Today is workers day, a Bolivian Bank Holiday. (Isn't that a contradiction in terms?) We check out of the hotel and catch a local mini bus back to La Paz - 3½ hours for 15 Bs (£1). It's nice and empty, lots of room and we're all admiring the views until we reach the top of the mountain. We drive up into the clouds and are flagged down by a broken down coach. A horde of working women approach us with an insane amount of luggage and sacks and start piling it onto our mini-bus. I exit and help haul the bags onto the roof, doubling the height of the bus, On return to my seat it's shoulder to shoulder, more sacks are pushed on and in and surprisingly agile 60 / 70 year old women scramble over them to cram into all available corners. The driver reaches behind his head, turns on the TV and adjusts the volume by feel alone. A DVD begins to play, only it's half static due to dodgy connections. The women talk loudly and openly get their boobs out to breast feed. It keeps the babies quiet. A couple of bad smelling men squeeze on at the Police check point. Our Bolivian bus is complete!
The bus drops us off at an outer township in La Paz meaning a 8 Bs taxi ride to the centre. Ana &Isabelle from the Uyni tour greet us as we check back into the El Solario hostel - guess where they're staying!? They didn't recognise me with my clean shaven look! We take them to dinner at our favourite Angelo Colonial Cafe. Sean &Monika have their usual early night while Ana, Isabelle and I walk up the road for a drink at the Hard Rock Cafe. We, um, stay for several more than just the one! The place fills up (mainly with Israelis) and turns into a Night Club. Wicked! Time to get our groove on... Bed for 02:30.
Posted by Steve Eynon