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Posts Tagged ‘Bolivia’

Death road in Bolivia

September 19, 2012 3 comments

Never a dull moment in Bolivia.

After bribing police officers to enter the country. The next day we saw protesters burning up car tyres and breaking car windscreen on the major highway on the way to Tiwanaku.

Nothing beats adrenaline though. I LoVe iT!!!

Speeding down the highway from 4500m above sea level whilst dodging trucks and cars on the way. Also trying to absorb the beautiful mountainous views without falling over or crashing was an awesome the blood rush experience.

Then the gravel roads all the way down to 1100m were really bumpy and dusty. Lucky I’m not scared of heights with sharp drops at each corner if we skitted or didn’t stop in time. It was all great fun and big smile on my face because it was a great way to finish my trip where I fly back to London the next morning.

However, on our way back there was a terrible accident. A truck carrying a full load of wood overturned and the left side wheels fell into the side curb gutter. Our driver and guides jumped out of our van in lightning speed to try to help as we were the 2nd car on the scene. A women had minor injuries with cut lips. A man was crying with blocks of wood on top of him suffering from a broken collar-bone and shoulder injury. Two people were missing – assumed to be under the truck as we have not held cries for help.

All the locals were helping out, trying to remove the wood from on top of the man and attempting to helping him out. Tourists have the practice to waiting for the ambulance and not moving the injured at all, but locals will have none of it. Just as well, because when an ordinary white car with one person in it pulled up – we found out it was the so-called ambulance. It seemed there was not adequate medical equipment in the car nor enough personnel to assist the injured. I guess this is their way of dealing withe such situations. We felt helpless on the side.

In my mind I kept questioning the difference in the value of life just because you were born in a certain country or nationality.

So now I know.

It is called death road – the most dangerous road in the world for a reason.

***Photo by journeyexplorer

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First hand experience of corruption in Bolivia

September 19, 2012 4 comments

At the boarder from Peru to Bolivia near Lake Titicaca, I had two completely valid and up to date passports yet I was picked on because I was too special I guess.

As soon as I walked in, one of the officers wrote on a piece of paper $100 but I bargained down to USD20 then they said USD40. I was pissed off because I have the right to enter this country for free, so I tried to stick to $20. But then they lost interest in my cash and started playing games. Let me tell you, trying to communicate in my nil Spanish and their broken English was a nightmare – even chucking in a bit of sign language.

The police with most english tried to play the friendly card so I kept along. I answered questions about my travels then questions relating to my relationship status that I’m single nor married, no I don’t have any boyfriend. He then offered me a one way entry to his country and that I can go to his house. Seriously, I think my body and soul is worth a little more than USD40.  I didn’t know what to say to that so I joked and said I that I don’t work and of no use to him. I also didn’t want to anger him.

They kept looking at my passports and checking their pieces of paper, but at this point I knew it didn’t matter what any piece of paper said. It was up to their discretion. I played my sympathy card and started crying saying I can’t be alone in Peru with no hotel and my friends already onward in Bolivia. He just told me to calm down.

An hour later, they kept saying no to my entrance into Bolivia. I was fed up and asked them how much, they said not money but matter of principle. They were scared to get in trouble because I had a watermark on the second page of my passport and it is not valid. They suggested I go to the embassy to get a new passport. But wait, I have another valid passport. Apparently dual nationality is not allowed in Bolivia. Huh!?!

I left with my head down and no entry stamp on my passport. Options racing through my head as my flight was supposed to leave from Bolivia in 4 days. But two officers followed me outside the office, where finally they were interested in talking money. Interestingly, exchange was to happen on the Peru side of the boarder.

So I ended up entering the country after participating in an illegal transaction reluctantly.

At least, I have a good story for my blog.

***Photo by journeyexplorer