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Big Small Journey Off on the adventure of my lifetime: 5 glorious months of sun and snow in South America, then the UK for further fun and frolicking.

La Paz, Bolivia

BOLIVIA | Wednesday, 30 April 2008 | Views [931]

It´s probably the most chaotic place I`ve been to, worse than the cities in China. The traffic is confused, both sides of the road is open to any drivers that dare go there. Pedestrians scrampering about everywhere. Nobody really obeys the traffic lights there. There`s all sorts of creative scams going around the pickpocket crowds. There`s the usuals involving taxis and fake police, but one new one I heard about involves being spit on. So some guy walks past and "accidentally" spits on you, you turn back to face him and he says sorry, and a mate of his bumps you and takes your wallet.

First day in La Paz was spent in rest. Then went to the centre behind Plaza San Francisco for lunch. The first place we walked into had the most gruelsome masks and there was a painting of one of the death scenes (it was Gluttony I think). Great setting for eating. On the up-side you could eat all sorts of weird meats and there was a salad buffet. The price was beyond us so we went to another place and had a soup, main and desert with a bottle of wine between 3 for 45 bolivianos (about AU$7).

After dinner, myself and Andy (a guy from Scotland), we went to Mongos, apparently a good bar with mix of gringos and locals, with good music. Had some lovely cocktails there (at gringo prices), but the music was terrible, all top 40s stuff. We headed to another bar where our friend Max had gone to meet a girl, Malebrini I think it was called. Max wasn´t there and they were playing lots of Bolivian-salsa style dance music. Went home pretty early.

Slept in the next day. Then Andy and I attempted to go to Tiahuanaco (Tiwanako). Attempted because the tours and transport was so confused nobody could tell us for sure where to catch the bus from. Instead we wandered around the markets in the city. In the afternoon, a bunch of people from the hostel went to a Cholita wrestingly show. Now Cholitas are Bolivian women who wear the big floral skirts, have long plaits on both sides of their head, and is often seen wearing those funny English bowler hats. This wresting match was WWF style, very dramatised but still plenty of violence and gore. One lady was bleeding in the head afterwards. We only made it for an hour of the match, first half was the Cholitas, the second a 2 team game with midgets and lots of costumes. It´s hard to describe, but entertaining enough. Maybe the photos will give a clearer picture.

I liked La Paz because it was cheap, there was plenty to do, but the entertainment isn´t as good as I`m used to. It was bad because it was crazy and confused, the pollution, high altitude, and I definitely didn`t appreciate people having sex in the dormitory while other people were trying to sleep. All in all, it was okay.


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