21.12.2007 - 26.12.2007 25 °C
We reached La Paz on a coach, in the centre at friday afternoon rush hour! Not just any friday but the friday before christmas!!! It took ages just to get into the city centre as the traffic was pure madness! The bus dropped us off quite a way from the Wild Rover Hostal, where we had reservations, and a taxi didn´t think it was worth his while to take us there so we walked with backpacks an´ all!
I was completely shattered when we arrived at the hostal to find Jackie (the lady who we met on the inca trail) looking shattered too. Apparently having no sleep due to the bar being next door to her dorm.... no if you run a hostal with a bar and fairly young clientel and a middle aged lady wants a dorm room it would probably make more sense to place them in a room away from the bar!!!????
We later learned that there was no place away from the bar, that the bar was extremely loud with a crowd of people who obviously thought seeing La Paz consisted of frequenting the irish owned hostal bar every night, all night!!!
Alan, myself and Cullen (who had travelled with us on the bus to La Paz) were a bit hungry so found a british owned curry house....... it did live up to expectations...... just like anywhere in Bradford yum yum!!!
Unfortunately I felt really faint after the meal and needed Alan to lean on while we walked back to the hostal..... all very dramatic ha ha..... I even needed a break half way at the interesting Plaza Pedro D Murillo (home of El Presidente.... and the flags were flying)!!
The beds at the hostal were super comfy and above the bar noise we managed to get a few winks!
Alan, though, had been up all night with the runs.... bless!
Well breakfast was quiet due to everyone still recovering in bed. Jackie informed that someone had rolled her over in the wee hours of the morning to check who she was and Cullen informed us of sick all over the bathroom near his room!!! Jesus..... you would think we were on a school trip!
We decided to walk the whole of La Paz 3 times over to find a nice hostal big enough for four of us.... Alan, Cullen, myself and Keiran (who was joining us christmas eve)! We managed to find a hotel with a self contained flat at the top with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and a living room.... perfecto!
Later on we headed out to the cinema to watch whatever film was in English. Back at Wild Rover the bar didn´t look inviting so we headed off to bed!
This time it was my turn to be sitting on the toilet all night, we had obviously eaten something really bad!!!!!!
The next morning we left Wild Rotter (whoops sorry Rover) and headed to our penthouse, among the market madness!!!
After getting a few christmas provisions Alan and myself were shattered.... whatever bug we had had taken its toll so we just flopped on the sofa and watched numerous christmas specials of friends!!!!!
At 8am Keiran woke us all up on christmas eve so after a brief catch up over a cuppa we hit the market stalls!!! The whole of the surrounding streets were market stalls, it was complete chaos but great fun.
We managed to get some great bargains, vegetables, fruit, christmas cards with llamas on (class) and even a christmas tree complete with lights (Steph had to have one)!!! Although Alan and myself still felt weak we were having great fun (inbetween running to the toilet) bartering and chatting with local vendors. Alan even managed to buy a whole chicken, intact with head, feet and heart yummo!!!
Later on that evening we had a meal at Sol y Luna before some drinks at Olivers travels. The owner was completely pissed and a bit of a prat but we had a few drinks to bring in christmas!!!
Merry Christmas.......... Feliz Navidad
Alan got straight to work with the christmas dinner while the rest of us sat around drinking and talking.
We pulled the table out of the kitchen and placed it in the living room before decorating it with christmas napkins and party hats!!! Along with the christmas tree it all looked very festive!
Well the meal was fantastic, salad and brushetta for starters, chicken and the works for the main and the sweet was put to the side for later as we were stuffed ha ha!!! Well done Alan (and Cullen for the salad and sweet)!!!!
Alan and myself phoned everyone at home to wish them merry christmas........ it was so nice to chat to everyone (some had been on the booze already ha ha....... but it was 9pmish so they had a good excuse ha ha)!
Then Mark (an ozzie we met in Huaraz) turned up with some friends and a cake that said merry xmas Alan and Steph. I thought this was really sweet! So we had lots to drink and some cake!!!
Alan and myself exchanged christmas presents....... I received quality streets and Alan got pringles!!!!!!!!!
I managed to drink three bottles of wine all to myself while Alan had few beers........ we all enjoyed ourselves, complete with party hats!!!!
Boxing day....... Alan watched football all morning while I had a bit of a lie in...... not due to a hangover ofcourse ha ha!!!
We did the typical thing on boxing day, had left overs, watched tv and ate chocolates!
Later on we managed to drag ourselves out to sol y luna for dinner to say goodbye to Cullen who was leaving the next day!
A few more drinks were had.......... well it was christmas!!!