European Vacation

We’ve been in Oberland too long and should be leaving tomorrow. We’ve finally been caught up by Henning and we’ve had a meal and a drink. He’s been filling us in on his adventures in both Africa and South America. He’s having the time of his life same as us. He’s not met many travellers so it must be a lonely ride for him.He does have the same opinion as us and thats Africa is so much better than South Amercia so far. Bolivia is lovely but it doesn’t make up for the boring Ruta 3 in Argentina and many other crappy things like the two hour border crossings here. In Africa you’re unlucky if you spend 15 mins at a border. Africa and South Amercia do drive us mad on a few counts but this is the reason for travelling. We do little else but try to sort stuff out and this is the problem. In both continents its hard to get anything done, or at least done properly. Somethings are way easier to get done than at home, like a bit of weding and other things are almost impossible. Henning spent an hour in the queue at the phone shop to register his sim-card yesterday. This can only be done at the head office in La Paz so its lucky we went in specially to do it ! So many countries are going for compulsary registration on Sim-Cards now and we can thank the security services for that. La Paz is an amazing place and quite spectacular and after 3 weeks here we know our way round quite well. We know where to get car parts and where’s good to eat. We like it here and as I’ve said we like Bolivia. We could get used to the queues probably and we could certainly get used to the cheap lunch-time offers. You cannot complain at a 3 course lunch for two quid (~$3usd). On sunday we went to El-Alto to the Sunday market and its HUGE. You can buy anything from a car to a teapot. They sell anything and its a maze of roads lined with stalls. You can even buy a Dog, Cat, Chicken, Duck or Tropical Fish ! Julie got a hat and I got a few emergency repair bits for the car. I finally got a grommit for the hole under the centre cubby box and after looking for ages in nearly all hardware stores in all countries we’ve visited. They never sold them big enough but here the Chinese have sent us everything they make. Some of it is even good quality. The camp is pretty busy and we’ve seen people come and go. We’ve met Swiss, American, French, Danish (yes theres even some more Danish here on top of Henning), Kiwis, Germans and Dutch. One thing is true the Europeans like to travel. The Kiwi’s got us some parts and arrive the other day in their Chilian registered Dodge Durango. We met them in Sucre at the Overland camp three weeks ago. Thanks to them we now have some more lock washers so my wheels don’t fall off ! This is something the guys in the other Land Rover (with the pop roof) will know all about. There wheel bearings were very loose as they’d not checked them since buying the car ! All was OK though after a couple of hours and the use of the large socket Mike gave me. Three of their hubs were TD5 and one was like mine…. arn’t Land Rovers great !

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