Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

City in the sky

La Paz is the highest city in the world, and we are now officially 3660 metres above sea level!
The Bolivian buses aren´t like the other ones we´ve been on. Even though we were on a ´super cama´ - top of the range bus, it was still slightly dingy and no bathroom for 20hours is a long time!
The view we got in the morning was lovely - our first sight of the Andes with the snow capped peaks. Really nice.
We arrived at about 11am and decided to check into one of the hostels recommended in the Lonely Planet.
Needless to say, we were fairly knackered when we checked into the hostel, but it is a really lovely place, with all the facilities that we could need and clean rooms - just like being in a hotel. All for the grand total of about EUR8 each per night!

There´s a fair bit of a temperature difference here. It was mid 30´s in Santa Cruz and now we´re in the mid teens.
Apart from the temperature difference, the major shock was the altitude and how it affected us. When we were getting our vaccinations the doctor warned us about it and told us to listen to our bodies. I thought if we were doing something strenuous, we would be out of breath, but just after walking up a couple of flights of stairs both of us were wheezing like 80 year old asthmatics, and our hearts were racing at 100mph.

After a bit of a rest, we headed out to have a look at the city. La Paz seems like a really nice place, and we both wish we could have more time here. The streets are narrow and cobbled and very steep, as the city is built in the middle of a valley with 6000 metre mountain peaks all around.

Each street is so colourful with all the indigenous Bolivians selling their brightly coloured scarves, hats, name it, they weave it!

It´s really funny to see all the people that are dressed so traditionally. Women in gingham dresses with their hair in long black plaits and bowler hats perched on top of their heads.

Dinner was another bargain. A meal in a really good Chinese restaurant cost about EUR15 for the 2 of us...


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