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October 24, 2004

A Little More on La Paz

In Copacabana, I met up with two Americans I'd met on the boat to the floating islands, Kristin and Brian, and we took a bus to La Paz together. As I'd heard, the first view of La Paz is stunning. The main highway chugs along on the high, flat altiplano at 4000 meters, and suddenly a valley drops down in front of you and the city is nestled at the bottom and crawls up the sides. It was just starting to rain as the bus stopped a few minutes for us to take pictures and take in the view, and parts of the city were still sunny and some buried under rain clouds. The road into town curves around the side of the valley, and while it's a major highway it also feels quite wooded--reminded me of parts of LA I've driven through.

We decided to stay at the hotel the bus dropped us off at (many of them are affiliated with hotels, so that's where they drop you off). It was fairly central and only $5, but also a little weird--it was on the top few floors of a shopping mall with an atrium in the middle, and all the rooms had big storefront windows with curtains over them. Once I discovered that our floor had more security than had originally been apparent, I decided to stick it out for one night, and it was okay. That night we went to a really tasty pizza place, checked out a few tour agencies, and saw the Witches' Market, where they sell all kinds of wacky herbs, llama fetuses, and more to be used in spells of some sort. That's about all I saw of La Paz. I really wanted to go to the Coca Museum, where they explain the history of this important plant, which I enjoyed in Peru (in its natural form, used to stave off altitude sickness) and which is the subject of much debate, but the next morning I was off to Uyuni to start my tour of the Salar. And that's another entry.

Posted by Amy on October 24, 2004 06:15 PM
Category: Bolivia
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