St. Mary's Church towers over Krakow's main square
St. Mary's Church towers over Krakow's main square
A black rhino!
A black rhino!

Nothing terribly exciting to report about La Paz.  We arrived by overnight bus from Sucre, a ride which was surprisingly comfortable given it was on a Bolivian bus.  We looked into flying but the prices were high and the day we wanted to leave were sold out.  The 12-hours on a discarded Argentine bus (full-cama) went by quickly enough.

Houses coat the walls of the valley
Houses coat the walls of the valley

We stayed at a hotel called Cruz de Andes that smack bang in the middle of the tourist ghetto and co-located with the Mercado de las Brujas (Witch’s Market).  Having to walk past dried llama feetuses to get to/from our room was a bit annoying but the location was convenient enough.  On the morning of our arrival we dropped by the Museo de Coca which addresses the controversial plant.  Coca has been cultivated traditional in this part of the Andes for thousands of years and is usually chewed or brewed in a tea by the locals.  This was all well and good until somewhere figured out how to refine it into cocaine (and other drugs).  Nowadays there is a heated controversy whether the Andean people should be allowed to continue their tradition.

Big mean Dodge minibuses.
Big mean Dodge minibuses.

Walking around in La Paz is a pain!  Aside from the annoying hills and altitude, the sidewalks are completely cluttered with all sorts of wares.  Blankets, hats, fried nuts, fruits, etc.  There is very little room to move around.  Crossing streets is also a bit of a challenge.  Few streets in La Paz have traffic signals so most intersections are a free-for-all.  The minibuses, micros, taxis and common cars all continuous fight for right away and I can assure you that pedestrians are not a high priority for any of them.  Entertainingly, along the main thoroughfare in La Paz one can see crossing guards that the city has hired to help people cross the road – they even make them wear zebra costumes!

Crossing guards / zebras
Crossing guards / zebras

Well that is about it for La Paz.  Like I said, nothing all that special – just a big city.  After La Paz we took a trip to Rurrenabaque to see Madidi National Park.  The photos are quite good we think (hint hint: monkeys and toucans!) so stay tuned!

La Paz, Bolivia
The witch's market near where we stayed.  Plenty of dried llama fetuses if you are looking for one.
The witch’s market near where we stayed. Plenty of dried llama fetuses if you are looking for one.
Point-to-point wiring.  Not as bad as some I've seen but a commendable effort.
Point-to-point wiring. Not as bad as some I’ve seen but a commendable effort.
Houses coat the walls of the valley
Houses coat the walls of the valley
Big mean Dodge minibuses.
Big mean Dodge minibuses.
Crossing guards / zebras
Crossing guards / zebras
Reject Bluebird school buses also roam the streets.
Reject Bluebird school buses also roam the streets.
A friendly ice cream dealer at Plaza Avaroa
A friendly ice cream dealer at Plaza Avaroa
Not the best, but not bad.
Not the best, but not bad.
Illimani looms over La Paz - 21,122 ft
Illimani looms over La Paz – 21,122 ft
Old ladies at kiosks sell cheap ($0.14) soda all over La Paz.
Old ladies at kiosks sell cheap ($0.14) soda all over La Paz.

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