The world's highest capital city

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Thursday, October 21, 2010

The bus journey from Copacabana to La Paz was probably our best yet, partly because of the amazing views from the bus, the lake to one side and glacial mountains on the other, but mainly because half way through the journey the bus driver asked us all to get off the bus and we were sent to board small passenger boats across part of the lake. What about the bus with all of our luggage your thinking? - that was exactly what we were thought! Not to worry, it had a boat all to it's self, well when we say boat we really mean several long logs tied together like a raft! The bus drove onto its 'boat' and slowly floated across the river while we stared on in amazement! When the boat finally reached the other side we reboarded the bus and continued onto La Paz. 

The entry into La Paz was quite incredible and sad at the same time, La Paz used to have a poor suburb on its outskirts called El Alto and over the years this became so big that it is now a city in it own right and has a population of nearly a million people. El Alto is a stark reminder that Bolivia is a developing country and is very different from the capital it sits right next to.

La Paz (meaning the peace) is the highest capital city in the world and sits in a bowl shaped valley with buildings literally clinging to the sides. La Paz is a city that has many faces, from small market streets to tall buildings that wouldn't look out of place on a European skyline.
We arrived in the centre of La Paz and decided to try one of the hotels, as the guide book had said you can sometimes negotiate rates similar to hostels, and we were in luck, we managed to negotiate the price from 200 bolivianos to 120! 

We spent the next three days relaxing and exploring the narrow and hilly streets of La Paz, including savouring treats and fresh fruit juices in the local market and spending a whole day exploring the many artisan stores for a bag for Carla, which in the end she decided not to buy!! Our hotel was right next to the witches market, which was fascinating and slightly disturbing as every stall sold lama fetus among the other weird and wonderful items. La Paz, like Bristol, is a city that celebrates its urban art and artists, with lots of walls covered with well designed Graffiti, some with political messages and some not. 

Tomorrow early in the morning we are heading into the Amazon! 

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