La Paz

La Paz Travel Blog

 › entry 17 of 28 › view all entries

Arrived in La Paz at 10am. Im not sure what i expected from this city but it was crazy, every inch of space was taken up either with cars, houses, market stalls, the lot! Even the hills where covered with houses, but not like favellas in Rio. These house seemed to be mainly brick and occupied by standard residents. This is a mad and Chaotic city! I was so tired from the bus and was so happy to discover that my first nights accomodation on my GAP tour was a private room in a hotel, a hot shower was a treat and even cable tv and a kettle. luxury or what! All i wanted to do was sleep but felt guilty not seeing the city, i wanted to visit the jail, it was meant to be an experience but i found out that there had been some undercover filming the previous day and it was now shut down to visiters. I took a walk to the witches market, all the stalls selling the same kind of things. I remember seeing photos of someone in South America through a blog and they were wearing these jumpers with patterns and animals, i thought at the time how awful they were! I only remembered this as i was walking back to the hotel with my new jumper, Alpacha wool, bright green with patterns and animals on it, haha i giggled to myself. It was raining hard and i wasnt really in the mood to do much else so walked back to the hotel with some bread and snacks. Rugby Union was on the tv,  i watched Ireland win the Trophy just before i dropped off to sleep.

The welcome meeting for my organised tour was in the evening. I was really looking forward to spending time with the same people, and couldnt wait to find out who they were. I met the tour leader first, his name was Manuel (faulty towers came to mind!) he explained that  the group had already been together and travelled from Rio in the last 4 weeks, i was nervous now knowing they have all been together for so long but walked through to meet everyone, Manuel didnt introduce me so i just sat there feeling really awkward until he have finished talking. I then introduced myself, but noone seems to be overly welcoming and there just carrying on with there chats as though i wasnt there. I was really shocked at how young the group was, all around 18-20 years old apart from two Sarah from UK and Andrea form Switzerland who were my age. They were nice and came to talk to me, the explained that 6 of the group were friends from back in the UK, Mike was travelling alone and had become close with the two Norweigen girls Kat and Thea, they told me they were very young and tended to stick together leaving them to do their own things. I was dissapointed, i would have prefered more of a mixture in ages and wondered how hard it would be to join the group halfway through the trip. Anyhow we all went to dinner and i mainly spoke with Sarah and Andrea, but a few words with the others. I figured it would take time so just enjoyed my meal and thought no more of it.

Early morning we all checked out, today we would leave Bolivia and head over to peru. The coach journey was really pretty, the landscape changed from highrise to wonderfully green terraces, these were still being used to grow crops should as Quinoa (inca rice) potatoes (4000 varieties in Peru!) and vegetables. I watched an old lady working the crops in the fields, she would then probably sell them on the side of the road trying to earn enough money to live. There are so many living in poverty its sad but they are so resiliant and soldier on with a smile on their faces, a proud nation and always living in hope. On the bus the driver was playing local bolivian music, it was the same music i was listening on the salt flats with Alfredo and Marley, i asked him in Spanish to write down the name of the cd so i could buy it, he took out the cd and put it in the sleeve, i went to write it down but he told me i could have it, i offered him money but he wouldnt except, so nice of him and just confirmed my opinion on this wonderful country.

I left bolivia and crossed through Copacabana and onto Puro, my first stop in Peru. Again there was an immediate change, the landscape became flatter, lots more green, through the terraces and crops,  the roads smoother and peoples faced slightly different.  I thought i would be staying in basic accomodomation like hostels so was suprised to find another hotel for the night, the group was divided up into pairs and i shared with Andrea. The first thing we were told about Peru was that there was alot of fake money in circulation and to check our change. I hadnt been in the country 30 mins and got done! Me Andrea and sarah took a walk around town it was Sunday and nothing much going on, the catherderal looked nice so we went indside, a little old lady was sat outside selling candles so i bought one and took my change. Only when buying some water in a shop down the road was i told that the coins i had were fake, i couldnt believe it, there was a police car over the road and the man waved them over, the police asked us to get in the car and go to identify the lady, i couldnt bear grassing the old lady up to the police,  So i told them i didnt want to and walked away with my fake coins.  In the evening we all went to a meal to a traditonal Peruvian restuarant, i had Alpacha staek, Alpacha and Llama are common meat and it was really nice (dad you would have loved it) i had a couple of glasses a red wine and a desert and it all came to 3 pounds, bargain! There was a thunderstorm as we were leaving and none of us had rain jackets, the weather here is so changable and probably best to dress for all situations, the locals all laughed as we ran down the street, trying to dodge the rain but in vain, we were all soaked when we got to the hotel. I hoped it would clear for the next day on the Island trip.

deboraaah says:
haha i must have dropped off before the end xx
Posted on: Apr 06, 2009
rigbydavid1 says:
Hi Debs,
You must have fell asleep before the finish of the rugby because Ireland won the trophy, Wales missed with the last kick of the game !!!
Nice to hear from you again, thanks for the txt updates.
Take care, love you loads, Dad xxx.
Posted on: Apr 02, 2009
deboraaah says:
sorry im so behind with my blog, i have a few free day coming up so will write more soon,
miss you all and love you loads xxx
Posted on: Apr 02, 2009
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La Paz
photo by: wilfredoc2009