Welcome to Bolivia!

April 12, 2010

Well, leaving Peru was a hassle for me. There were several steps involving multiple offices, and on top of it a guy at the gate wanted to charge me 5 soles to cross  but I had just spent ALL my last cents getting gas before the border o I could use up my Peruvian money. To top it off, he only had a 50 cent receipt and that’s when I told him I refused to pay him 5 soles if the receipt was for 50 sole-cents. I just drove around him and went to the Bolivian side.

I got to the Bolivian Aduana and figured out why everyone was  telling me my friend was just there…turns out that I missed the turnoff for Copacabana and I was now headed towards La Paz. Ugh. Justin was just finishing up his paperwork. He offered to wait while I did mine and we’d ride together to La Paz.

We got to La Paz and fell in with some other bikers looking for a hotel. They were looking for a specific hotel, and soon I got frustrated with the group dynamic, and the 219 near-wrecks I had in stop and go traffic with a hand that was refusing to pull in the clutch any more, so I stopped, and told Justin he could follow me or follow them but I was outa there. Justin followed me to Hostal Ecuador–off the main drag and in a quieter section of town. We each got a private room with a shared bath for 60 soles per night (about $8).

The hotel owners, Eric and , were super nice and the next morning I met one of their super-nice friends. He invited me to breakfast and I got to try my first salteña(s), a ‘typical’ Bolivian food. Super yummy!

Next stop I ent to the Paraguay Embassy just down the block and got my Paraguay visa (multi-ntry = $65 and is good for the life of the Visa)

I only planned to stay 2 nights in La Paz, but I ended up staying 10 nights because the diarrhea I’d had off and on traveling with Justin was now full-blown. I felt like crap, didn’t eat for several days, and finally ended up in the hospital (well, private clinic that’s better than the hospital). Eric the hotel owner brought me there and stayed with me a goodly portion of the time. The did blood work and took a fecal sample and pumped me full of fluids.  I didn;t understand 100% but what I caught was I had something like an amoeba, like salmonella. My gall bladder was inflamed and it hurt to touch me anywhere in my abdomen. And I was completely weak and debilitated. Some bug! I got antibiotics, pain meds, and a stomach tension relaxer pill of sorts.

Funny thing about the prescriptions there: the pharmacist gives you the paper back! So basically you can go back to the pharmacy and get as many meds as you’d like…in  my case I got more of the pain meds several days later because they did wonders for my aching hand.

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When I came back from the hospital they upgraded me to a room with a double bed and a private bath. I lid in that bed several days just looking out at this view–and a few days later I took this picture. Not a bad view, eh?

OK, not too many pics of me being sick.

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