Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Drive to La Paz

Drive to La Paz
 The drive to La Paz was an eventful one.  It was another long journey, but we made fairly good progress before we stopped for lunch. And lunch started out just like normal.

You've seen the photos of our lunch stops, so you know we bring out the table to prepare lunch on, put out a few chairs, set up the five hand washing and washing up bowls on stools, and get out the plastic plates etc. So we did all that and we were happily eating our lunch, and watching the little dust clouds that were swirling around in the distance.

Bolivian women
 And then some of the group happily watched as one of the dust clouds got closer. And closer. And closer. As they finally worked out that this mini tornado was about to hit us, the shout went up.  Some leapt onto the truck, some took shelter behind it. Others of us, who hadn't been watching and so didn't know what was happening, were caught of guard in the main path.

The mini tornado swept straight over where we were having lunch, spraying dust and sand everywhere and taking our lunch with it.  But not just our lunch.  We could only watch as the chairs, stools, washing up bowls, cups and plates were picked up by the whirlwind and carried some 200 metres before being dropped back down.  Once it passed over, all that was left was the table and the big knives - that thankfully hadn't flown off and hit anyone!

After realising we were all OK - having, only partly in jest, done the buddy check to make sure we were all there - we pretty much collapsed into relieved laughter and set off to collect our stuff.

We got most of it back, but for of the five washing up bowls were beyond salvage, and everything was covered in dust.  Needless to say we decided not to bother with the rest of lunch, as sandwich was a bit literal by this time.

There's nothing like a minor natural disaster - with no consequences - to    have everyone laughing and joking, but the main source of amusement was at one fellow traveller's expense.  And primarily not because he was the only male who made the leap onto the truck, although that was mentioned.

No, our amusement was that, despite being the person who is always taking photos and videos of everything in sight, he didn't manage to get a single picture of our little adventure.  And he was devastated about it.  As we cleared up, he was scanning the surrounding area, desperately searching for signs of another dustcloud and considering how he could best get us to reenact the original scene so that he could film it.  We eventually had to drag him onto the truck to get in with the journey.

coach get stuck on detour to La Paz
 So that was our lunch stop, which kept us amused for a good while. Then as we got closer to La Paz, we hit a tailback of lorries and other traffic.  On investigation, it was discovered that the town three miles ahead was not happy with it's mayor.  Apparently he was not keeping his election promises, so the  townspeople had decided to blockade off the road.  Nothing was getting through on either direction!

But having an interesting looking truck brings out the best in people, and we were able to get a local guy who lives the other side of the town in question to help us out.  He showed us a back way, across country, to get past the town, and we dropped him of at home.  Cameron being an off-roading truck came into her own, as we eased through the tracks that other vehicles were getting stuck in, and we soon were back on track to La Paz.

All in all an eventful last drive for the group as it currently is.

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