Food and football

La Paz Travel Blog

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La Paz is an amazing city: it sits sprawled in a basin between mountains, and it gives off the feeling of being huuuuge (although it apparently only has a population of some 2.5 million people). Coming in to La Paz by bus is exciting, as you circle around the upper (and poorer) suburb of El Alto, then descend into the city proper. Apparently there are only 5 roads out of La Paz and they can often be blocked if the people living in the upper suburbs decide to strike.

I spent 5 nights in La Paz - a bit longer than I`d planned, and I didn`t even do that much. I stayed at The Adventure Brew Hostel which is a new hostel, still under renovation, run by Kiwi and Bolivian management. There`s a brewery under the hostel that brews Saya beer (a lager and an ale, both quite good). The hostel was offering a free beer for every night you stay while it`s still being done up. The rooms were lovely, wooden floors and big wooden boxes to put your bags in, comfy beds with lots of blankets, decent hot showers, barbecues every other night and free, good, all-you-can-eat pancakes for breakfast every morning. Unfortunately, some of the people working there are a little incompetent and their booking system is written into a big book so there were several stuff-ups and people were constantly being moved from dorm to dorm. One night three of us shared a double bed (it wasn`t too comfortable).

La Paz is wonderful for shopping. The touristy area is spread across a few streets just off Plaza San Francisco and consists of shop after shop after artesan hall of textiles, jumpers, jewellery, hats, etc etc. I think I`m going to buy a guitar, which comes in a lovely handwoven guitar case, when I return to La Paz in August.

I watched a lot of football (soccer); some guys at the hostel had a system - the 10am game was watched in a cafè called 100% Natural (great food, burgers and juices, but I must warn against the Schwarzenegger drink. I must have been feeling particularly adventurous - it`s a blended drink containing a raw egg, beer malt, banana, quinoa and milk. And steroids, who knows. I couldn`t finish it). Then the afternoon games were watched at Cafè Sol y Luna which also served pretty good food, but relatively expensive by Bolivian standards. One night a bunch of people went out to a relatively new restaurant/bar, RamJam, to celebrate Shaun`s birthday. Shaun is a guy from England who had been working at the hostel bar and doing the barbecues for the last 2 weeks (and frankly seemed to know more about the running of the hostel than the people at reception).

Unfortunately, I don`t have many interesting things to say about my time in La Paz, as I spent most of it eating and watching football, but it`s such a lively city and I think you`d have to spend a whole lot longer there to appreciate everything it has to offer.

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La Paz
photo by: wilfredoc2009