La Paz, Bolivia
La Paz Travel Blog› entry 71 of 247 › view all entries
Ok, ready to use our lungs because we’re now at an altitude of 4000 meters above sea level!!!
As for La Paz, I personally enjoyed our visit here. It’s really a particular capital due to its unusual topography. And because of its location, it’s usually pretty chilly here. It was nice, the people ok, still a bit stand-offish, and the culture very interesting to see.
Arnaud, I guess, had higher expectations of it. I’d heard plenty of good things about it, so I was excited to finally arrive here. However, we’d also heard a bit of bad news about it as well. For one, almost every traveler we’d met along the way had told us some story concerning theft and La Paz. So we had a watchful eye out for the "rateros!" Luckily, nothing happened, and we were able to visit the city with no real problems.
Our visit to Mercado de Hechiseria, (Witches’ Market) was neat. This market was definitely unusual, but what the folks sell here isn't exactly witchcraft in the Hollywood sense.
All sorts of things are sold here, from mainly herbs and folk remedies, to some more crazy ingredients intended to manipulate the various spirits worshipped by the local Aymará people.
Some reasons you may need to make a purchase at this market . . . if you’re building a new house, for instance, you might want to buy a llama fetus to bury beneath the house as a cha'lla or offering to Pachamama, or Mother Earth. This is to encourage her to inspire good luck therein.
You might also want to go shopping here if someone isn’t feeling ok, or is being bothered by unwelcome or bothersome spirits. In this situation, all you need to do is buy a plateful of colorful herbs, seeds and assorted critter parts to get rid of this problem.
Sound crazy?! Anyone need to stop off at the Witches’ Market?? Una locura!!!
It was definitely a unique experience!! And even though I’d seen something similar to this in Africa, it was still neat to see.
And actually, I was sort of surprised that I was brave enough to walk on by all the market stalls that were selling all kinds of dead, dried-out animals.
Til that point, I had been fascinated by all the cute llamas we came across on our trip through the Andean countries. But here in Bolivia, they use them for other purposes! It was disgusting seeing all the dead llamas, cats, and condors!!!
Oh and let’s not forget the yatiri or witch doctors! As we walked through the market, we came across these fellas, wearing dark hats and carrying coca pouches, and who were ready to give us a reading for a special price! Would have been interesting but they were too expensive!!
Be sure to check out the photos because it was risky business taking them!! Imagine having one of these people put a curse on little ol’ me!
J’avoue avoir toujours du mal à respirer, tu me diras avec 4000m d’altitude !! C’est pas si facile.
Pour une capitale, c’est un peu triste La Paz, rien de spécial à découvrir, hormis le quartier de sorcier, avec ces animaux secs : des bébés lamas ça fait peur, des bébés condors aussi tous secs. Comme vous voyez, j’ai vraiment pas grand chose à dire...
pfff voilà !!!