Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ouch, that hurt!!

That is a slightly understated version of my now regular outbursts everytime I accidentally sit or lie on my right side. You see I had a little accident whilst on an epic mountain bike trip through the Bolivian highlands. But even worse than the long list of injured spots all over my body is the fact the the main force of my landing (after I had careered over the handlebars) was on my head (always wear a helmet kids) and then my camera. Well I´d owned it for almost 3 months so it was probably time for a change anyway. Medical expert opinion (that is looking at myself in the mirror) suggests I will survive but it was damn close as I finished a few feet away from a 100m drop. So that´s two attempts at off road mountain biking in my life, two crashes and approximately a fifth of either route completed. It´s got to be third time lucky.

Apart worrying about blood poisoning and the understanding of insurance companies I´ve also had a little time in La Paz to wander. It´s a crazily situated place in a huge bowl with mountains all around(-ish). Yesterday I came across various unusal sights (llama fetuses for sale simply being the one I was warned about. More unexpectedly I also witnessed some sort of marching band outside the presidential palace. Ot seemed wildly popular although all it seemed to do was stand still in the afternoon heat for 30 minutes at a time and then play the national anthem (or some other tune which necessitated me to take my hat off) after which everyone would stand still again and try to fidget without being noticed by the quite frightening bloke who seemed to be in charge. However much fun this was it wasn´t quite my highlight of La Paz. No that was definitely the zebras on the zebra crossing by the main square. Yes 4 people dressed as zebras control the traffic and direct people to the crossings at the appropriate time. And they do it with style. Of course I should also mention the donkey with a placard saying something to the effect of "only a donkey doesn´t use the zebra crossing.

Well must go now as I´ve a flight to catch and I need to consider what all the riot police I saw at 4am this morning might have been gearing up for. More later.....
This was originally written on 05 July 2007. It is from my summer trip to Latin America.


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