We finally arrived the offical capital of Bolivia: La Paz.
First of all: geographically just unbelievable the location of this city where the population approx. 8 millions… whole bunches of building are sitting in a deep valley in an altidute 3650meter high and because the city is growing – its slowly climbing up to the mountains. To see all of this with your own eye: u need to get on the funicular system (3 lines are running and they building some more to cover all) which cost just 3 bolivian one way. Absolutely georgeous panoramic view.
With this u gonna feel the contrast between rich and poor people just checking out the state of the houses. I think must be 70% of the houses are not finished yet – and i dont think they will finish them at all even if families are living inside. Anyway…
The whole central has got a very special atmosphere with its beautiful but a little bit abandoned buildings and churches. The traffic is chaotic cause the cars go wherever they want. We do not try the experience of getting in a “makeyourself” taxi-minibus cause they have pretty bad reputation however its seems the system working really well (drop u off in your door).
Be prepaired: u will going to find mínimum 3 cash machines in every single street. And they are working perfectly. But u are not going to find any supermarkets at all (sorry its a lie: we saw one from a bus in the “luxurydistrict”). There are little stands everywhere on the streets where u can find the most basic stuff like tampon, napkin, chocolate bar, shower gel and battery…. hehe :). There is big market as well every single day mostly with clothes and electronic stuff from very early in the morning. Unbelievable cheap. We did not come here to do a big shopping: but would be awesome. Especially the stuffs made of the fur of llamas and alpacas – beautiful, warm and cheap.
There is no big tradition of restaurants (couple of posh places in the “rich district”) but u never ended up hungry. If u dont mind a good cheap and fast bite: streetfood is awesome. U can face again with a totally different type of empanada (baked or fried), pizza-bite or humanitas (baked cheesy corn bread – i absolutely love it!) for a couple of bolivianos. If u need a bit more (and u dont think about hygienic quiestions) go for the very cheap lunch deal with starter main and drink for not more then 10 bolivianos. These places are usually just someone·s living room literally where mum is cooking a bit more food to sell the rest. Good experience if u wanna have an idea of a normal life here. And if u still want more than this: check trip advisor. Hard to find but it must be a couple of places around u (we tired the 1700 which is on the “Witch Street”, fuckin slow service but the food worth to wait!!!).
The question got answer from the post before… where are the old men?… We did find them here. Most of them are just sitting on the street and chewing coca leaves if they are not bus or taxi drivers… the rest is cleaning shoes for others. They do not wear traditional clothes – not like old women. Who smells bad by the way under the million layers of clothes in 30degrees. Hm… uncomfortable.
But after all we do love La Paz. And we feel safe – even Gigi. The truth is that local people dont give a f*ck about us. They look but in the same way how anyone else would stare at u with a 20kilos of backpack. Not more or less. Even in the market – they dont want to sell u anything or lick your *ss – other way around. Bolivian people seem to be pretty lazy and they need a lot of effort to move their little finger. So dont be surprised if the service in a restaurant is really slow or u need a whole day to pay your hostel (the find the right person who knows how to use the card reader). Its just like this. They are chilled.
After visited the center of the city we had an extra day before going to Copacabana… so we were checking the tour options. The best was biking on the “DEATH ROAD” – the world·s most dangerous road with the highest accident rate… yeah, but it is the most expensive as well (one day tour and 500-600 bolivianos) So finally we paid for a tour to climb up the Chacaltaya at 5400meter high (130 bolivianos) and see another Valle de la Luna.
It was a surprise tour. First of all – a massive big old bus with a superannoying lady-guide. Second of all… they did not joke about taking us to 5300meter high WITH THIS BUS. On roads with not 100% aceptable conditions. This was a real DEATH ROAD – two in one. And for some more adventure it started to snow on 3000 m high. We were already in the clouds so was hard to see anything. Rough ride – extrem circumstences. When we got back was already funny. Even if we were scared like little rabbits up there in the middle of nothing. There was an old abandoned ski center on the very top with the most disgusting toilets ive ever seen in my life (u know the feeling when u think its better to pee outside in the middle of a snowstorm).
But we did survived with our “very profesional driver” and we did have our “death road” after all. We can continue to Copacabana …