Richard Watts

Janner gone Westerer!
Living in: Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • Day234

    Uyuni and beyond

    December 14, 2018 in Bolivia

    Not really much to say about Uyuni. It’s the jump off point for all of the 4x4 tours leaving across the salt flats and on to Chile. It’s a dusty wide open desert town that’s quite over priced for tourists. They must get a 1000 back packers and travellers through here a day, some staying one night, a lot getting off night buses at 8:30am, finding a tour and then heading off across the salt towards Chile.Read more

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  • Day232

    Potosi

    December 12, 2018 in Bolivia

    The mine! The biggest silver mine in the world. Over 8 millions slaves and indigenous people died in and around this place. Who knows how many more. It’s crazy!
    I stopped off here for a night so that I could check out the underground craziness, which you can do a tour of. It’s steeped in history, as you’d imagine, with generations of locals dying in and around this place. The average life expectancy is around 40 if you work in the mine, and it’s basic!Read more

  • Day232

    Sucre

    December 12, 2018 in Bolivia ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    The actual capital of Bolivia, know as the white city. It’s a really nice, chilled out colonial town. The hostel I stayed in had lots of Spanish classes going on and had a good vibe about it. I met some cool people here and by the second day, pretty much everyone was talking to each other.
    Sucre itself has a market and all the normal stuff, but feel really laid back for a capital city. I’d say it’s a little similar to Antigua in Guatemala.
    Whilst here I went on a bit of an odd walking tour, which included going into some public buildings, getting on roofs and me with my feet in the desk of the Bolivian high court! A very strange little tour! Unfortunately whilst here, I finally made the decision to get some antibiotics for the worms, so I was unable to drink, but I did get to the cinema to watch Bohemian Rhapsody, a 6/10 at best, but the first cinema I’d been to in 7 months.
    Not much more went on here, but I’m glad I went as it’s very different from the rest of Bolivia. Time to get on the road towards the salt! Next stop, Potosi...
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  • Day225

    Cochabamba

    December 5, 2018 in Bolivia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    I came her with Geoff as I wanted to see somewhere different in Bolivia and this place sure was a contrast to La Paz. Lots of places seem really European and Spanish, but this city really could have been. It’s quite modern and seems like it has quite a bit of money.
    I got quite ill here from a parasite, but we still had a good look around
    The big highlight of this place is the market. It’s the largest in South America, and it was huge!!! It was basically all the markets I’ve been to combined in 3 massive city blocks.
    Other things included the biggest Christ statue in the world and pretty much every colectivo van on the planet.
    There was also a protest, the day we had planned to do a hike, which included the whole country going on strike till 6pm. It was really strange with no cars on the street and roads barricaded. We joined in, naturally.
    The reason was about an upcoming vote on the 21st of Feb to weather the president can run for an illegal 5th term, after his currently illegal 4th term. It’s all really bad and corrupt, so I hope they sort it out! I felt well enough to jump on a night bus to Surce the next day.
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  • Day222

    Death Road

    December 2, 2018 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    I’d made my way to La Paz so that I could meet up with Jerry and B, as Jerry wanted to do the Death Road with someone and so did I, so it worked out perfect in the end.
    No one really uses the death road anymore, apart from many groups on mountain bikes, and the odd local car using it to get home.
    The day started off quite relaxed with a later pick up from the hostel, then up to the highest point outside of la Paz for a snack and to get our kit on. There were about 6 different tour groups at the lake doing the same thing. We had a big group of 14, and a big spread of people. It was going to take us all a lot shot of Adrenalin to wake up, but it was a good group.
    Bikes all sorted and kit on, pads and full face helmets all round, we bunched up to give the standard ceremony to Pacha Mana, with a 96% spirt alcohol, and then we were off!
    The first section was to be a 20km stretch of tarmac road down to the start of the gravel road. This was good and it gave everyone a chance to get used to the bikes. The breaks in the UK are switched sides compared to the rest of the world, so making sure you know which one is the back break is a little important! It took us a little while to bomb down the road with stops n stuff, but it was good fun avoiding pot holes when going as fast as the tyres and wind allowed us.
    Tarmac over and time to start the main event! The ting on my mind was the drops at the side of the road, but being more confident on wheels than my feet in these situations, made it a doddle. The main road is basically just a fire road that you find in any hilly place, so I capfuls have been in Wales, but it was great seeing the scenery and getting the history. The day was more of a sight seeing tour for me rather than an extreme day of riding, but the weather was spot on and the views were awesome. At the lake, we were well over 4000masl and the end of the road was a good 2000m lower. It was a bit cold at the top, with all of us I long pants and jackets, but by our lunch stop I was just down to shorts and a base layer, it was warm!
    On the way down, there were many stops for photos at the famous corners, and the many tales of deaths too. Quite a few people have died on bikes here, so we were constantly reminded of the Japanese girl trying to take a selfie ☠️
    The day finished at a house with beer where the bikes were washed off, then on to this weird holiday park for a swim and a buffet dinner. Me and Jerry got more beers in for the 3 hour journey back to La Paz, a proper good day I think! 👍🏽
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  • Day219

    La Paz

    November 29, 2018 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    On the drive in, and after a not so great experience in Copacabana, I was unsure weather I’d like la Paz. I wanted to in theory, but first impressions were not good. Generally speaking, when I feel like this on arrival in a place, I’ll end up really liking it; and I did! It’s a proper marmite city and it really splits opinion.
    Meeting up with Jerry and B was great, legends, i will keep in touch with hear two for sure! Whilst hey were there, northern Anna turn up too, so it was nice having a crew again.
    Things we did... B is an interior designer and had heard about the Cholets, which are buildings done in a crazy Art Deco/Neo Japanese style with influence taken from Inca patterns. So one day we went out and found lots of these building up in El Alto, which is the City above La Paz. We managed to get in to one building that was turned into a furniture shop. It looked like the inside of an old ship, but painted all psychedelic, very cool! The others we saw we from one of the many cable cars that link the whole of La Paz and El Alto. It’s the largest system of its type in the world and it’s getting bigger.
    A night out for us, was going to watch the Cholitas Wrestling. Basically WWE wrestling, but with women dressed in tradition outfits. Loads of gringos there, but loads of locals really getting into it. Throwing fruit peels, drinks, rubbish, really good fun! It was so low budget that there was a guy filming the whole thing from the side of the ring on a cool iPhone. I thought he was part of the act, but no, he never got involved.
    On Sunday, on the traditional side, there’s a market that covers 40 city blocks where they close the road and sell literally everything you could ever want to buy!
    We did a walking tour which started at the famous San Pedro prison where the inmates have to pay for their accommodation. The families move in and they have to find themselves a job. Apparently it’s an old military building and was converted to take 400 inmates and there’s 8000 people living inside. There’s a football pitch, sponsored by Coke, free WiFi, from the hotel next door, and there used to be tours where anyone could go in. It’s illegal now, but does still happen. There also used to be a notorious drug lab too! They would make the stuff, put it in babies nappies and then throw them out of the roof in to the plaza outside. Bonkers!
    The walking tour also takes you through the witches market, where you can buy Llama foetus to put in the foundations of you new house, or get yourself some black or white magic to get yourself ahead in life!
    Lots of other history about the battles that went on in la Paz
    We also ate a few avocado sandwiches from the local indoor market. Possibly what have me some sort of bacterial infection, but very tasty.
    Good times in this city, I’ll be back I’m sure!
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