8th February 2009

La Paz – Bolivia

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Trip from Puno was supposed to last about 7H. It took 12H, mainly because passing the frontier in Copacabana was so slow. You need to be checked by the Peruvian police control, the Peruvian Customs, walk pass the frontier, visit the Bolivian Immigration office, and re-embark the bus for 100m, to finally get told that we take an hour break before departing again. Journey also involves a ferry across Lake Titicaca.
La Paz is built in a valley surrounded by mountains. We were positively surprised about the houses, way nicer than in Lima, even though Bolivia is supposed to be poorer than Peru. The reasons are probably the (much more) important population in Lima, and the frequency of earthquakes …
We happened to be in La Paz in an interesting time, which also meant that we got stuck in La Paz over the weekend (needed break).
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On Sunday the country voted for new constitution, which is why everyone was adviced to stay inside, and the locals didn’t work, so transportation didn’t run at all.
On Saturday started yearly 3-weeks lasting Alasita fair, in honour of Mother Earth. Characteristic for this fair is to sell all possible items in miniature, such as houses, cars, suitcases, lottery tickets, money and passports – all that people wish for the coming year. At the hostel there then was a ceremony led by a Bolivian witch doctor, where he blessed the items bought. We all got five coca-leaves, which we were to put a little alcohol on and throw in a fire to burn. The five wishes we made first are supposed this way to come true.
Photos

Over the weekend we spent time with a nice Irish woman and got good tips about New Zealand from a biker couple. Had to have few beers in hostel’s sky bar too as they were included in the room price..
On Monday we went just outside the city to the Valle de la Luna, Moon Valley. Moon valley is composed of an area where erosion has worn away the majority of a mountain. The mountains surrounding La Paz are composed of clay. The mineral content of the mountains varies greatly between individual mountains. Because of this the sides of the mountains are different colors, mostly a clear beige or light brown color. You can also see red ones, with sections of dark violet.

Photos

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 8th, 2009 at 7:03 and is filed under in English please !, news, voyages, worldtrip'09. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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