La Paz

26 August - 4 September 2003

Set in a valley at over 3,000 metres high, La Paz is a cool city (Read: Freezing at night). It is a great jumping off point for all manner of excursions such as the Choro Trek, Worlds most dangerous road, and climbing mountain peaks such as Huayna Potosi. It is also a great place to shop with markets blocking every street.

Upon arrival to La Paz you are welcomed by the tourist police.

These smashing chaps tell you to be very careful and to ignore all police unless they will take you a station as the best trick in La Paz is to dress as a copper and rob tourists.

This is how half of La Paz seem to conduct their daily existant.

I have apples... I sell apples... I buy bread... feed family bread and apples for dinner.

The witches market in La Paz is a sight to see.

You can buy anything from Alco-pura (96% ethanol) to Dried Lamas and Lama fetuses.

This is Jason's favourite silly hat.... He took the photo so he could check if it was silly enough to buy as the shop couldn't find its mirror. ( Or were they worried that he wouldn't buy it if he saw it on?)

Having spent 2 days locked in a hotel room driving the porcelain bus and crop dusting, Jason couldn't stand the hotel room no more and Claire was La-Paz-bored.

So we decided to move on to Copacabana but with CD's to burn and parcels to send we quickly missed the last bus and had to turn down the nice men at the bus station who wanted a kings ransom to drive us straight there! So it was another night in La Paz and a new hotel.

This photo is the view from the new hotel room at 3am... the noise is much worse... phonetically speaking it goes....

"Honk, honk, hooonnnnk, challa, challa, chaaaaalllllaaaa"... to be repeated every 2 minutes.

We didn't sleep!

La Paz is an amazing contrast of old meets new. It is still the second poorest nation in South America... but it still has its suits, its posh shops, and its Wagamamas (mmmmm Wagamamas).

Yet half the women are wearing the same clothes instituted by Spanish decree hundreds of years ago. ( Claire thinks its just cause it gives them easy access to urinating ANYWHERE)

Anything can be strapped to a bus roof if you tip the man on the roof enough

Whilst we liked La Paz, it does smell of Urine almost everywhere.

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