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Ben and Ange - On the Road

La Paz

BOLIVIA | Sunday, 29 June 2008 | Views [575]

Traditionaly dressed women in the witches market

Traditionaly dressed women in the witches market

La Paz is just one of those cities.  You know, it kinda sucks you in and continues to throw weird and wonderful things at you, shows a million different faces and keeps you on your toes... all the while starving you of oxygen.


Our flight in from the jungle was eerie.

In our 20 seater plane, we take off from Rurrenabaque, ascend for about 40 minutes, slip through a mountain pass and then land.  Where´s the descent??  And man am I pleased I already knew that planes needed to land at TWICE THE SPEED due to the decreased air pressure!  Theres a fun landing for ya!!

Since La Paz is perched at around 4000m, the thinner air has left us gasping whenever going up hill (at least half the time in this town) and much to Ben`s delight has left me incapable of talking and walking at the same time.  The city centre runs along a strip in a bit of a valley.  Everything else goes up from there.  Which makes it great for not getting lost.  If ever in doubt... head downhill.

Our hotel is in an area called the Witches Market.  Coo-wul.  Theres stalls galore, all selling wares ranging from preserved Llama fetuses (fetii??) to dried herbs, "talismans" and sex perfumes!  Yessirree, we still got a lot of shopping to do!

Night times see us roaming various street markets, checking out whats going on and sampling street vendor foods... just too hard to resist - much to the anguish of our stomachs... but so far so good.   Of course we`ll eventually find our way to a bar (usually gringofied) for caprinahs and the like.  Then theres the dodgey "bars" where you need to jag a taxi driver who knows the mysterious destination and then trust the burley bloke who approaches you, checks over his (and your) shoulder then shows you through a double set of twice locked doors down into a basement where you may or may not sample some of Bolivia`s finest.  Like I said... La Paz is just one of those cities.

So from here we`ve headed off on Cycling trips and mountain climbing trips and the like.  Each time we get to see a new area of La Paz, as our mini-van heads out to whichever destination.  This is a pretty cool way to see half-built houses and whatever else, perching on the valley walls.  Half built, we`re told, because this exempts the owners from various taxes.  Ahhh Bolivia.

The city streets are another whole thing.  So far, we`ve surmised that the policy is to honk as attempting some ludicrously dangerous manouver in crazy traffic.  If an accident ensues... well it musta been the fault of the person who didn`t honk. 

So folks.  We still be in La Paz.  Still being surprised.  Still loving it.


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