Day 203. I woke up quite late to hear the faint noise of music playing from a pair of headphones accompanied by a rhythmic knocking sound. I looked over my shoulder to see what it was…… great I’m sharing a room with a masturbating Danish bloke. This was beyond belief, everyone else in the dorm had gone leaving me alone here to suffer, why couldn’t he wait until I’d gone, I thought he had a fiancée, lucky girl! I now had the image of a chubby Danish guy laying on a bed with his head pulled back, wonky eyes pointing skywards in the throes of ecstasy, with white bed sheets thrusting up and down while he was having a wank. This was horrific and I was worried that this image was going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I suppose at least the boy had rhythm, he was perfectly in time to the music although I will never be able to hear the quite aptly named Queen song, ‘Under Pressure’ again without thinking of this horrific moment. Then he started to sing while still ‘banging the bed post’, his pitch telling me exactly how close to climax he was. As I laid there pretending to be asleep I couldn’t help but think that this was the third day running that I’d been awoken by a noisy cock! When he finished ‘doing the biz’ he stood up and walked towards the door, as he did he showed off his large white underpants which had a brown skid mark down the back, urrghhh. While he was out of the room I quickly got changed and legged it out of here.
I headed to the bus station to see if I could get a ticket direct to Asuncion in Paraguay as I need to get across the continent as quickly as possible as time is quickly coming to an end on my world trip. It took ages to find something and maybe I spent too much at $70us, but it is a long way at nearly half the way across one of the widest parts of the continent and the LP said it should cost $100us, so maybe it isn’t too bad. I’m a little concerned as you never quite know what you’re buying here as so far I’ve found that sometimes when you think you’ve bought a bus ticket you haven’t, you’ve bought a person or company to try to find you one, weird. After this I headed to a cash machine to replenish my funds but one thing I wasn’t expecting was the amount of security you get when using one of these things. I’m not sure if it’s meant to make you feel safer but there was a security guy with a pump action shotgun behind me making sure I could get my cash in peace and safety. After getting my cash and walking away I suddenly realised how stupid this is. People now knew I’d withdrawn some money and now knew the guy with the shotgun was no longer protecting me, what a stupid idea! I thought I’d take a picture of him but as I did he pointed the gun at me so thought better of it, so I hid around a corner and took a picture anyway!
Taking lunch back in the hostel I bumped into two girls I’d met in Buenos Aires, they were doing my journey but in reverse. It’s funny how you bump into people on such a massive continent. They remembered me as the guy who had sex in the shower but how did they know what I did or didn’t do. Either way, embarrassed I quickly headed out for a proper look at the city which for me is the prettiest capital I’ve visited so far in South America and possibly the prettiest city. I visited the many markets including the Mercado Negro and Mercado de Hechiceria which spread up the hillside and have bizarre goods to behold including sun dried llama foetuses. I was told that amongst other things this was meant to be good for fertility which I find quite ironic. It’s quite a grim sight but I had to take a picture and had to hide around a corner to do this as the lady at the stall made a gesture which looked like ‘I will kill you’ when I got my camera out.
While I sat and relaxed in the main square a man came over to me and gave me his life story and then proceeded to tell my about an ill relative he had who needed Horlicks for a cure. He asked me if I could give him “Money for the Horlicks or blood.” I took the former of the two requests as a threat and quickly walked off, I couldn’t help thinking though, about half a year ago in Calcutta a guy there also asked me for Horlicks, this is freaky. Quickly heading back to the hostel I noticed one of the local street market women was selling chocolate and I suddenly realised how desperate I was for some. I haven’t had any since New Zealand but I was in a quandary as the thing I hate about this kind of place it that you have to barter for everything. But my need for chocolate was great and so I allowed myself to be completely ripped off but didn’t care, I bought two bars of chocolate and a bottle of coke and they were lovely. As I left the main square the police slowly started to close it off. This seems to happen in most big cities I’ve visited in South America and is a little strange but I suppose most government buildings here surround the main squares and as I’ve found to my cost South America likes the odd protest!
Day 204. I couldn’t believe it, I woke up to a rocking bed post again. This time the Danish guy was masturbating while talking to himself, I’m so glad I don’t understand a word of Danish. To get this image out of my head I spent most of the day shopping and e-mailing before heading off for a final look at the beautiful 450 year old church, Iglesia de San Francisco and the relatively new 160 year old cathedral on the main Plaza Murillo. In the cathedral I noticed that the mad guy who wanted ‘my blood’ from yesterday had followed me in from the square. I quickly hid behind one of the columns, sneaked out of the building and legged it back to the hostel. This was quite worrying but luckily it was time to leave La Paz and I headed out to the bus station.
At the bus station the guy I’d bought the ticket from yesterday acted with complete surprise that I had a ticket for Asuncion. I was asked to sit down while he sorted things out. The time my ticket had printed on it came and went and nothing happened. I was a bit stressed as it was now dark and I was stuck on my own in the middle of a dodgy area of La Paz. Every now and again the guy who looked like how most would imagine a stereotypical South American to look like came up to me and said “don’t worry, no problem.” Eventually he came back to me, all smiles and gave me a ticket to Santa Cruz with a note for a guy at the Santa Cruz bus station who will put me on another bus for Asuncion. I ran to get my ‘bus station tax’ and jumped onto the coach. Nothing is easy here but for now sat on this coach I’m a little more relaxed, I’ve just got to wait and see what happens in Santa Cruz to discover whether I’ve been screwed or not.