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Saturday, June 30, 2012

La Paz & Sal de Uyuni, Bolivia

Made it into La Paz on my Birthday after the 7 hour bus ride with a short ferry ride to get the bus across Lake Titicaca which was a fun site to watch. Made it to the hostel where I met up with the Welsh boys Andrew and Chris for what was going to be an evening to remember! Now for my birthday I wanted to get some good American food in La Paz so I did what any person in my situation would in this day and age, I googled it. Well as soon as the results came up it listed there was a Hard Rock Cafe in La Paz and I was keen for it. So I convinced the Welsh boys to come with me and we flagged down about 4 cabs before we got into one that knew where this mysterious Hard Rock Cafe was. Well once we got to the corner of where it was we got out of the cab and realized that this was not an ordinary Hard Rock Cafe it was a fake! Unfortunately I was unable to experience this fake Hard Rock as it was cold so we headed down to Plaza San Francisco and headed out looking for a place to eat. We stumbled onto a restaurant called La Casona and it was once of the best meals I have had on this trip. From there hit up the two party hostels of La Paz which are the Wild Rover and Loki. Met up with some folks at the Wild Rover and wrangled a few of them to join us as we switched and headed over to Loki. Once at Loki the bartender found out it was my birthday (as well as 2 other people there and one of which the same year) so he decided to drop a tequila shot into my rum and coke and told me I had to chug it. I told him that if I did that I would puke well we all know what happened then... I did what any responsible 28 year old seasoned pro would do..... I gave into peer pressure and took as much of that drink to the face as I could. Until I threw up at the bar. My bad... Now at this point I am very embarrassed and against my better judgement I opted to stay out since I was convinced that it is my birthday and that no one back home would ever find out about this event as well as no one there would ever see me again so who cares right. I stayed out and had a great time after Loki we all headed out to a Bolivian dance club for a few hours and in the wee hours of the morning my translation skills were needed at the Infamous Route 36 cocaine bar. Now let me clarify that I do not like Cocaine or do I use the stuff but I was up for the experience of visiting a Coke den, you know just to chalk it up as a learning experience. So off we went to this club that was more like a vault than anything else and played loud techno music. The people at the club were making fun of the group I was with and I have to admit it was pretty funny what they were saying in Spanish. After being there for too long and watching the festivities I knew it was time to get out of there. So I threw in the towel and called it a night and headed home to sleep off a hell of a 28th birthday. The next day decided I needed to experience some of the tourist attractions of La Paz which in my case was walking with the doctors who were protesting for better wages as well as hit up the witches market which had spices and potions and herbs for all sorts of things you can’t even imagine. The big surprise that I was not expecting was the llama fetuses which were apparently used in ceremonies when building a new house for good luck they were buried underneath the foundation a very interesting tradition to say the least. After La Paz headed down to Uyuni to take a tour through Sal de Uyuni which are the largest salt flats in the world. I went on a 3 day tour with Alex, Julia, Mena, Geri and Mandy and it was great with our driver Herman it was pretty cool. I’m still pissed the driver didn’t have toys. The bus down to Uyuni was freezing and Uyuni was freezing as well. The trip started and we went straight to the train graveyard and onwards to the Salt Flats. Now it would have been incredible if the salt flats were wet but it was still amazing. So much fun taking the pictures we did, a lot of fun trick photography. From the salt flats we headed out to a salt hotel for the night and then onwards to different color lagoons which ended up being Flamingo central. We saw mountains of different colors and rocks that looked like trees. It felt like we were on another planet at times. I had no idea that Bolivia had this to offer let alone that there were places on this Earth that looked like this. Our group split in half and Alex, Julia and I went onwards to Chile and Mena, Geri and Mandy went back to Uyuni. It was onto the next Country and the next part of the adventure.

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