Still alive and in Bolivia

La Paz Travel Blog

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A statue of Simon Bolivar in the main square of La Paz.

Well I woke up at 3:30 am to catch my 6:45 flight in Santiago this morning.  I got yelled at by the security guard in our hotel and I thought he was going to call the police because as he was yelling at me he had his hand on the phone the whole time.  Apparently, he was in the bathroom when I came down and thought I snuck in the front door.  He kept yelling at me and asking me how I got in since the door was locked.  Nothing is better than trying to cool down an angry security guard at 3:30 in the morning in a language you aren´t very good at, but I finally was able to cool him down and eventually I think he felt pretty stupid about it.

I am now in La Paz, Bolivia after spending Saturday in the Chilean coastal town of Valparaiso.

St Francis Square in the heart of La Paz
  I arrived at about 10:30 and took a cab in with a couple from South Africa who are 9 months into a 12 month tour of the world.  La Paz is definitely more chaotic and poorer than Chile and is more what I expected out of a South American City.   I splurged on a pretty nice Radisson Hotel and the immediate neighborhood is actually pretty nice and could be confused for Europe (if it wasn´t for the spanish, indegenous people and a couple dozen other differences). 

La Paz is the highest capital in the world (11,740 feet).  I have taken the altitude sickness medication that I was prescribed before arriving, but I still get a headache and short of breath anytime I walk more than a quarter of a mile.  That didn´t stop me from spending a lot of time walking around town, but I just took breaks in the middle.

The National Legislative building in La Paz.
  I loved seeing the indigenous woment with their funny hats sitting on a pile of fruit, grain, pasta or toilet paper that they were trying to sell.  It looks like they just do this all day and I wonder what the men are doing?  I also stopped by the famous witch markets that people have talked about and was pretty unimpressed.  The only thing that I saw interesting were dead llama fetuses.  Apparently, it is goodluck to put these under the foundation of your house when it is being built.  If you really want to see pictures of that, you can feel free to check it out.

Suprisingly, there was very little begging during the day, but as it get darker out it appeared that many of the women who sold things during the day switched to beggars at night.  The city is also very cheap.

I had to buy oranges from her mom. 25 oranges for $1.25. I guess it will be my snack food for the next few days.
  I bought 25 oranges for $1.25, lunch for $2.50 and dinner for under $4.  I look forward to more of the prices over the next month!  That may also explain why I have seen a lot more backpackers here, but I still have not been able to get away with English in any restaraunt or store in Chile or Bolivia yet.  I guess this is good practice.

I will be taking advantage of the free internet here at my hotel for the next few hours to take care of some banking and stuff for Michigan, but tomorrow morning I will head out to Copacabana,Bolivia.   Tonight and the bus ride will give me time to get more acclimated to the altitude which I expect will continue to bother me for a day or tow. I am really looking forward to seeing the Bolivian countryside too!!!

moeddel says:
hey mandy! No. Instead we talked about Thailand, India and Laos where they have all been recently and where they are headed next, but I will get tips from the next ones i meet.
Posted on: Jul 09, 2007
mharrison says:
So did the South African couple give you any tips on places to go in South Africa?
Posted on: Jul 08, 2007
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A statue of Simon Bolivar in the m…
A statue of Simon Bolivar in the …
St Francis Square in the heart of …
St Francis Square in the heart of…
The National Legislative building …
The National Legislative building…
I had to buy oranges from her mom.…
I had to buy oranges from her mom…
Street vendors with begs of cocoa …
Street vendors with begs of cocoa…
The view from my hotel room.
The view from my hotel room.
hmmm...she must have a bathroom pr…
hmmm...she must have a bathroom p…
Llamma fetuses...sorry for the bad…
Llamma fetuses...sorry for the ba…
La Paz
photo by: wilfredoc2009