On Sunday's episode of The Amazing Race 13
, the nine remaining teams are heading from Brazil to La Paz, Bolivia. Bolivia isn't a very well-known country around these parts. If you've been paying attention to national news in recent months, you know that Bolivia is currently a setting for political and cultural turmoil. Bolivia is a poor country, but it's people are incredibly nice and warm. If you want a reason to hate the country of Chile, here it is: Chile forcefully stole Bolivia's coastline in the late 1800's, making Bolivia land-locked, and turning the country poor. Nevertheless, Bolivia can be a beautiful place and La Paz, its capitol city, is as unique a city as you'll find in South America.
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The city is situated in a canyon, with the elevation two miles above sea level. Surrounded by a mountainous ring, the lower you get, the more affluent the people. The markets in La Paz are unique and completely insane. The world-famous witch market, where you can buy any sort of crazy, disgusting thing, is probably its most well-known. It's also a epicenter of pirated everything, a place where you can buy a knock-off DVD for the US equivalent of twelve cents. In the middle of La Paz is also the infamous San Pedro prison. If I may recommend a book, Marching Powder
is a great read, detailing the mad culture of San Pedro prison. Situated in one city block, the inmates run the prison. You have to rent your cell, there are various inmate-run restaurants, families actually live inside with their incarcerated patriarchs and the purest cocaine in all of South America comes from within the San Pedro walls. Until Marching Powder
was published, tourists were allowed inside to visit and sample the local wares (i.e. cocaine).
Anyway, enough with the travel guide. Here are my predictions.
The Elevation Will Take Its Toll
Someone might very well pass out. La Paz is situate at almost 11,000 feet above sea level. To put that into perspective, Denver is only 5,200 feet above sea level. Needless to say, the air is very thin. There's a good chance someone passes out, and the older contestants on The Amazing Race
are very much at risk. Someone might be eliminated as a result.
Leg Three Will be the Testiest Leg Yet
With high elevation and increased fatigue comes crankiness. And, when people get cranky while traveling, they start to fight. Terence and Sarah will probably go at it, but no one's impervious to travel fatigue. Expect all of the romantic couples to get a little testy, including Ken and Tina and Aja and Ty.
Marisa and Brooke Will be Eliminated
I know I made this prediction last time, and it almost came true, but I can't in good conscious not make it again. They are the worst team on the race. I like them, think they'd be fun to hang out with, but they just don't have the chops to make it much further on The Amazing Race.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of MrSikh)