South America, Day Sixteen: La Paz, Bolivia

We took our sweet time getting up, which is a good thing because we’re about to get on another night bus to Cusco. We’re at the bus station and this woman keeps shouting / singing over and over and over and over again – every three seconds – it’s relentless. La Paz has been… an experience. Definitely looking forward to the next stage of the adventure – PERU, WOO!


We spent our last day in La Paz milling around the witches market and the souvenir shops. We bought tummy tea, coca sweets, alpaca socks (think they’re fake) and three pieces of silver jewellery (also probably fake).



Then I tried Api (a hot drink with purple corn that you drink from a bag) and I have an empanada for the journey. The best empanada EVER. 20141022_141631

(Api in action)

We also went to the Coca Musem, which taught us everything we needed to know about cocaine. We even tried a liquid shot of coca (it’s legal, fret not) and we chewed on some leaves. Coca leaves taste like sweet tobacco. Vicki had to spit hers out. I didn’t last much longer in fairness.


(Mmm, liquid cocaine…)


(This is what happens if you have too much coca)

All in all, a successful day.


I was WRONG.

Ok, so we’re on the Trans Salvador bus. At first glance, we were really happy – we actually got cama beds, like we paid for! But… the bus is freezing and we don’t have blankets. Dinner was a stale ham roll and Vicki can’t eat gluten. We think they just asked us our dietary requirements for a laugh. “I’m a vegetarian”… “Here, have a carcass” / “I’m a celiac”… “Get your chops around this packet of flour”. The toilet is just a hole and there’s no bin for the tissue. I think that means you just have to throw it out of the window. The sink doesn’t work and is home to an empty bottle of Coca Cola in it (no idea why). There’s also an empty bucket of liquid, which we’re presuming / hoping is water, but there’s no instruction regarding what to do with it. The lights on the bus don’t work so once the sun sets, we’re reliant on our torches.

And as for border control – ha! We had no bloody idea what we were doing. We just got shouted at by various immigration workers (all in Spanish) and then a ten year old child walked us through the border – bear in mind it’s night time, we haven’t got a bloody clue where we are, and nobody speaks English. It’s all a bit unnerving.

Oh and, as per the ticket / what we’ve paid for, we should have movies, wifi, heating, snacks – do we fuck! All we’ve got is a seat. The lights don’t work, the toilet doesn’t flush, there’s a window that doesn’t close, and it’s below zero outside (we even drove through snow at one point!). That, my friends, is what they call FALSE ADVERTISING. I keep hearing “this is Bolivia” like that’s an excuse!! IT IS NOT ON. I’m cold, hungry and tired. Losing my bloody patience to be honest.

On the plus side, we’re officially in Peru now. Onwards and upwards ‘n all that jazz. I need to snap out of this mood. Here’s a list of what I’m looking forward to:

  • A Peruvian pisco sour.
  • A Peruvian dinner.
  • Machu Picchu.
  • Quad-biking.
  • Staying in a decent hostel.
  • More pisco sours.
  • Pisac market.
  • Warmer weather.
  • A nice, WARM shower.
  • Chilling out.
  • Not having to hear car horns every bloody second.
  • Flushing toilets.
  • Toilet paper.

Right, only two countries left – better make the most  of them!


… OK, so we’ve just arrived in Cusco. It was supposed to be a 13 hour journey. It was a 16.5 hour journey because the bus kept breaking down, but nobody told us what was happening (in Spanish or otherwise). The bus would pull over, all the electricity would cut out, we’d see flashing hazard lights, and then the crew would wander around in the darkness with torches. It was actually quite unnerving. The bus was FREEZING cold. I actually thought we might die. They gave us a blanket that smelt like dog but that was about it. My feet are still numb. And every now and then they smell of weed would waft upstairs. Yep, the driver was smoking pot. FABULOUS. Just the way to put your mind at rest on a sixteen hour journey via hell. Also there were different rules for the driver and staff. They could get off the bus any time they wanted for a wee out in the fresh air. Us, poor buggers, had to use the “bano”. One guy collected our rubbish and then chucked the entire lot out of the window as the bus was driving along. Disgusting. Horrendous journey. DON’T USE TRANS SALVADOR!!

But we’re in Cusco now and this place has already stolen our hearts.


2 thoughts on “South America, Day Sixteen: La Paz, Bolivia

  1. Wow! What a hell of a journey. Too late for me, already bought tickets for the same trip later this month. Hope I’m luckier than you! Cheers.

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