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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz
April 20th 2012
Published: April 23rd 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Thursday 12th April - Copacabana to La Paz

It was a 4 hour bus ride including a short boat trip across Lake Titicaca to get to the capital La Paz. The city is famously located at the base of a steep valley which provides you with an amazing view shortly before arriving. We checked into our ok hostal and had to then walk up 5 floors to get to our room which is harder than you might think at 3600 metres altitude. Then it was out on the mean streets of La Paz in search of food which are mental, manic, colourful and certainly full of life.

Friday 13th April - La Paz

Having decided we didn't like the location and the heart attack inducing 5 floor climb we exited our hostal and booked into the Hotel Nuevo Sol in the centre of town who did us a discount for 4 more nights. On the whole it turned out to be a good move with our jumbo sized room on the 1st floor but the bread rolls for breakfast were clearly supplied by the local dentist. We had a wander round the local artesan shops to get a feel for the prices and then headed off for San Pedro prison to see what the deal was. The setting for the book and shortly to be released Brad Pitt film, Marching Powder, is almost oddly located next to a pretty central park. However, no matter how much loitering we did in the park managed to attract the attention of any local hustlers who could get us into the prison for one of the infamous tours of the facility or even buggers for that matter, Clapham Common regulars will be disappointed to hear. After having continuous visions of the "orange in the mouth scene" from Pulp Fiction, I decided it was best to knock it on the head. We ambled further down the hill in search of a supermarket and stumbled across the British Embassey, our 1st site of home soil in 5 months.

Saturday 14th April - La Paz

We hit the markets properly today and after some hard bargaining made a few purchases that would make David Dickinson proud. Surprisingly souvenirs are probably only a fraction cheaper in Bolivia than Peru and I'd stick to what I previously said that Otavalo, Ecuador is the best place for a shop. We splashed out on 3D tickets for Titanic at the plush cinema in the evening which was tremendously uplifting watching a load of people drown but unfortunately not Kate Winslet.

Sunday 15th April - La Paz

Today was Cholita's Wrestling day which consisted of watching a handful of indiginous ladies having a grapple with one another at the local gymnasium. But before that, there was time for some more souvenir shopping and I can confidently say now that if I'm never able to go in one of these establishments ever again I won't lose any sleep over it, however the chances are non-existent. Anyway, back to the wrestlingand a slightly strange sight as you might imagine watching a load of pony tailed indian ladies in traditional dress, throwing each other around the ring and jumping off the ropes trying to tombstone one another a la the great Hulk Hogan & Undertaker. Unfortunately things got a little out of hand when a group of sunglass wearing in the dark, think we're the only race in existence, Israelis, decided to liven things up a little by throwing popcorn, jelly, drink and whatever else they could lay their hands on at the performers in the ring. Needless to say the quiet, charming, unassuming indiginous lady performers retaliated with full verocity, not unlike the Israelis fellow protagonists from their homeland, by throwing over the audience bottles of water and coke which pleased Stacie very much.

Monday 16th April - La Paz

Our last day in the capital would be spent shopping for more souvenirs and getting them posted back home. We met up with Lorena and Giovanni who we'd been trekking with in Huaraz and had some fun slagging off Peru which I think Giovanni enjoyed very much being Ecuadorian.


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