20 May 2010

The Peace, Bolivia

After Uyuni, came La Paz, truly a city of extremes. Most of our time was spent recovering from the tiresome three day tour of the Salt Flats. There were, of course, some adventures around the city.

The most striking feature of the city, partly because of its location relative to our hostel (directly across the street) was the market. I have been impressed by markets before in Bolivia, the Sucre Market took up a four story building, even flooding into the streets surrounding. The market in La Paz, however, 5-6 square blocks. Enough to find anything you would need, but then get lost trying to get out. This market contained most of our adventures.

There was "tienditas" (small shops) of every greasy street food imaginable, handbags, earrings, pork, etc. Their was a street devoted to fish, one to fruit salads, another to electronics, even another to jeans. The most interesting street, however, was one called the Witches Market. Here one could purchase totems which improve fertility or cure illnesses, various herbs which can do the same, and of course, the lovely llama fetus. I still don't know how they get said fetuses, but they are put under the foundations of new houses in order to ensure good health and luck.

Various museums were enjoyed as well during our time in La Paz; I use "our" because I was still with the British Couple and Aussies. The first museum was just off the main plaza, in Cathedral San Francisco, and gave an account of religion in La Paz. The coolest part was the ability to get to the top of this magnificent cathedral, looking down on the market below. Another museum enjoyed by us Gringos was the Museum of Musical Instruments. Standard old artifacts (obviously music related), all behind glass. The real treat came at the end, where sample instruments were available for play, and play we did.

All these daytime adventures were surrounded by a couple of exciting nights in the city; drinking, dancing, and comparing countries occurred in force. After the last night, I awoke early to catch a bus to Copacabana, a town on Lake Titicaca and the last one before crossing into Peru. I hiked to the top of a hill overlooking both the town and the Lake and simply caught up on Journaling; at this point, my journal was still back in Santa Cruz. I am caught up now though.

After enjoying the sunset from atop my hill, I crossed into Peru.

Somethings Interesting;

--At one point, the monks of Cathedral San Francisco made fabulous wine.

--The main purchase from the Witches Market for us was some legal psychedelic tea. It is made from the San Pedro cactus, similar to Peyote. We indulged, used twice the suggested amount, and felt nothing.

--In our excitement to find said tea, we believed a woman who told us her potato-like roots were what we were looking for. She was later nowhere to be found, but we used the roots in a curry that was delicious.

--Two and half weeks left! I don't know what to feel.


  1. You should feel like it's exciting to embark on your new adventures...