I had about 2 hours sleep (probably less) as I had a 7am flight to Bolivia on New Years Day. I had organised a wake-up call and taxi through reception. Taxi was for 5am. Wake up call was for 4 am. Alarm 2 was set for 4.10 and alarm 3 for 4.30. (The time I intended to get up.) The bloody taxi arrived at 4.15! What the hell is a taxi doing arriving 45 mins earlier. I got ready in record time and ended up at the airport before 5am.
In the que for tickets I ran into a British couple who are doing the same tour as me, so we shared a taxi from the La Paz airport to our hotel. La Paz is like nothing I have ever seen before. In the guide book they have pictures of women in shawls and bowler hats. Guess what – it´s really like that!
La Paz is the poorest capital in South America, which is quite evident. It´s also the highest capital city in the world at 3660m. Many people suffer from altitude sickness. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, diziness, loose bowles, insomina and loss of appetite. I am happy to report that I´m doing fine. I reckon it´s all in your head. If you think it will affect you it will.
Yesterday I slept and slept and slept. The only thing keeping me awake from time to time is the damn sunburn I got in Santiago. Unfortunately it´s in a spot on my back that I can´t reach with any gel. I´m also eating the most decent meals I´ve had since being in South America. Mainly because I´ve been going out for meals with the British couple. He has a bit of school Spanish, so I am finally able to order food. YAH!!! If I had of kept going like I was I would have faded away. In Santiago I had a grand total of 4 bananas, 2 nectarines and a handful of dry biscuits for the 2 days. Mainly because I hadn´t worked out how to order any food. All I had been able to cope with was the supermarket.
The only funny thing I have noticed about being at altitude is that my tubes and bottles of cosmetics seem to have expanded. Most of them feel like they are going to explode. I´ll leave it up to you science types to explain that one to me.
Anyway, after a day of rest I´m off to explore this amazing city. We meet the others on the tour tonight. There are 8 of us joining here in La Paz, the other 10 have already been doing a tour from Rio.
Next time you hear from me, it will probably be from Peru.
Lots of Love
You have probably picked up that I´m struggling a bit with my lack of Spanish skills. Last time I was in a Spanish speaking country would have been Spain in 2001, and I had to make snorting sounds to indicate I wanted a ham sandwich. Things are heaps worse over here, there´s hardly any English. I really wish people would stop jabberling away to me in Spanish. I get so frustrated that I can´t understand. Here in Bolivia I clearly stand out as a tourist, but in Santiago I seemed to blend in, probably because of my dark hair. I even had people coming up to me and asking for directions in Spanish! My phrase book is working overtime.
I´m getting your text messages. Sorry but so far I haven´t been able to reply, as that capability doesn´t seem to be supported by the networks I´ve been on so far. Don´t let my lack of replies stop you sending them through. Happy New Year to everyone that texted me and thanks for those that sent me good wishes before I left.