4:30 pm

We heard today that the craziest thing you could do in La Paz and possibly ever, is try and get a tour of San Pedro prison. We had some time this morning so we went to check it out. We walked past the main door and gate and there was lots of commotion from people shouting out to people on the outside because it was visitors day (how convenient). Just then the guards (always with sawed off machine guns) grabbed us and directed our attention to a poster that read “it is strictly forbidden now for any tourists to go into the prison merely for touring purposes”. That was enough for us and we turned to walk away.

But just then a scrawny guy crawled to the front of the people on the other side of the gate and started yelling things to us. Kevin, Ryan, and I were with 2 English girls at the time and I went closer to the bars to talk to him (acting all tough when I was freaked out of my mind). He told me to slip him a few dollars and said come back at 3:00 and he would guide us around the prison. I went closer to the gate with the money and I was like “give it to you now in front of everyone”. Luis said “wait…ok NOW”. I slipped him the money. He was like “go now, see you at “. With this money I think he bribed the guards to keep quiet.

Our minds went crazy for the next hours thinking about the pros and cons of what we may have got ourselves into. The 2 English girls talked to some people and heard some nasty rumors so they decided they were out. So the 3 of us go back at 3:00 carrying nothing but the required cash (10 $US each) just like we were told. Luis told me to put the rest of the money (excluding the deposit) into a piece of paper and pass it to him. Then Luis left for a few minutes and we thought he had taken off with the money. He appeared again and said this was not a good time. Come back at 5:30. We were like “can we trust you man?” He responded “I give you my word!”. He mentioned that there would be 4 Australian girls at that time as well who were interested.

We walked away with adrenaline pumping as the guards gave us one final disgusted look. Luis shouted from the gate “Sorry for the inconvenience, I’ll throw in 2 grams for you each for the trouble. Bring some cash cause you are going to want to buy some of the toys that the boys are making in here”. Well, it’s quarter to 5 now (I just said to Kevin and Ryan beside me). Lets get moving…

-steve

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