A few months ago, I entered and won a trip with G Adventures through Student Cuts. I decided to take a 3 week tour through Peru (Andean Advenutre trip code JLM. I figure it’s similar to the JML, only backwards). I will update the blog as frequently as I can with our daily activities. I´ll add some pictures when I get back home.
Day 1 – May 25th, 2012
I arrived in Bolivia at 5:30am. Luckily, I was able to get a few hours of sleep on the flight over, thought I was still extremely tired. I like to think that when I´m awake, my mind is constantly super sharp, but the lack of sleep combined with the reduced oxygen (the La Paz airport is the highest in the world) probably made me a bit slower than usual. I went through immigration with no problem (a constant fear of mine) and managed to a get a cab to the hotel. The drive from the airport to La Paz is all downhill. I figure it would make for a pretty spectacular view, but since it was dark, I didn´t get to see much of it. I do enjoy seeing a city wake up though. Seeing the residents doing their morning routine. There’s something intimate about that process that I enjoy witnessing.
After checking in at the hotel, I had a small breakfast with some other traveller who were on the same flight. Because my room was only to be ready at 1pm, I left my bag at the hostel and went for a little walk. I found a nice square near a beautiful church (San Fransisco church) and I sat there looking at the city go to work. Because of the altitude, I would´t walk around too much. Not that I felt sick or anything, I just became exhausted after walking for too long. I walked around some more, once I caught my breath. La Paz is a strange city. It doesn´t really have a downtown as I’ve experienced them. It reminded me a bit of Rangoon in that it has a sort of desolate feel to it, like it was built, and then people remembered that they couldn’t afford it.
I checked into my room around 1pm and decided to take a nap. I napped for 3 hours. At 5pm, I got woken up by a knock at my door. I had locked the door, and since I had they key, my roommate couldn´t get in. I probably made the worst first impression ever: in my boxers, face puffy, a bit out of it. Whatever. My roommate (Alex) is a Brit who just completed a 3 week tour of Bolivia with G Adventures (the travel outfit). Out of the 15 group members, turns out 10 of them have been together for the past 3 weeks. At our first group meeting, I got to meet everyone and I was surprised to find out that fair bit of them of out of high school. They all seem really nice and our guide seems like a really legit guy. Most of them are also doing an extended trip (traveling for a few months). Hearing their stories made me yearn for those days. Maybe later.
I studied Spanish for a semester in high school. Needless to say, my Spanish is super rusty. Somehow though, I manage to get by. It’s interesting because people here don´t speak as much English as in South-East Asia. Probably because Spanish is spoken by most of the continent and it´s a relatively easy language to pick up (the basics, at least).
We´re crossing to Peru tomorrow. I think this trip will be a good time.