To describe La Paz, Bolivia in such a way as to do it justice is indeed a challenge.
At 3600m in altitude, just to walk a block is an adventure that requires one to have their wits about them - as much for the plethora of unruly vehicles, broken sidewalks and streetside vendors as for the thin air. Not an ideal city to retreat to in search of tranquility, there was always a parade or party of some description pushing aside the traffic to take over a street nearby, always with a marching band and fire-crackers. Admittedly we didn´t explore the city half as well as we could have, with so many things to do it was quite overwhelming.
We mostly derived enjoyment from strolling the various markets and eating the menu of the day at the local hotspots. Dale suffered his first bout of food-poisoning when he found himself unable to resist the spiciness of the table salsa at one such foodstall. A thankfully quick recovery and a lesson hopefully learned well.
Street after cobblestone-street of shopping!
An unlikely fellow to find here. An epidemic of Zebra all over the city guiding traffic and generally being good citizens. A govt. inititive.
San Fransisco Church. The facade has many indigineous touches that represent the merging of cultures
Offerings for wealth and prosperity in the witches market.
The vibrant colors and designs of the costumes are incredible
An artistic touch to an enduring image
Llama fetus are buried under the cornerstone of new buildings to appease Pachamama.
No such thing as a day in Bolivia without a festival
To pick the best lunch spot, follow the locals
Dale defending his honor
One big day trip out of La Paz was to visit Tiwanaku, the ruins of a spiritual center of the pre-Incan Tiwanaku people. They were a powerful people ruling the area for thousands of years before mysteriously disappearing a few hundred years before the Incas came to power. Although the majority of the area is still to be escavated we were amazed by what ruins were visible. The huge stone monoliths covered in carvings, the immense gateways marking the entrances to the spiritual complexes and the amazingly accurate right angles of the carvings were all stunning. In the past some archeologists had even postulated that the stonework was so perfect it had to have been done by aliens! We were quite pleased to have visited the site before heading to Peru in order to appreciate the remains of pre-Incan civilizations.