La Paz. Closed.

Local LadyPoor old La Paz didn’t really stand much of a chance with us. We wanted to go there… but we really wanted to see everything else we wanted in Bolivia before we got there. Our disappointment at our enforced shortened trip in Bolivia and our weekend arrival didn’t exactly make it easy for us to like.

That said, our first impression of La Paz was incredible. We arrived as the sun was rising over the many terraces of the city. La Paz lies entirely in a valley so makes a for a spectacular view, particularly as the sun rises. Unfortunately once we got off the bus we couldn’t get a room at the hostel we wanted to and the one we ended up staying at was a bit weird. To get to our room we had to walk through one of the dorms and the walls to our room were glass with curtains that didn’t fully cover them. Also, we could hear everything from the dorm. Still…. it was a bed and there was a shower and given the ordeal of the past few days we were relatively happy.

After settling into the hostel we headed out to book ourselves onto ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Road‘ bike ride. We were thwarted at every turn. Because it was a Saturday most of the shops had closed before lunch so we wandered around, ate some food, checked out the modern art gallery and went back to the hostel. That evening we located the ‘best’ restaurant in La Paz and headed out to celebrate John and Annika’s wedding!! We were disappointed not to be in England celebrating with them, but we had a lovely meal in honour of them anyway.

Sunday morning we tried the bike shops again. Closed. We’d heard from some Spanish speakers in our hostel that the newspapers were predicting the strikes would get worse, hitting La Paz and the rest of the country. We thought that it was best not to hang around any longer, so decided that we would leave the following day for Copacabana. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the city getting into any galleries that were open. We wandered up the beautiful Calle Jaén only to be disappointed by its museums.
There were colourful markets set up on El Prado and marching bands around the Plaza Pedro D Morillo, so we found plenty of things to entertain us. Outside the Iglesia San Francisco (closed!) we saw a couple of men who looked as though they’d tried to model themselves on childrens’ storybook pictures of Jesus and God performing blessings. Very odd. We had a surprisingly excellent curry at a British-Indian curry house and had an early night.

Monday morning we were up early, checked out of the hostel and headed for the bus station. We’s missed the morning tourist bus to Copacabana and didn’t want to hang around for 4 hrs until the next one, so we made our way to the cemetary and the local mini buses that also make the journey. It was relatively uneventful and even though we were sad to be on our way out of Bolivia it was a relief to finally get to beautiful, calm, quiet Copacabana!

Alexandra Written by: