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Day 386 – 29th December 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 29, 2009

Tuesday – La Paz, Bolivia

I checked out a few tyre shops around the corner this morning, both could get me a front tyre, but one could do it by this afternoon at 3pm. So, I ordered that tyre, it was the wrong size, but it would do the job until Chile. After that, myself Melissa and Chris went for a wander up to Jorge the T-shirt man, on the way we were passed by a mob of police on KLR650s, a popular bike here, what a shame the wheels are a different size!

Through the market place where some of the men sell their services as human pack animals, amazing the amount of weight they can carry, and none of the streets here are flat, always hills! Once again the market is grouped together, first all the sausage sellers then the chook sellers!

The t-shirts were still being finished, so we arranged to pick them up at 3pm, which is the same time as the tyre, but if I took a taxi, I could do both. As this shop was 8 blocks away uphill, I am becoming fatigued easily. Now, we had heard about this prison in this town which had been closed to tourists, it was supposed to be a quite frightening place, well we had heard it was open again, and it was just outside my bedroom window 🙂

Well, we went for a look, but were turned away, apparently only Sundays for other people, the rest of the days are for family only. Oh well, never mind! We went for some lunch, now this was an event to qualify for the Monty Python awards! We had been to a cafe yesterday, but the food was crap, this one was opposite and looked a lot better. The menu was great and this is where it all went pear shaped. Because there was a Chinese menu as well as a normal one, that looked like a good idea. The item I, and others wanted was Chau Fan with prawns, well we were told, no prawns, hmm, OK, can we have the same with chook instead of prawns. Well, that worked. Sue and Chris ordered Chop Sui with chook. So, we had two dishes, 4 of one and 2 of the other. Now we get sucked into the Bolivian, well South American really, method of service, we would like our drinks now, but it still took ages to get them. n when our food started to arrive, lo and behold, there are prawns sticking out of the rice!!!!! No complaints, but WTF was all the discussion about with the original order 😕 OK, we could live with that, but then soon after Sue gets her Chop Sui, but for some reason there are no noodles and there is a huge slab of fish on a bed of rice!!!

Now, in no way shape or form was the word fish used in any of our orders, so I have no idea what went on here. Sue was starving and started eating anyway, then another dish turned up, this was a noodle dish with chicken, well, finally a Chop Sui, now as we only ordered 2 types of food, why do we have 3 types?? We queried the waiter, but he was adamant this is what was ordered, even though his order book had two dishes! Needless to say, we once again have been defeated by the society and the fact that they are all brain dead and cannot follow what they themselves have written down. Don’t get me wrong, the food was delicious, we all agreed on that, so a shame the service was so bad.

This theme continues after lunch because it is now tyre time, here I am beaten again by deadshit knucklehead idiots in the shop where I ordered the tyre. We had been through the Pirelli pamphlet and I decided on an MT18, which he said was available, this was a more aggressive tyre than I am used to but it would do the trick. But, when I checked the tyre that had arrived, I found it was a Chinese piece of crap and not Pirelli, nor was it a tyre for a tubeless rim, it was a tubed tyre!! So, I had just wasted a whole day, grrrrr!!! 😦

Sorry for the rant, but sometimes my lack of patience gets the better of me. The only way for a good change of attitude was to go see Jorge and pick up the shirts which is what we did and he has done an excellent job, goodonya m8 🙂

Now, after this little success, Chris mentioned the fact when he was at the Honda shop the other day, they had a tyre that would do the job, it is a Pirelli MT60, so we went to the service shop close to the hotel and spoke to the chap there. I paid $300BoB for the tyre to be delivered in an hour or so, in the meantime we walked up to the tyre repair shop and arranged for him to stay until 6.30pm and hopefully it would all work out. I then got stuck into the job that needed doing, take the tyre off and get the wheel to the shop. I have plenty of tread left, but you can see the hole which is causing me some concern in the top of the sidewall!

This once again all turned to Bolivian shit, because Chris had got a phone call and told me the tyre may not arrive because of the rain storm, the lower city is flooded, the local shop said best thing to do is go and get a refund, so I did that and just as I arrived, a taxi turned up with the tyre. Of course, the tyre that was sent was not the one I had paid for, it was an MT60, tubed tyre, the tubeless tyre was still over town. I gave up, this place sucks! We were heading to Potosi in the morning, then Sucre the day after for New Years eve. Chris had done a lot of phone calls during the day back to the US and the outcome was that another freight firm will have the box of tyres in Sucre in a few days, maybe, so I could maybe yet get Grahams used tyre, I am happy to run with mine for a while, but not all the way to Santiago! In the meantime, I did an oil change and this time used for the first time ever, full synth oil, maybe a change is a good thing 🙂

This took until gone 7pm and it was raining as well, so as myself and Graham headed off to find a taxi to take us to the local chippy, we found a small stall across the road in the park selling hamburgers, snags and chips 🙂 That was an easy decision to make, so with that in the belly and a couple of beers in the fridge which soon went in the belly, the evening passed as normal, trying like mad to catch up on the job, I mean blog 🙂 It is certainly getting harder to do when upload speeds are crap, but I will persevere 🙂

Day – 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 47,595 miles and 76,597 km



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2 Responses to “Day 386 – 29th December 09”

  1. ybg said


    No apologies for the rant. It is the lack of O2 at that altitude. It affects every one’s judgement and attitude. That’s what chewing coca leaves is for. It doesn’t improve judgement, it just puts things into perspective, and gives everyone that “there’s always tomorrow” feeling. Kinda like living in the islands. But there are benefits, what is served up at dinner may come out as a surprise.

    Never a dull moment. And now for something completely different.


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