A Travellerspoint blog

La Paz

Took about 9 hours to get here, with a stop in the mellow peruvian lakeside town of copacobana (the more famous brazilian version is named after the famous shrine here) for a menu del dia.

Journey included getting off the bus an watching it get punted accross the lake in a raft by a small guy with a big wooden pole. quite nerve racking when everything you have is strapped to the roof. we crossed by smaller boat and rejoined on the other side.

the drive was incredible. Not for the first time in this part of the world, i felt really emotional at the sheer scale of the scenery. everything was deathly still, yet a riot of colour sprayed the hillsides, and i found it hard to close my eyes and not watch, tired as i was.

La Paz is 3621m, making it the highest capital city in the world. It certainly feels like it. i threw away my coca leaves, so as not to give the bolivian border guards a reason to hassle me (even though its perfectly legal in this form, non toxic and helps a great deal with altitude sickness). Need to get some more.

Hotel is an old colonial mansion, but the centre of town feels VERY dodgy! Got a taxi back last night ater a nice soiree in "cafe la paz", which was a former hangout for escaped nazis (that´ll help your case Parviz); bratwurst is still on the menu. Now it´s old men in grey suits discussing politics through the blue haze of foreign ciggies.

Taxi basically took us back to where we had started, charged us Bs6 (ok, only about 40p) and shortchanged us without us noticing (i had a nosebleed!!). I was fuming! I can´t stand being ripped off, no matter the amount. He did, however, give me a tissue for my nose. bless him :)

This morning saw a trip to Parque la Florida, the home of the La Paz skatepark. It was actually the best park i have seen on this trip (thats not saying much!!). It was smooth, with a funbox-a-la-leven, driveway a-la-kirriemuir, flat banks, quarters etc and really smooth.

trouble was, the altitude. Have been in the mountains for quite some time, even lived at 2000m for 3 months, but the difference a 1000 metres makes. Breathless. Teased by the smoothness and couldn´t get anything done! had to leave with my tail between my legs, but plan to buy some hoja de coca and some altitude pills and try tomorrow!

Just bought an overnight bus cama (bed bus) ticket to cochabamba for about 2.25 (pounds) it´s anice old colnial city to break the journey. arrive at 7am, leave the bags somewhere, see the town then back on another overnight journey to Sucre. It´s the former capital and doubles handily as our proposed meeting place for the now rucksackless jeremy.

Posted by mark92 09:06 Comments (0)

Lago titikaka y islas los uros

uros.jpg

bloody hell, this was an unforgettable experience. A group of islands just of the shore of lake titicaca (the highest navigable lake in the world as you should remember from high school...but you were too busy laughing when the teacher said "titi") that are constructed of reeds which grow in the shallows; hence the alias "the floating islands". The islanders lives are inextricably linked with these reeds. The houses, boats (like viking longboats with serpent heads), sails, fences etc etc is made from them. The kids scamper around barefoot, and the adults bow to the increasing commercail attraction and pressure you to buy the, admittedly pretty, craftwork. A couple of words of Aymara (the other islands speak quechua) got me some big smiles though. Saw a lonely dog who had his own island and a wee reed wigwam to sleep in. The place is incredible, and we met and chatted to a greatbunch of genuine people. They live almost exactly as they always have for hundreds of years...although they first constructed these islands to escape the dominating inca culture spreading through the area; a concept negated by the influx of tourism. Its a quiet, rainy, bollock freezing time of year here though, so it was tranquil (and rather springy) on the islands.

tomorrow sees an onward leg to Bolivia (La Paz)once the most secure route (but not too pricey of course!) is figured out.

Posted by mark92 12:17 Comments (0)

NEW WEBSITE FOR SWEDISH HIGH SCHOOL STORY

All details of the disgraceful tale moved to http://swedishhighschool.blogspot.com/

they will be accompanied by mp3 fles and phots very shortly

first stories published may 28th (?)

Posted by mark92 12:08 Comments (2)

machu picchu!

Peru_Machu..sunrise.jpg

what is there to say, really? This place is phenomenal, and all it is cracked up to be for sure. When we got there, it was covered in mist, and we only caught occasional glimpses of the ruins. we decided to go on a hike along the last 4 km of the inca trail. was tough going, as we were extremely tired, and reached the checkpoiunt to find that we weren´t circling back to the ruins, but in fact needed to double back and walk the same route again!

turned out fine as the sun began to clear the mist, and the way back proved spectacular. i was gobsmacked by the scenery, and of course, when the last corner was rounded, we were able to see machu picchu from way above; in all its glory.

what an incredible experience. I wished my family and friends were there to share it. so mindblowing. Llamas all over the place, as well as the most incredible butterflies. took a nap whil wild chinchillas scarpered around and just watched the sky changing over the sun temple summit.

if you haven´t been here, you have to make a point of it; well worth the sacrifices i guarantee it.

Posted by mark92 11:35 Comments (0)

swedish high school! (again :) )

still no word on a resolution to my problem. Instead of a solution popping into my inbox, i have instead been sent an email from my former boss. here are two quotes from it (the full one is in the story, which will go up on www.putfile.com/swedishhighschool within a week?)

"Two students told me that you had promised them to send your Nazi
comrades and thugs to smash me."
is this for real? you bet.

They have since asked me (again) to be specific about what i am claiming for, despite the fact that i clearly told them in OCTOBER. I don´t hold much hop out. How do you stay calm and clear headed when people say things like this to you?-

"You really managed to conceal your Nazi sympathies and activities, but there are a couple of students who have started talking."

students are the future, and I am glad they are in safe hands.:(

Posted by mark92 12:19 Comments (0)

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