|Hello La Paz!|
Nuestra Senora de la Paz (Our Lady of Peace), or La Paz, as it's more commonly known sits in a bowl surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano and sits in elevations of between 3200 and 4100 metres above sea level. Although very cold at night, it's not uncommon to be walking around in a t-shirt and pants during the day whilst looking out to the triple-peaked Illamani in the distance; always snow-covered and it can be seen from many parts of the city.
|Illimani, La Paz's guardian!|
Arthy's Guesthouse. Despite being on a very busy road, what lay behind the bright orange door which was its entrance was a veritable clean, cosy and tranquil oasis. The owners were helpful and treated us like their family. The kitchen was a winner. I am not going to lie, I have not been overly impressed with Bolivia's mostly fried-fare but the markets have some of the greatest variety I have seen anywhere in the world.
|La Paz street art.|
|El Alto Sunday market.|
|Aerial transport, La Paz style.|
|El Alto Market ... something for everyone!|
El Alto is also home to La Paz's Lucha Libre or 'Cholitas Wrestling' as it's more commonly known and I can highly recommend it. Much more than entertainment and profits however, Cholita wrestling is a way for Bolivian women to prove their worth in a 'man's world'. Having been abused, humiliated and discriminated against throughout history, the ring is one place where indigenous women can hold their head high, do their job with pride and be on equal footing with men! You go girrrrrrls!!!!!!!
|That's the way gals!|
La Paz, you were so much more than spectacular scenery, markets and dizzying heights! Every nook and cranny was packed with culture, information and protests! The Mercado de Hecheria, or Witches' Market, sells everything from herbal and folk remedies to toucan beaks! Interesting to walk around and watch the vendors doing rituals for everything from the purchase of a new house to getting rid of unwanted negative energy.
|Llama foetuses anyime?|
|Or perhaps a potion of some description?|
|What a collection of instruments.|
Of course we visited many markets and parks, but we also took some time to hang out and simply take in the La Paz life. I have seen lots of changes in the 15 years since I was here last. Without a doubt there is still a lot of poverty, bit this seems a world away from suburbs like Sopocachi which abounds in lovely restaurants and funky cafes.
|Central Park .. a view 'above' the rest ... La Paz.|
|La Paz by night.|
|Rooftop view, La Paz|
Soooooooo, we looked at the map ... and chose Chulumani close by ... it would prove to be one of the best choices we made, and a South American highlight!
"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back". – Arthur Rubinstein
Next: Chulumani and Lake Titicaca.
|Around La Paz.|
|Cars, buildings and protests, La Paz.|
|Out and about in La Paz.|
|A night of entertainment.|
|Bolivia's sad past.|
|Artists draw it as it is! Or was!|
|Expanding La Paz.|
|It's a hot air balloon? No, it's a cable car!|
|La Paz ... houses everywhere!|
|Cable cars run over the top of the entire city.|
|Evo ... patria o ratria?|
|Cable cars, La Paz.|
|La Paz just keeps growing!|
|Women looking for justice.|
|Everything's up for grabs at the El Alto market.|
|With our Swedish friends Sara and Mark at Arthy's Guesthouse.|
|The La Paz shoe shine ninjas!|
|More street art.|
|Saying goodbye to Reuben at Arthy's.|