Journeys in Latin America - January to June 2009

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

La Paz II, Bolivia

From La Paz

I found La Paz to be a bustling and interesting city with every kind of market you could imagine including the famous ones specializing in witch-craft and therefore being purveyors of such delights as dried llama foetuses (for burying under the front step of a newly built house to bring luck), dried frogs for unknown purposes, and a vast array of weird concoctions and tea powders designed to aid any ailment from infertility to muscle aches. We probably spent about 10 days in the city, with my little aside to try to climb Huayna Potosi which ended in exhausted failure due to illness... The picture above is a view of a large portion of the high city, from the poorer neighbourhood of El Alto which lies on the plain at about 4000m above the valley.

From La Paz
Above, at the downtown mirador (viewpoint) to watch the sun go down over the main basin of La Paz. In the background is one of the high peaks that surround the city - Illimani (about 6400m if i recall correctly).

From La Paz

On our last day in La Paz we took a bus up to the El Alto plateau and had a wander around the big market there - its a fairly shambolic affair with some people selling only a few pieces of wire ripped from dead cars; lots of cheap clothes and household goods, and basic traditional food. The vast sprawling market is certainly not for tourists, and it is indicative of the lives of poverty led by many in Bolivia´s poorer urban areas.

At the beginning of May we left La Paz for the little town of Copacabana on the shores of Lago Titicaca...

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