15 October, 2012

Day 103, 35km: La Paz pit stop

Sometimes I really feel like I'm racing. And in a way I am. 5 months is a very short amount of time to visit two continents. So its more a visit of a narrow line that goes across these two continents. All travelers I have met so far have been on longer, sometimes much longer journeys.
But I think it suits me, constant discoveries and questioning along the way. Being always on the move also makes it easier to deal with loneliness. Staying in a place for a couple days or more, I soon want to share the little details and funny things that I pick-up. So whether these items I'd like to share are suitable material for a daily blog update or instead immediate conversation material makes a big difference to me. Hence the short stays.
I realize this might seem pretty sad. It's not, really. That's part of the journey and I'm incredibly glad to be here.

So where am I? La Paz, Bolivia
Took the above panorama from the viewpoint (mirador) of Killi Kill, somewhere near the historical city center. It was pretty hot up there, the sun hits really hard at 4000m.
Looking at the view and trying to identify avenues and districts on the GPS, I realized that in La Paz, the richer you are, the lower you live.
Why is pretty unusual for any city that I can think of. The hills of Los Angeles, be it in Sacramento or Beverly  aren't exactly slums for example.

Well it's the opposite here and we can assume that everyone's dream is to reach the bottom.

The bottom of La Paz
So that's what the southern (lower) part of La Paz looks like. Clean avenues lined with trees and towers. Hotels, banks and what I came for, motorcycle shops.

Connected to el systema de diagnostico informatico
 Gas in Bolivia is a topic of discussion between travelers. Shortages, surcharges for foreigners, low quality of the fuel. There are many stories of bikes that broke down after gulping bad fuel. That goes from damaged cylinder heads to totaled engines. So I needed more information and tips from the people in the business, who should know about that stuff - hopefully.
I shared the results of my investigation over on ADV.

Basically the idea is that you trick to stick to "reputable" gas stations (ex. Automovil Club in La Paz), use octane booster (600mL for a F800GS tank - 4Gallons) and hope for the best.
After my gasoline investigations, I was bas to the city historical center to look for tools (you know, the ones that were supposedly in the toolkit I got in Vancouver) so that I could fix any new flat tires entirely by myself.
I'm glad to say I'm now equipped with all I need. Plus it's always great visiting a tool store, with all their cool equipment and finely machine steel pieces.

The one thing I couldn't find though was a spare tube for the rear tire. I found something that's close enough to BMW's specifications so I'll grab it tomorrow before leaving the town.

I was back at the hotel around 6pm after having driven to perhaps every single motorcycle shop in La Paz. Had a brief look at the witches market where you can buy dryed lama foetuses (above) and generally all kinds of powders, charms, talismans and anything magic, really.

Still have to plan the next few days ahead as I doubt internet access will be of quality, then off to bed!

Have a great day everyone,

1 comment:

  1. They say dryed lama foetus powder helps boosting the internet connection.... Heard that from a Thai colleague of yours, so I'm not sure it's completely accurate, give it a try for me will you ?