Blogs from La Paz Department, Bolivia, South America - page 2


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz June 13th 2014

They are everywhere in La Paz. Bowler-hatted women with wide layered skirts and yards of petticoats. A strange look. A fashion adopted from the colonists who used their own Spanish style to separate themselves from the indigenous. But the Aymara took it, and made it their own, and centuries after the Spanish left, flounced skirts (known as a pollera) and fringed shawls continue to be 'de riguer' among native women. It's a striking look. Matronly. Not at all sexy. But maybe Aymara men feel differently. All those petticoats (centros), emphasise the hips, and suggest that the women will be good child-bearers. And children are important to the Aymara; families are large, each child, it's reasoned, a source of eventual income. The look seems to be all about bulk. As many as twenty polleras and centros can ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz June 5th 2014

My journey to La Paz was an eventful one, but finally I arrived...without my only two jumpers as I left them in the taxi!! A sad moment as I knew La Paz was going to be cold at night! At my hostel, I was explaining my journey and a girl behind me , Maddy, that was also checking in said the same had happened to her! We got chatting and decided we needed to go straight for something to eat after our 20 hours of travelling! We went to the market as its the cheapest place and got chicken and rice. Was so good! We then went in search for a jumper for myself and Maddy's mum. I found one for 85 Bolivianos, not bad. Kept me very warm though. I had a look around the ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz June 5th 2014

We'd been told to get there early. But the line was still long. Everyone wanted to try it. Where there's a queue in Bolivia there are vendors. Men, women and teenagers paced and hawked. Ice-cream men did a roaring trade, pushing hand-carts, and handing out cones. Ball-point pens seemed to be the hot item of the moment. 'Boligrafas, uno peseto', shouted a man holding out a display of splayed biros in his hand. Curious. The line moved forward, past road-side 'tiendas', crammed with bottles of soft-drink, sweets and toilet rolls. People ate at hamburger stands under sun umbrellas. There were chocolates on sticks and toffee apples; comic books and toy areoplanes. All the fun of the fair. La Paz had just got a new ride, a brand new cable car. This was a try-out. For free. ... read more
The line stretching in front of the old railway station
Where there's a queue, ....
there's food...

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz May 29th 2014

There's no way a city like La Paz should be where La Paz is. Squeezed into a gully, red-brick houses tumble down steep slopes, and seem to dangle precariously, half-way between heaven and earth. It's topsy-turvy crazy, with the poor people living on the canyon's lip at 4,000m; ('El Alto' literally means 'the high place'); the city centre about 500m lower, (referred to as 'la hoyada' or the hole, by residents of El Alto) and the richest living 500m lower still, in the desert-like environs of 'Zona Sur'. The buildings may be ugly, but the location is spectacular, and the city is a constant eye-popping joy and strangely photographic. At street level La Paz is frenetic, congested, and dirty. Roads full of traffic, horns blaring, smoke belching. Chunky, brightly painted, old Bluebird school-buses career up and ... read more
An 'El Alto' High
Social Selling
Calle Jaen

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz May 28th 2014

****SPOILER ALERT**** La Paz may be our least favourite spot we have yet to ever visit. ever. don´t go. As much as I would have liked to have kept a better track of putting up posts, taking photos, and journaling, the last six days have been a solid testament to our patience. Perhaps, the last week was a gift from somewhere, to teach us this patience. To say it has been a long, long six days is an understatement. Shall we begin? I should start off by saying that although this city now has left a terribly unfortuante taste in our mouths, there have been a few lovely moments, and several incredibly helpful and kind people. Yet overall, bad taste. Our luggage took three days to arrive, thank god we had booked a nice, PRIVATE, room ... read more


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department May 27th 2014

You think that La Paz is too big, too busy and that you aren’t yourself in the capital of Bolivia, don’t worry, I felt the same way but there is a way to feel better. There is indeed within a few hours nice places where you could go, which will bring you to quietness again. 1. 1. My favorite place to come back to nature is Copacabana and the Isla del Sol. Yes, it’s touristic but you can easily go somewhere, where you will not find so many tourists. To go to Copacabana, there are local buses, which should cost you 20 Bolivianos and are leaving close to the cemetery in La Paz. In around 4 hours, you will then arrive in Copacabana, including the boat transfer on a small portion of Titicaca lake. Once outside ... read more
1st sight of Lake Titicaca
Inca ruins on the Northern part of Isla del Sol
View over the beach

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz May 26th 2014

Hola from Bolivia! I took the bus from Puno,in Peru, to Cococabana in Bolivia and then jumped on another bus to La Paz. When I got to the bus station in Puno, I was told my bus ticket hadn´t arrived at the office so I was waiting- with five minutes until my bus departed- for my ticket. Thankfully, someone delivered it on time and I was on time for the bus. When I got on the bus, however, someone was in my seat and seemed to take forever for someone to sort it. I was finally given a seat and had no one next to me so I could spread out :) On the way to Cococabana, I had to cross the boarder. It was pretty much straight forward. I had to see the police on ... read more
Respecting Pachamama
Enjoying the pre-ride before Death Road
Trying to get over the dried mud!

8 May 2014 Thursday. Our guide, Juan, picked us up at our La Paz hotel at 8 am and then drove to the Main Square where , a fellow Travelblogger who I have followed for several years, was waiting for us. She asked that we wait a minute while she checked a nearby coffee shop for her camera. Unfortunately, it wasn't where she had left it, and subsequent searches were fruitless. So some of the pictures is this blog were taken by Tara. As her pictures are the highlights of her blogs, we hope that she is able to get another camera soon. After this hiccup we were off for Tiwanaku, a pre-Inca civilization that flourished from 300 to 1000 AD. The Inca's learned much from this civilization; especially how to use fasteners to keep rocks ... read more
Tiwanaku platforms being excavated
Ponce stelle located in the sunken courtyard of the Kalasasya temple
Ponce stelle

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz April 29th 2014

My journey to La Paz nearly didn´t happen. I´d opted to fly - it was very cheap and would save me a full day on the bus. I'd also been told that La Paz was a great city to see from the air. I got to Sucre´s small, provincial airport in plenty of time and checked in for my flight. Naively I asumed that my flight would appear in due course on the flight departure board (other flights did). With about 20 minutes to go to take off and still no news of my flight I checked with the check in desk and quickly learnt the error of my ways. I rushed through the security checks in time to make the final boarding call. Once airbourne I was able to enjoy Bolivia unfolding beneath me - ... read more
Looking Across The Rooftops of San Francisco Monastry - La Paz
Copacabana from Cerro Calvario
Another hectic day on Isla Del Sol

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz April 17th 2014

Days 59 Today was a day we have been contemplating for a long time. Would we or could we take on the famous mountain bike trip down the road dubbed “The Death Road” and “The World’s Most Dangerous Road”. Most of this infamy was due to when two-way motor vehicle traffic occurred on the single track road but has now been diverted to an alternate new road and now taken over by adventure seekers. The stars must have been in alignment as we agreed we could do it and the weather was agreeable. We chose Xtreme Down Hill as the tour operator as other Intrepid groups had used them previously with no adverse reviews. Intrepid give no advice on the trip & would prefer no one went. In the end I had the company of 6 ... read more

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