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June 8th 2010
Published: June 8th 2010
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Saving grace of a 12 hour layover
The South American Adventure begins!
After getting, in my opinion, more than enough sleep Friday night, I hit the streets to explore! As I left, I made sure to clear the places on the map I intended to go with Jorge (host brother) and he assured me a safe expedition.
I wandered down Sanchez Lima to the first plaza on my agenda-Plaza Avaroa. This has turned into a very popular meeting spot and is a very busy place. Like Spain, many vendors and stray dogs-but still could be a place for a peacefull afternoon of "cultural observation"
From there, I headed up to "Mirador el Monticulo" and it literally was UP. Extremely steeeeep cobblestone streets brought me to a beautiful lookout of the city! Just my luck, I happened to stumble upon a wedding!!! I remember the weddings I witnessed in Spain, the family and friends were dressed over the top and super formal. These wedding guests (with some exceptions of traditional dresses worn by the older women) was more casual. I even spotted someone wearing jeans, although he could have been a creepy tourist just like me....?
Continuing to HIKE up and down the streets, I hit up Plaza Espana
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Quaint little bedroom
y Plaza Sucre-both were cute little squares fillled with readers, vendors, dogs, and Bolivians 😊
Later that day-when the roommate was better adjusted to the altitude-we set out on a walking tour togther.
This brought us to the northern part of town up the street "Prado"
We stopped at Iglesia de San Francisco, however church was in session so we relaxed on the pretty steps in front of the church. After catching our breath (and everytime I say that-it is literally what we do) we found one of the main food markets of La Paz. I'm speechless on how to describe this. Pictures really didn't capture the craziness and crowdedness?
Blocks and blocks of make-shift booths of fresh food were for sale. Although even the center of the streets there would be women sitting on a pillow in the middle of all their produce. One women would be sitting in the middle of eggs, the next would have a little box flipped upside down with cow hearts on it. It was so interesting to see and SMELL what they had. When we navigated our way out of the maze another breather was necessary-however luckily it was mostly down hill back
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to the apartment.
Mi Apartamento: I have really enjoyed my living situation! I seem to luck out 😊
Quaint little place, Erin and I reside in one room with our own bathroom. The meals I don't even get nervous for anymore! Breakfast dishes have included banana bread, chocolate cake, and "empanadas" which are like croissants filled with cheese and warm milk (similar to the sweet box milk in Spain)
Lunch is super IMPORTANT for the family. Everyone sits down and there is typically 3 courses. The lunches have ranged from hamburgers to salads with mayo and potatos on top!
The supper has been a little bit of an adjustment, but I am learning to trust them. Carmen (my host mom) says "forget sleep if you eat supper" Because of the altitude, many Bolivians don't eat supper, but instead have a cup of tea around 8:00pm. They loved how I was able to relate to tea time-since this has been a forming habit with my Mommy in the US and I 😊
In general, my self-directed orientation of La Paz was successful and I am really enjoying the city, people, and FOOD 😊

Love from Bolivian Bear

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 24


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Same view-at night. Just breathtaking
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My apartment building-floor 9! -There are 2 elevators, one for even floors and one for odd floors.
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These "backslings" carry kids or food!

10th June 2010
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Nice airport photography here... how long did you spend setting this shot up and taking pics from different angles? I can picture this being at least an hour project....

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