and catch up on the last week. We then had dinner back at our hotel (spag bol) and then watched movies in the room and bed
Got up at 9am for breakfast and got ourselves ready to checkout of the room. As Cathy has been suffering with an upset tummy over the last few days we decided to get something from the pharmacy and stay another night to see if she gets any better. The hotel helped with changing the bus ticket to tomorrow (didn't want to risk a bus journey with no WC) and had room for us for another night so that was ok. On the way back to the hotel there was a bit of commotion going on outside, there was a local man with a backpack running down the road, then all of a sudden a man that looked like a tourist gave chase and quickly caught him and a woman also intervened giving the local man a good hiding! We're not sure what happened but they shouted for the police and an officer that was near where they started from casually sauntered down to see what was going on. The police don't hurry here for anything unless they're blowing their whistle at you for crossing at the wrong time or wanting your bus to move on. As they had it under control we decided it best to go back to the hotel. We then spent the afternoon in our room relaxing and watching movies then ordering in a pizza before hitting the hay around 11.30pm
Got up at 9am and went down for some breakfast. Then we went over to the other hotel to do some internet and found out that the festival that we thought was in Copacabana is actually here in La Paz today. So in a way we're glad that we stayed another night so that we could check out the Alasitas festival (miniatures festival) before we leave to Copacabana. The streets were full of locals buying miniatures of money, houses, food and anything else they wished for. When they bought their items, they were blessed with water and smoke in the hope that they would get these things within the coming year. At 12.45 we loaded up and caught a taxi (arranged by the hotel as we've heard some pretty bad things about fake cabs) to the bus station. We sat in the bus company's office until the bus arrived and then boarded the bus, it was a bit of a free for all as we didn't get allocated seats, but we managed to get the front seats and unlike other buses we've been on, you can see out of the front window as there were no curtains.