Leaving La Paz


This blog entry about the events of Monday, January 12, 2004 was originally posted on January 19, 2004.

DAY 86:  It had been over a week since I arrived in La Paz, and with my Brazilian visa slated to be ready, it was about time to move on.  Tim looked on his visa pick-up slip and saw that his was to be ready on the 13th as well, despite that the guy said it wouldn’t be ready until the 14th.  He tagged along with me on the way back to the Brazilian embassy in Sopacachi.

Picking up the Brazilian visas was a snap; there was no line and the attendant was unusually cheery — we figured he got laid the night before.  We looked at our passports and noticed that I got a five year visa, while Tim got a ninety year visa — we don’t know if it was a typo or not, but we didn’t bother to question it.

MEANWHILE BACK AT THE HOSTEL, Lara had booked night bus tickets for the two of us to Uyuni from the friendly and wise man at the desk that we all dubbed “The Oracle” — he knew anything and everything about La Paz and its surroundings.  Tim consulted The Oracle to sort out his plans to see the Amazon jungle while Lara and I went out for a final stroll in the great city of La Paz.  The weather, for a change, couldn’t have been any better with sunny blue skies.

Lara and I walked across town — passed the usual characteristic shoe shine boys dressed us in ski masks as if to rob a bank, and the “walking phone booths,” people in flourescent green vests holding cell phones you can use — and up the hill to the Parque Mirador Laikakota, which had a great view of the entire city.  The park was a great way for me to soak in some sun after having been sick in rainy weather for a week, and plus, they had swings.  The two of us swung on the swings until we realized we might be a bit big for them, and so we wandered over to the big chess board nearby for some photos.

Across the street was the Museo Kusillo, a science museum for children — and big kids like us.  We started off at some Bolivian textile exhibit where a woman demonstrated how to weave yarn into an ojo de dios with two pieces of yarn and some sticks.  My support sticks broke and I wove my blue and green pieces.  “Yours is shit,” Lara teased me.

The actual museum part of Museo Kusillo had exhibits about the human body, from balancing tests to bicycles that translate power information.  As we went up the four-story building, the exhibits got more adult — the top floor had condoms and a video showing a live birth.  One boy just sat there, totally mesmerized.  However, the funny thing about the video was that it was obviously edited between footage of two different women because as the baby came out, they’d cut to a shot of the woman’s face and she’d be all calm, like she was merely getting a pedicure.  If only the little boy knew.

FOR THE LAST SUPPER between Lara, Tim and I (at least in Bolivia), we went across the street for Chinese.  The Brit, the Aussie and I the American toasted a farewell to our time in La Paz and agreed that we’d “race to Rio:”  Tim from the north, Lara from the south and me straight across east.  Whether or not it was a real race I wasn’t sure, but I did know I would have liked to see them again.

While Tim stayed an extra night in La Paz to do his “tri-factor” — watching Lord of the Rings, going to Burger King and getting ice cream from the fancy dessert place we always walked passed — Lara and I hopped in a taxi and rode to the bus terminal (picture above).  The bus terminal was fairly big — bigger than those I had seen in Ecuador and Peru — and it almost felt like an airport.  Lara and I stocked up on Pringles and Oreos for the long bus journey ahead and waited in the waiting room with the others.  We befriended an Aussie named Kate who was quite confused about everything — she almost misplaced her ticket until Lara found it for her on the floor. 

After a couple of hours on the road, we stopped at a small restaurant with really disgusting bathroom conditions — Kate and Lara told me they had to hold their breath their entire time.  Not only were the bathroom conditions bad, so was the service — it took thirty minutes for Kate to get her sandwich after everyone else and the waiter completely forgot my order altogether.

No matter, Lara and I had Oreos and Pringles and they kept us happy as the bus drove through the night, out of the mountains and into the desert.

Next entry: Stand By Me In Uyuni

Previous entry: Dangerous Curves

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Comments for “Leaving La Paz”

  • Hey welcome back from NIZ .. we missed the blogs over here ...wait am I FIRST! wahahaha…. Anyways looking forward to the wallpaper pics .. Ciao!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/19  at  05:26 PM

  • SIM:  I’m back with a vengeance!  I’m currently uploading a whole bunch of entries with pictures…stay tuned, and CONGRATS on being FIRST (on this one at least)!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/19  at  05:40 PM

  • big chess board…they got one in amsterdam….did you play ala harry potter style?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/19  at  05:59 PM

  • hey! glad to see you are back from NIZ. i missed your postings. that chess board looks really cool. can you actually move the pieces and play? or is it more of an art piece?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/19  at  06:07 PM

  • Finally, You’re back!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/19  at  07:43 PM

  • ALICE:  Yes, you can play chess… that’s what it was there for.  Cool, huh?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/19  at  07:47 PM

  • Did you an Lara have a deep intellectual match? If so, who reigned supreme?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/20  at  12:58 AM

  • Did you and Lara have a deep intellectual match? If so, who reigned supreme?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/20  at  12:58 AM

  • TD0T:  No, we’re both just posers.  But for the record, she won.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/20  at  01:06 AM

  • 7 new entires! hip hop horray!!

    90 year brazilian visa… that guy is set for life!

    gotta finish reading the rest later. much to do right now… countdown to colorado…

    glad you’re back from NIZ!

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/20  at  03:01 AM

  • 7 entries. wow.  when it rains, it pours.  nice work, erik.  great pics!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/20  at  04:38 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
Stand By Me In Uyuni

Previous entry:
Dangerous Curves


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