Fear and loathing in La Paz

La Paz Travel Blog

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Presidential palace on plaza Murillo

On the first morning in La Paz it became clear that Aart would not be going anywhere. During the night he became seriously ill and it was all he could do to stay in bed. I brought breakfast to him but he hardly ate anything. That day I would take a look at La Paz on my own and now and then return to the hotel to see how Aart was doing. He spent the rest of the day in bed with a fever and diarrhea as I remember correctly.

 

At noon I set out to find some plain bread, cheese and bananas for him, but that was a greater challenge that I expected. I don’t speak any Spanish, but I had a dictionary with me. I went to a local lunchroom to ask for plain bread and cheese, but it still took about fifteen minutes of talking and making gestures before the good man and I understood eachother.

 

We had no information at all about La Paz.

The Witches' Market
I had never come so fully unprepared to a city, hehehe. The Man At The Hotel gave me a map and encircled some good restaurants for me.

 

As for La Paz:

 

La Paz seriously surprised me! I had looked at La Paz on Google Earth and saw it was in the middle of a barren desertland and I though: I would never want to go there! And I didn’t imagine I ever would. But I went and it was really a fun city, besides the fact that I was worrying about Aart’s condition. As opposed to all the city blocks that you find in so many cities in the Americas, the road of La Paz follow the contours of the canyon it was built in and no road is straight. They go up and down and swing to the left and right. It gives the city a unique character.

 

Typical things to notice in La Paz is the graffiti that addresses the president. Everywhere messages like “Evo, si!” can be read. Another thing is the Aymara flag, which is a different version of the striped rainbow Inca flag in Peru. The Aymara flag is a rainbow as well, but it is blocked instead of striped. A third flag that can be seen is a red-green flag for indigenous peoples in general, which became very popular with the current president.

The streets of La Paz

 

Among things not to miss is the Witches’ Market, where Bolivians can buy dried foetus llama’s and dried frogs. The Aymara people bury a dried baby llama underneath the first stones of the house for good luck, or so I am told. I smelled something awful when I was there but it might have been food instead of a dried llama foetus.

 

The main square is a very nice but rather small place with the presidential palace on it and a mayor cathedral. I got some excellent ice cream there and sat untill I got fed up with the thousands of pigeons around me (seriously, I have never seen so many pigeons, and I have seen Amsterdam).

 

Among other things I saw was a green colored market where people can buy all things coca, and off course the coca museum. I recommend the coca museum because it is professionally set up and fun to visit.

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Presidential palace on plaza Muril…
Presidential palace on plaza Muri…
The San Francisco church next to o…
The San Francisco church next to …
The Witches Market
The Witches' Market
The streets of La Paz
The streets of La Paz
The streets of La Paz
The streets of La Paz
Dried baby llamas
Dried baby llamas
Pigeons on plaza Murillo
Pigeons on plaza Murillo
Plaza Murillo
Plaza Murillo
Plaza Murillo
Plaza Murillo
The streets of La Paz
The streets of La Paz
The streets of La Paz
The streets of La Paz
Entrance to the coca museum
Entrance to the coca museum
Coca museo
Coca museo
City growing up the canyon
City growing up the canyon
The blocked Bolivian Inca flag
The blocked Bolivian Inca flag
The streets of La Paz
The streets of La Paz
markets everywhere
markets everywhere
The streets of La Paz
The streets of La Paz
The green coca market
The green coca market
La Paz
photo by: wilfredoc2009