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Published: October 20th 2010
Yesterday we had a bit of a sleep in which was very welcome, enjoyed the delish pancake breakfast provided by the hostel and then around midday headed out. A book called marching powder has been written about the Prison here which is quite famous. It is written by a guy from Australia who stayed in the prison for four months with an English guy he had met there.
La Paz kind of reminds me of India with the hustle and bustle and bright colors. After a few hours of wondering about we headed to the prison to check it out. Apparently you can pay money to go in but there are scams whereby you can lose your cash and going inside is not advised. The prisoners, sometimes murderers, show you around. We have heard some wacky stories like people being made to buy a round of beer and cocain for the prisoners, (there is a Cocain factory inside). One girl was also rapped in the prison a while back after decided to stay the night inside. These factors have put me off.
Once at the prison we had a look around before going to a nearby hotel and paying a little cash to check it out from the rooftop. Much safer. The view was pretty good and we could see inside. There are restaurants and a church inside the prison. Families live in the prison and we saw children leaving for school. Apparently the more money you have the better your house inside because there are different renting prices. It is like a community within the walls and some prisoners actually don't want to ever leave.
After that we did some shopping at the markets. I bought lots of jewellery, a wollen jacket and a leather jacket which I love. We have been eating street food here and there. I really like to try new things but I am also aware that this is probably not a very good idea. I was feeling pretty tired from the altitude and the racing kind of traveling we are doing I guess. After relaxing at the hostel we decided to head out for dinner and invited a Canadian guy and a French guy we had met earlier. We had a great dinner at a cosy little Mexican place.
Sally has been such a great person to travel with. She loves to meet new people and is up for anything. She is smart, pretty, down to earth and speaks perfect Spanish and Portugese. She says it as it is and will snap at people if need by. Which does need be sometimes in these places. I think she shocks alot of locals who are playing dumb or can't be bothered helping us with a simple question when she (blue eyed and blond and looking like hundreds of confused tourists travelling these parts who don't speak a word of Spanish) spills forth sentence upon sentence of perfect Spanish. She has even been asked if she is from Argentina or Brazil on behalf of her perfect dialect. Oneday, she tells me, she would like to teach her children Spanish at home so they are bi-lingual.
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