Noisy Demonstrations and No Traffic!!?

La Paz Travel Blog

 › entry 47 of 71 › view all entries

We woke with the intention to visit the museums in La Paz since we have been here so long and haven´t bothered (I´m telling you, the ice cream is too good)!

We headed towards Plaza Murillo about midday, and the main streets were crowded with protesters. There were seriously thousands and thousands of people. Some holding banners and marching the streets. As we got closer to Plaza Murillo we noticed it was getting louder, with what we thought at the time were blanks being fired and people chanting. We then noticed there was no traffic (how could there be?). This was pretty amazing to see. We got to Plaza Murillo, Nathan asked a group of policemen with guns, batons and swat shields with ´Policia´over them and they confirmed (with a smile) that yes, we were in the right place.

Plaza Murillo
One of them signed to us that it was safe to go through the massive crowd. They were just smiling, I guess thinking ´those gringos have no idea what´s going on´.

We then spied a couple who we met the day previous on the biking tour who said they had found out it was regarding the President of Bolivia who had been in office or about a year now and he had promised to bring the government to La Paz and of course... hadn´t as yet. The government in Bolivia is divided between La Paz (the largest city) and Sucre (the official capital of Bolivia). We had a local woman come up to us (right in our faces) and have a speal about whatever was going on, and we guess how she is very much angry about it. Of course, we had no idea what the hell she was talking about. We were both thinking that this could get ugly, I mean the Bolivians did take one of their president´s in to this plaza before and hanged him in the 1940´s.

People....
...!! I know I wouldn´t want to cross them. Apparently though we missed the part where people were throwing fireworks (which we had thought were blanks) at the police. The noise of the fireworks hitting the governments building was pretty loud, and cleared the plaza of all pigeons - that is for sure! Let´s hope that it´s fine weather tomorrow as a lot of people will be wanting their clothes to dry!

So, as you can only assume... the museums were closed so no sightseeing for us today. We also found out that most flights to the jungle have been cancelled, so we have decided not to bother going at all. It´s a real shame, but a 17 hour bus ride and another back is not appealing to us right now, so we will be going to do our volunteer work a bit sooner than we thought.

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Plaza Murillo
Plaza Murillo
People....
People....
and more people.....
and more people.....
La Paz
photo by: wilfredoc2009