La Paz, The City Jungle

La Paz Travel Blog

 › entry 18 of 26 › view all entries
In my last blog, I mentioned some of the craziness of La Paz, Bolivia's capital.  As with everywhere else, I've been to, the altitude here is pretty high (around 500m).  La Paz is an unbelievable sight.  Snow-capped peaks can be clearly seen in the distance, but the city itself seems too busy to notice.  Noise pollution, open sewage, foul odours, crowded streets, aggressive traffic, and air pollution just attack my senses.

And I love it.

Then there are the outdoor markets, which seem to be everywhere - tons of street food and stalls of all sorts which I have to reluctantly avoid, clothing, hardware, music, etc.    And then there's the Witch's Market, where the oddest things can be found, such as dried llama fetuses of all sizes and potions and spells for all kinds of ailments.

At night, it seems that the markets are at full speed and everyone wanders around looking for things they need.  Of course, pickpockets wander in abundance here too.  I am wary, especially after one old woman in the Witch's Market warned me to watch my bag.   Yet, I can't resist the appeal of what I see and pull out my camera to take a few photographs of the business. 

Much of La Paz seems to be coming and going, but wandering into some side streets, I discover buildings with wonderful, colonial charm.   I settle into a wonderful restaurant, Angelo Colonial - not once, but twice, because everything about it seems to fit.  It is a beautiful restaurant, dimly lit by Romantic-era chandelier candles and thoroughy decorated with colonial-era items.  The seats and tables themselves are charming enough.  It is cozy, and the food is excellent - I find some amazing vegetarian fare in excellent quantities here that I haven't tried anywhere else yet.  Dinner, combined with a freshly made juice cocktail, only sets me back $3 to $4.   Amazing.

Many people say to get out of La Paz as soon as possible, but I definitely think it deserves a second chance.  
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La Paz
photo by: wilfredoc2009