La Paz is not typically a traveler’s highlight. It’s a giant city located at ebbing altitudes between 12,000 – 13,500 feet. Most travelers use it as a stop over on their way to other parts of Bolivia.
Having been here for over a week now, I have to say that we really like it. La Paz is great!
Of course, the place we’re staying makes all the difference. The Oberland Campground and Hotel is a revolving door for overland travelers, mostly all European. One of the things we were most excited about when we arrived was that Coen and Karin from Landcruising Adventures were posted up here. We’ve been following these guys for years. They are in an elite class of overlanders. They’ve been on the road for ten years, having driven through Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and South America. They are pros. The real deal.
The famous Cruiser
After hearing about our pathetic entrace into La Paz with no GPS, Coen quickly set out to fix the problem, and by the end of our first night our GPS was fully operational, with maps not only for Bolivia, but also Argentina and Brazil.
We had a couple of really fun nights hanging out with Coen and Karin. We really connected with them.
Unfortunately, they are heading north and we are heading south. They flew to Europe for a month, and when they return they are off to Peru. Will we see them again? I don’t think they’re gonna stop traveling, and I know we aren’t, so the chances are high. We’ll see. Maybe Africa?
There were a bunch of other Euros in and out of the campground as well. Check this cool rig out. This young French couple has been rocking it counter clockwise around South America. We’ll see them again for sure.
And of course there are the Kiwis. These guys are heading to Alaska. Will and Rochelle, good game.
We had one connection when we arrived in Bolivia. Our close friend, Arlene Burns, hooked us up with Jose, a La Paz native. Turns out he is a rock climber to boot! I was pretty fired up to get out there and climb. The local rock doesn’t “look” very stellar, but it actually climbs quite well.
One of the other reasons we’ve been waiting to get to La Paz was to see an American trained doctor. We haven’t mentioned this yet, but, back in Cusco, Peru, Soleil was diagnosed with very mild hip dysplasia. We’ve been pretty worried about it, because, frankly we didn’t trust the doctors in Peru (with Lima being an exception). Stevie went to 4 different doctors, though, and they all said the same thing independently. They prescribed Sol this special “diaper” to wear at night to fix the problem, but I never felt fully confident. We couldn’t find any information about the Freijka harness online, which was unsettling to say the least.
Stevie tracked down a doctor in La Paz through IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers) who I felt was going to be legit. Our plan was to have him diagnose the problem from scratch, and if anything at all was wrong, we’d jump a plane to the US. I have to tell you, I was super nervous leading up to this. Sol didn’t seemed too fussed about it though.
Step one was to get an Xray. We had had an ultrasound in Cusco, but the Xray was supposed to be more accurate.
In classic South American form, just getting the xray turned out to be an all day affair. Nothing is easy down here. It’s just not.
We finally got the xray and then took it across town to the specialist. By this time it was almost 7pm. The good news is that he saw almost nothing wrong. Her hips are off by one degree. Very minor. We’ll keep her in the harness and continue to watch it. We’ll do another checkup in Sucre (Southern Bolivia) in a month, then another one in Argentina the next month, then one when we get to the US in August.
So, that’s what we’ve been doing in La Paz. We’ll hang a few days more, and then head south.
Are you serious? I’m gone climbing for ONE afternoon, and this is what I find when I come home and download the camera.
Unbelievable. Just 3 questions for my lovely wife…
1) What the hell are you teaching our daughter?
2) What happened to Sesame Street?
3) Honey, I thought ‘BEAST IT’ was our special thing???