Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Bolivia - Ups and Downs
A certain amount of ups and downs are to be expected in Bolivia. The place is two thirds covered by low lying rainforest , with the remaining third perched precariously atop the Andes. Fittingly then, we have had a week of highs and lows, literally and figuratively.
We started the week by visiting the Amazon. A pretty special start to any week in my book. It’s not the most accessible of places, requiring a 1 hour flight from La Paz, a 4 hour jeep ride and a 4 hour motorised canoe up the Beni river.
Over the course of 3 days we walked in the pampas (Amazonian wetlands), went Piranha fishing, walked in the jungle, swam with pink river dolphins, found an anaconda and held an alligator. Lots of things you just can’t do in Leicester. I would post the pictures if it were not for one small problem. This brings me neatly to the low..
I had my passport, camera and ipod stolen on a bus to Potosi. We have had a rough couple of days all in all:
Tues am - fly back from the Amazon to La Paz
Tues pm – 10 hour night bus from La Paz to Potosi (1 hours sleep – bloody freezing)
Weds 6am – arrive in Potosi. Discover that I have been robbed by dirty Bolivian. Additionally discover that our big backpacks are not on the bus. Minor panic as possibility arises that we have the clothes we are stood up in and nothing else of ours in the same hemisphere.
Weds 8am – Bus company opens and we establish that our backpacks never made it out of La Paz. Massive relief and quite a bit of anger. Check into hostel (2 hours sleep), arrange return ticket to La Paz.
Weds pm – 10 hour night bus back from Potosi to La Paz (3 hours sleep – bloody freezing)
Thurs am – arrive in La Paz at 6am, collect big bags from office, curse bus company staff in English, go to hostel (1 hours sleep), spend day at police station and British embassy. Thurs pm - write disgruntled blog entry and go to bed.
We are stuck in La Paz for another 4 days until my temporary passport is ready. Bit of a pain, but this being Bolivia we are going to fill our time with a 3 day trek up a glacier. Could be worse.