© 2012 Elys. All rights reserved. Baby Llama!

Day 178: Lifehacking

La Paz, Bolivia

Today was the day to get a feel of La Paz and figuring out the excursions I could do from here. I was trying to get hold of Nat and Ben the whole day just so we could book our trips together. They were nowhere to be seen in the hostel. It was much later in the afternoon did I find them passed out on their bunk beds. Apparently, they had a bit much to drink the night before.

During breakfast, an Australia kid named Jono who’s been travelling for 5 years (yes, 5 years!) saw me on bar with all my gadgets spreaded out on the table. We met briefly last night in the TV room. He joined me and we then chatted away showing off our gear and skills. Jono turned out to be just as geeky as I am. I thought I travelled with shit load of unnecessary gadgets. He got even more than me. Jono showed me this brilliant set up he had for his Canon. He had hacked his Canon cameras so that they can shoot every couple minutes. He then had this DIY mount for his camera onto a part of what used to be an egg timer then onto his tripod. With this timer, he’s able to shoot a panning time-lapse! Genius!

After breakfast, Jono and I decided to hit the streets of La Paz together to sort out travel odds and ends. La Paz’s weather confused the hell out of me. It’s mad hot one minute, chilly the next, sunny, then rainy and later on it hailed! La Paz as a city is hectic. It’s not without its charm, but there really isn’t much to do around. Most travellers just use it as a base to do all sort of excursions from mountaineering, altitude mountain biking, amazon and salt flats trip etc.

Having loads in common (love for gadgets, lifehacking, travelling, photography, magic tricks, keeping daily blog), it was fun spending the day with Jono. He’s like a much cooler and younger version of me (owning more gadgets than me, hacking more things, travelling for longer, taking better photos, actually knowing cool magic tricks). Damnit. But I think I might be better with my blog since it’s more comprehensive and up-to-date? Hehe. But anyway, you guys can follow his marvelous trip at Homeless But Not Hopeless. This kid biked from Canada to Mexico in two months spending only $10/day. Insane!

A few of things I learnt this past few days that might have opened up opportunities to consider:

  • Working in mining industries in Australia. People earn about AUD $2000-3000 a week. Hard to get into, and will need Australian working visa.
  • Working in oil industries in Antartica. You work for only half a year then you’re off for the other half.  You pocket most of your salary since food and accomodation is provided for. They also have all sort of different jobs since the whole “camp” is self-sustained. Drawback: it gets to -50F in Antartica.
  • Working in tree-planting industries in Canada. You earn according to how many trees you plant. You work 3 months in the summer then you travel the rest of the year. It’s the second most-physical work in Canada I think. Jono did this for the past few years and Adam also did this.

Maybe I’ll bump into more options later on in my travel. If not, I guess I’ll have to go back to being a motion designer in NYC and sit on my arse for 10 hours a day, earning not much at all, spending way too much for living expenses and having only 2 weeks vacation a year. It’s a sad sad thought.

By 8 in the evening, Nat, Ben and I finally booked the excursion for biking on “El Camino de la Muerte” (The Road of Death) for tomorrow. It’s gonna be one hell of a day.

Anyway, some photos from today from our visit to the famous and overrated La Paz’s Witches Market:

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