Altitude Again

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July 9th 2009
Published: July 13th 2009
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Atsuko in a frame from a church.
Slept like a baby on the bus journey up to La Paz from Iquique. Woke up when it got light by which time we were high in the Andes again. These journeys through the mountains are something else, the roads twist and turn, the buses struggle up in low gears, passing lorries going the other way is an inch perfect operation and the views are spectacular, it´s a great experience.
We arrived in La Paz in the early afternoon so saw the city from the road at the top of the canyon it´s built in. It´s a totally mental place to build a city - in the bottom of a steep sided canyon 3600m above sea level !!! It´s also a great city, friendly people and full of life. There are markets everywhere selling almost everything you can think of, thousands of micro´s (minivan buses), hundreds of local restaurants and every one of them has a person touting for business shouting out what they have to offer and the prices. In the old parts of the city the streets are narrow and very busy, it takes some doing to avoid getting run over. It has other sides as well with a

Me with part of southern La Paz and Illimani in the background.
modern downtown business district, city centre parks and lookouts, and some good museums - although the actual opening times seem to be different to what it says on the door, we went to the National Art Museum at 11am and although it said it opened at 10h30 the door was closed and locked with no sign of anybody opening it.
We´re looking forward to Peru, where we´re heading next but will be sad to leave Bolivia. We´ve really enjoyed the times we spent here, it´s a country with many things going for it - natural resources, attractions, it´s people. The only downside is the lack of heating in cafe´s, restaurants, hostals etc at high altitudes, there just isn´t that nice warm feeling you get in other cold countries.

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Mural celebrating 200 years since the start of the battle to free Bolivia from Spanish rule.
Business DistrictBusiness District
Business District

The business district of La Paz. This part of the city is new and modern.

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