La Paz, October 30-31
I got seriously lucky in that the bus to La Paz was a tourist bus and one that was actually quite comfortable and little women in pigtails free. On the way past Lake Titicaca my fever broke. I had been going very hot and then very cold for days, but just when I thought I was burning unbearably it suddenly disappeared. By the time we got to Copacabana I was able to eat lunch and was actually feeling better. I was still very weak, but definitely on the way to getting well. After having no luck in finding room in budget accommodation in La Paz, I decided to treat myself to the classy Hosteria Florida. This meant I got to watch Spanish TV!
Rurrenabaque, November 1-5
Still not feeling 100%, but in a hell of a rush I had to head down to the Amazon the next day. The problem with this was I was 4km above the Amazon and the only way to move between the two areas cheaply was via a single lane road cut into a cliff. Known as the worst road in the world due to it’s fatality record, riding down it was an amazing adrenaline rush. Even the Bolivians took it seriously, and one got the impression they didn’t take much seriously at all. The trip of 120km took 18 hours, most of which I spent in the seat next to the driver, because the bus was oversold and I had just bought my ticket. Still by the time we got to Rurre the Gringos had all become friends united in terror, and I managed to share a room with an English girl. Rurre was a particularly lovely town on a tributary of the Amazon. Quite quiet and very friendly, my blonde hair managed to make me a bit of a star with the locals. But the town itself is simply a jumping off point into the Amazon, and so that’s what I did. I went on a trip three hours up river to a camp-sight in the jungle. I still hadn’t fully recovered from my illness, so I spent a lot of my time sleeping at this camp, but I also got to do quite a bit of jungle walking as well. It was amazing.
La Paz, November 6
My poorness was illustrated by the fact I was the only Gringo to take the bus back up to La Paz, although this time it was in the dark and the only highlight was seeing a blue light disco Amazon style in the town where we stopped for dinner. When I got back to La Paz I was feeling better and actually got to look around what is a pretty amazing city. Some of the architecture was amazing, a personal highlight was watching young boys play soccer at twilight in a city square surrounded by old Spanish cathedrals.
Copacabana, November 7
Copacabana deserves a mention simply because it’s a very nice place. Once again I just passed through on my way to Peru, but I got a chance to wander around a bit. I actually managed to bump into the girl I stayed with in Rurrenabaque, she was making a fruit salad with some bohemian Bolivians (you don’t get many of them to a pound). I also got to model a bit for some Peruvian girls who seemed to think that because I had blonde hair I must know Leonardo diCaprio.