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Aug 1, 2012:

Time in La Paz

Distance to Date: 6073 km, 3765 mi

We are in La Paz! With Tauru's wrist and ankle still tender, and hearing from other cyclists that the road into La Paz was pretty crazy with traffic and road construction, we took the bus instead of riding. And what a good decision that was! Safety is priority numero uno. We make decisions based on what we can see and do, and this is what opens up worlds of new experiences.

La Paz marks the end of Stage 2 (of 6).

A street vendor in Oruro prepares a bath of hot oil to fry chicken and potatoes.

This photo is for all the knitters out there.

We stayed at a cheap hotel ($7/night) in Oruro and enjoyed some Pacena beer with our nightly candle light ritual.

Christi works on the computer in our room. Notice the dangling black cord. This room doesn't have an outlet; therefore, we bought an adapter that fits into the light bulb socket so that we can power the computer.

Meet Ian Lacey! He is cycling our route in the opposite direction. We have been following him for the past twelve months since he started in Deadhorse, Alaska. And now we cross paths as he continues south and we move northward. He's riding to raise money for Caregivers...

In La Paz, we stay at a Casa de Ciclista. We run into Julian (left) from Germany. We first met him in Ushuaia back in December while we were waiting for our bike to be released from Buenos Aires Customs. We meet Michael (right) of Switzerland who has been cycling around South America for the past 7 or 8 months.

And we run into Simon (center) and Martin (right), two crazy Frenchmen whom we first met in El Chalten back in February. They have been cycling north criss-crossing the Andes between Chile and Argentina the past couple of months. Simon helps Carlos (southbound cyclist from Argentina) fix his brakes.

La Paz is such a contrast to the other parts of Bolivia that we have seen.

Traffic is cluttered and chaotic.

Buildings are tall and modern.

We visit an optometrist to get new glasses for Christi. Her old ones disappeared somewhere in Bolivia.

These letters are 3 to 4 inches tall and about 15 feet in front of her, but she can barely make them out.

Now the fun begins.

Thumbs up for pink frames.

The following day, we attend a conference at a center for rehabilitation and special education. We share our story and our project to promote the capabilities of the visually impaired. Our talk supported a blind woman's insistence that people like her in Bolivia need opportunities in order to succeed. We also talk to children with visual disabilities and encouraged them to always keep in mind "se puede" (it's possible).

Dr. Ricardo Quiroga, center's director, gives us a tour of the facility. He makes sure all of his teachers for blind students meet us.

On the bus back down to La Paz, the city can be seen way down below. It sits in a bowl where the more affluent downtown area is at the bottom.

Tauru takes a break and drinks a cola like the woman in the advertisement.

Late in the afternoon, dancers perform in a plaza.

We go to pick up Christi's glasses.


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