La Paz: reunited with Ivan and Tash

The day after conquering death road was a necessary rest day. I also seem to have picked up some kind of bug and spent most of my day ensuring I was within 50m of the nearest bathroom facility. We did grab lunch with Lou and Thibalt, a couple from Belgium we had met in Calama, it was awesome to see them and hear about their Amazon adventure. My ailment only got worse throughout the day and I spent the afternoon in bed, luckily the weather allowed me to be fairly guilt free as it rained and hailed on and off all day.

That night as I was allowing sleep to take control a knock on our door stirred me and Ivan and Tash walked in, what a sight for sore eyes! We had arranged that they were going to be in our hostel room, but it was still great to see them! Ivan said he had expected to see me at the bar of our hostel with a pint for him, but alas I was bed bound. They had just come from a 24 hour travel day so I think they weren’t too mad about getting some rest.

The next day we just caught up on old times over breakfast and then by the time breakfast was over we had to go sign up for lunch. Becca had been told of a cool restaurant called Popular Cocina Boliviano which was about 500m from our hostel and is so popular that you have to sign up at 11:30 for a 12:30 table. The restaurant is run by a chef who was trained in Lima, Peru and then brought his talents back to his home country and we were excited. Ivan and Natasha had just come from a $400 dollar meal (paid for by an old employer of Ivan, he’s loved internationally this guy!) and so we wanted to impress them with our “hidden gem”. So we got our table and ordered off of a very small set menu but this is a lesson in size not being everything. Becca and I were smart and ordered differently for each course. I’d love to explain exactly what it was that we ate but it’s impossible to put words to the flavours and impressiveness of the meal. My main course did contain flank steak, and my dessert had candied kiwi so we’ll leave it at that. In the end we were all completely full and had Ivan (our resident chef) totally impressed! The cherry on top was that the meal for Becca and I was $24 CAD… completely unbelievable.

Wow… I rambled there, the food was amazing, and if you are ever in La Paz, that restaurant is an absolute must for lunch (yah, they only do lunch, how cool). After lunch we attacked the witches market with Ivan and Tash and watched as thy bought what seemed like hundreds of these cool small carrying cases. Becca and I ended up getting one each as well, they’re great for separating the random stuff we’ve accumulated over the past couple months. Becca even had to buy a small bag to hold most of the souvenirs we got from the witches market… we got carried away.

That night Ivan and Tash were getting on a bus to Uyuni to start their Salt Flats adventure so our time together was short but sweet. We shared a couple drinks that night for old time sake, I don’t think the gin and tonics did anything to help my ailment, but the way I was feeling, they didn’t hurt either! We bid Ivan and Tash a final farewell, for now, and watched as they left our lives again, for the third time in as many months. Ah well, we were getting packed and ready to leave the next morning at 6 on our Bolivia Hop but to Copacabana!!!

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