Australia Day at the Wild Rover Hostel, La Paz

~By:  Amanda

If you ever have the opportunity to experience Australia Day with Australians, do it, you will not regret it. Planning to meet a friend in La Paz, we booked bunks at the same hostel, The Wild Rover. These dates just happened to fall over Australia Day on January 26 and Wild Rover plans one hell of a party. We arrived smack in the middle of the pre-party on the evening before Aussie Day. We quickly changed and jetted to the bar, ordering several rounds of Bolivia’s finest pilsner.

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The Wild Rover hostel is located in central La Paz and is easily accessible from both the main bus terminal and the international airport. This party hostel is gigantic, with a plenitude of 26 rooms, a bar and three courtyard sections. The hostel offers the typical free breakfast of bread and coffee/tea, WiFi and laundry by the kilo. However, the main focal point is the bar, which offers several happy hour specials. It has an amazing atmosphere and several themed nights to keep everyone entertained. The hostel also offers a full service restaurant until 9pm, with amazing food; seriously, I did not have a bad meal over the 4 days I spent here. The chicken quesadillas are by far our favorite and if you prefer something lighter, go for the chicken soup.

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The staff is more than accommodating, our first night here our friend went missing. Due back from his Death Road Tour at 7:30 pm, he was still MIA after 9. After later finally receiving a phone call that tour group was stuck behind a landslide, the wonderful staff sprung into action calling other hostels to inform them their guests would be delayed. Even when I misplaced my laptop changer (total catastrophe for a blogger), the staff worked together and were able to locate it; hence how I am writing right now. My only complaint would be the lack of power outlets inside the rooms. Wild Rover does offer locked power stations inside the reception, however many of those plugs were stripped. I guess everyone has one tragic flaw.

Now back to Aussie Day, because this was by far one of the most entertaining days of our South America trip. The night before at the pre-party, there was a bomb shot ceremony at midnight where they staged up 118 shots in green and yellow. My primary question is how do they have this many cups? This required 236 glasses to make this happen. I guess they went to IKEA.

Fast forward to the next day, everyone started early, ordering breakfast beers at 11 am. The sun shown bright and at 1 pm the hostel started playing the Australia’s Triple J Hottest 100 list, which apparently is a very big deal. Beer pong lists began to pass around and we entered the tournament knowing we were doomed against this group. Outside on the patio we ate grilled meat ‘on the barbie’ and drank draft beers. Somehow later we were convinced to sign up for some game which involved drinking from a shoe.

As the day bled into night the party moved back into the bar. We finally made it to the number one song, ‘Never Be Like You’ by Flume featuring Kia. The DJ spun into full gear and everyone started dancing. Ended up on the bar, but sometimes that happens. I blame the bourbon shots, but when you learn one of the bartenders is also from Kentucky, this is bound to happen. According to my friends I was doing some crazy dance, which can only be correlated to one of those blow up air signs used for marketing. I blame it on the Aussie surfer boy I was dancing with but I really don’t remember.

My favorite part of this day was being around the Australians. So many quickly welcomed us to our group and treated us as Aussies for the day. Everyone turning their chairs, creating more room, making new friends at every turn. This culture has it down– they accept everyone; nobody is a stranger!

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www.wildroverhostels.com

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