This morning we decide to ask at reception if there is an alternative room we could move into that has only one bed, Wi-Fi and possibly still a balcony. As it happens there is, right across the corridor, but our excitement is quashed when we go and look at it as the occupants who have just left were smokers and it´s more than a tad smelly 🙂 . Some more procrastination required on this one then.
A return to the camera shop this morning confirms our fears, the price to potentially fix the issues with the camera body and the lens is way more than we want to pay – 1,500Bs (~£150). We reckon it would probably cost more in the UK and be more economical to buy a new body as this one is nearly 3 years old now. Who knows! As for the lens well we don´t want to invalidate the warranty by having this guy fix it, when, if we can get a Canon approved place to look at fixing it, it might be covered and cost us nothing. Then again we are heading to Machu Picchu next and want great photos from the experience – dilemmas.
We go for a coffee to decide what to do. As Rolando pointed out, genuinely, the camera still works, it´s not broken completely. We could make do till we get the opportunity to have it looked at under warranty. He as good as told us we´d be daft to shell out this kind of money right now.
So in reality it´s a no brainer – get back to Canon and see where, other than Santa Cruz, we could have it looked at under warranty. Meantime make do.
That decided we now need to work out a plan, how long to stay in La Paz, what to do while here and where to stay… On our return to the hostel we realise Delphine and Sven have invited us to join them for dinner again. Why not!
Back at the hostel we decide to have another look at the smelly room – we left the balcony door open earlier and hopefully the cleaners did too so with a bit of luck the smell will have gone… What we are thinking is if we just move rooms we will at least still have internet (the router is right outside the door) we won´t have to lug all our gear back down the stairs and off somewhere else that might not be any better. This hostel is clean, quiet and central. There is little choice in La Paz if you don´t want a party hostel or to pay too much. Thankfully our 2nd viewing is ok and we decide we should just take it and extend for 3 more days. Give ourselves a chance to look around the city.
Talking of which that’s what we do with the rest of the afternoon – have a look around the immediate area. There´s 2-3 streets full of nothing but craft shops, selling loads and loads of granny jumpers (you know those jumpers you get for xmas with animals all over them that you hide in your drawer and never wear), we start here, Bernice is cold! Thankfully we restrain ourselves from succumbing to buying any jumpers, which is more than we can say for most of the other backpackers we see. Is there going to be a new fashion trend in Europe/UK shortly or are they just buying for the moment? No, Bernice buys a very large stripy scarf cum poncho thingy. Which is reversible and not too heavy which does the job to get her warm again.
The weird but nice thing we are noticing while walking around La Paz, is that every couple of streets seem to have a different specialism. There´s a street or two just for plumbing, another few for tiles, another for clothes, another for fancy dress, another for boxes of sweets, cleaning products, hairdressers, fabric, you name it there´ll be a street full of nothing else!!
We also pop into a couple more agencies and enquire about the mountain trek up Huayna Potosi. This time we talk to a Dutch girl who part owns the company Travel Tracks (http://www.travel-tracks.com/). While Huw is getting all the relevant info Bernice gets chatting to Tom and Natalie (who we know from Wasi Masi a week or so ago), they just happen past as we walk into the shop. They´ve just arrived this afternoon from Cochabamba. A plan to meet tomorrow in the café bar across the street is made. We suggest they join us tonight too and they´re up for it but when they´re 20 mins late we wonder if they are indeed coming and don´t like to make the others hang around.
As it is, meeting Delphine and Sven at their hostel to go for food proves a bit of a mission – Julia and Toby are keen to find a decent vegetarian option, i.e. not pasta, omelette or salad… After a few false starts we finally find somewhere, not very busy, offering a 3 course menu for 40 Bs, everyone seems happy so we settle for that. It´s surprisingly ok. Albeit the tomato sauce on Bernice´s fish is just a drop of the same tomato soup she had as a starter 🙂