This trip sponsored by Clos

Day 103 - La Paz

After a morning of syringe shopping and staring at baby llama fetuses in the witches market we relaxed over a pint in the self-appointed ´5th best bar in La Paz´. Notwithstanding the use of Comic Sans for signage and its Lonely Planet declared infamy as the worst cultural experience in the city ´Oliver´s Travels´ was an agreeable watering hole. Staffed by a Brummie named Kass we managed to find our way there on each of the 8 days we spent in the capital. It certainly merited several more visits than a nearby curry house who, close to closing time and after the promise of a sizeable tip, served us some of the most unpleasant Indian cuisine I have ever tasted. Convinced the bill we were given included the aforementioned tip we calculated our debt sans an unworthy tribute and made a hasty exit. Two waiters dashing out into the street after us insisted that was not the case and we reluctantly coughed up the money (I would have happily coughed up the food). Our efforts to watch England in the Six Nations had been on a downward curve of success since the first game. From live in Bogota to stuttering streaming in Popayan, a few hours after the fact in Huanchaco to this. Days had elapsed since we had played France and, having studiously avoided the result, footage of a quality that would be unacceptable to Mongolian pirate TV was now downloading. Through blocky frames and amidst bemused waiters who indulged our need for power and wifi amiably we observed a fine if belated victory. Comforted by the fact the Oliver´s had the final game live a few days hence we chose to forget the fact that the plane tickets to Thailand we had just booked left us only 7 weeks to cover the rest of South America and that tarrying was obviously inadvisable. The time was used by repeatedly failing to get yellow fever shots, watching terrible films and eating cardiac-arresting amounts of fried chicken. Oh and booking tickets for a tour in the Amazon Rainforest. A fierce physical challenge lay ahead. Our flight to a little town on a tributary of the world´s greatest river left at 8AM the next morning. The final day of the world´s greatest rugby competition began at 8AM 24 hours previous to it. The date - 17th March, St. Patrick´s Day. Oliver´s was holding a ´Plastic Paddy´s Day´ celebration in which all non-Irish people present in the bar would be given a shot every hour, on the hour. This would not aid us in catching our flight.

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