La Paz and Oruro: Painful Interjection

Posted on May 19, 2011

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This blog post will be shorter than it should have been.

In typical Bolivian style, getting the bus from Copa to La Paz proved a nightmare, with the bus I had bought a seat on full and a pointless hassle ensuing as it was decided which bus I should take. We were then all unloaded from said bus to be taken by boat across a short stretch of lake (the bus travelled separately, on a precarious-looking barge, with our baggage), before we could finally complete the short journey to the Bolivian capital.

After checking into Loki, expecting a party, my night was abruptly cut short by a robbery and an assault, details of which need not be pored over here. I must say that I have not encountered any other traveller who has had similar problems in La Paz, it was merely my own bad luck. Needless to say, however, that with minor injuries and in a state of shock, I was unable to take part in any of the activities that I had looked forward to, such as cycling the World´s Most Dangerous Road and visiting San Pedro prison.

One bright spot was a move to the Adventure Brew Hostel, where I licked my wounds in the company of the bar staff and friendly travellers. The hostel brews decent beer of its own, and I almost enjoyed myself playing cards and bantering with the mostly Western staff. On my final day in La Paz I did feel up to strolling around the city (it seems nice), but must admit to being glad to be able to leave and put the nasty incident behind me.

On the way South I briefly stopped in Oruro, a non-descript town which, I am led to believe, becomes a major fiesta during its annual carnival. I was not, however, there at this time, and the place was quiet in the extreme. After La Paz, this was somewhat welcome, and I spent my only night watching films on the television set (I know!) in my room. It was with pleasure that I departed the next day on an overnight bus to Sucre, looking forward to the proper resumption of my travels.

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Posted in: Experience, Travel