La Paz

We are currently in the city of La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) one of the highest cities in the world. I’m sitting in the airport, chewing some time before we go to the jungle! We left Copacabana by bus yesterday, it took around 3 hours to get to La Paz. One of the highlights of the journey is getting off the bus and watching it be slowly boated across a river, while you go across in a tiny passenger boat. It was bizarro!

While we waited for the bus on boat, we could have indulged in a popular Bolivan snack of jelly in a cup, with the three colours of the flag – no thanks!

Peru and Bolivia both seem to love the jelly in cup thing. I, of course think it is gross! The street vendors also sell this odd drink which has some kind of stone from a fruit sitting in the botton, with a small saucer on top. I haven´t been brave enough to sample! They also stock large bags of popped corn, but it must be from big corn kernals cos the popped stuff is huge. It was EVERYwhere in Copacabana and on the way to La Paz. Some guy on our bus had a few garbage bags full of it as his luggage. I did try this, it´s just sweet popped corn, pretty good!

The bus trip was very scenic. Greg is finding his height to be a royal pain in the butt, his legs cramp up quite a lot.

La Paz itself is quite a large city, it is placed in the valley with the houses reaching higher and higher on all sides. There are some snow capped mountains (the triple peaked Illiami) around the edges, it´s very pretty. We got from the bus terminal to the hotel for 50 Bolivianos – a rip off! It cost 60 to get from hostel to airport later on ..oh well what can you do! 50 Bs is still only about 7 AUD.

We stayed one night at Hostel Naira. It seemed more like a hotel, someone took our bags for us etc etc. The room itself was like a tiny dungoen though! Got spoiled by the last place I think! At check in, there was a reasonable list of things to watch out for in the city, people in plain clothes claiming they are cops and people who will sqirt sauces at you, try to help clean it up and then pinch your stuff! Somewhat alarming!

We went for a stroll and eventually found a Lebanese place to eat for dinner. It was pretty yummy! It was basically bedtime after this, as we had no idea where the main square was , what to do etc etc. Best part of holidaying – hardly any chores!

The next morning, we had the breakfast buffet (eggs, fruit, bread and coffee) and set off for an explore. La Paz is darker then Cusco, it is more closed in and crowded. The streets still have this old world feel to them. Certain streets are allocated to certain products…like you will walk past about five or so little stalls, all selling laptop cases and then the next lot will all be selling electtical switches and lightbulbs – it’s crazy!

So, where was I? Right, walking about we went up to the Witch’s Markets which is basically a bunch of touristy stalls, which feature similar wool products that you also find in Cusco. However, some of them have odd things like dead toads and dead baby alpacas hanging up…which is a little gruesome!

The Cholita women tend the stores wearing traddional Andean dress, the bowler hat plus large gypsy style skirts. Originally, the Andean women did it to gain class/respect? with the New Worlders, then it became a thing. (Not a historical hob nob here, this was off a brochure in the resturant! You can even go see Cholita wrestling! Anyway, we tried to find the coca museum, had no luck and moved on!

We then went to the San Francisco Church, which was right near our hostel. It was good if you like paintings of the Virgin and those odd cherub angel things! It did have a Incan/Spansish history section which was cool. We went to the the rooftop to have a look at the bells, which was cool! You had to climb up a very narrow stone stepped tunnel.

 After that we had coffee and cake in a cafe right next to the church. It was fine strength Bolivian expresso, the first non instant coffee in awhile. Over the morning we had been hearing fire crackers going off occassionally, this was no celebration though! It was a demonstration of some kind, so the main square was barricaded off by police, no engles allowed! We sort of wandered around the shopping district as we couldn´t get into the main square. I did take a peak at some shoes 😉 The prices weren´t too bad.

That afternoon we took a taxi to the airport to await our flight to Rurrembaque, which is where I might cut this off, as we were off to the jungle!

This entry was posted in Megamoon 2012, South America 2012, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to La Paz

  1. Suzi Steele says:

    The tunnel thing looks cool! starting to miss u guys!


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