Bolivia, Christmas 2008.
I was travelling alone in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Chile for about forty days. To my fortune a half Malaysian friend married this good man from La Paz (pic with the sarong I gifted), capital of Bolivia and they were in town for Christmas from the States.
For this and to catch The Most Dangerous Bike Trail In The World before they closed for the holidays, I rushed my route up north with a fifteen hour bus ride to high altitude before I had the chance to read, absorb and realize where I really was.
The place I stayed in La Paz was USD3.15 a night for two. It’s the same place where the famed British drug trafficker stayed before he got caught. Read his story about the remarkable Bolivian prison life (a few streets away), documented in the book Marching Powder by Rusty Young. The Prison Tours he started is in Lonely Planet, among others.
El Carretero Hostel.
I admit I almost cried due to the shock and lack of comfort after a week plus of good comfort in Argentina with friends there. That time in Buenos Aires and the Pampas was my introduction to the continent and thus first impression.
Being there for their family Christmas dinner and part of their silaturrahim did a lot for me. Much so after eight years since I contacted them last, they immediately offered my family and I a place to stay in Mexico City where they reside now.
But of course we didn’t make it out of the airport in Mexico now did we?
So we’re blessed now to be in the UK for this period with some new friends and their families. Last night in Leeds we drove out to Wakefield to visit some kind souls where I ended up being the only non-convert. But we were as one ‘singing’ nasheeds from the Diwan and a few hits from Foo Fighters.
It’s becoming difficult to moan about the weather.. 🙂