Bolivian time

Trip Start Jun 16, 2008
Trip End Sep 18, 2008

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pancakes for breakfast...oh yeah! We had a list of chores to do today which included paying for our Amazon Ecolodge trip, organising a tour of La Paz and some forward planning.

We´ve now learned that even if an office says it will be open during particular times, it doesn´t necessarily mean it will be open at all.  Welcome to Bolivian time. Let us explain...

After breakfast we headed to the Chalalan office (our Amazon tour) to pay for our trip which was set for the next day. They had said they were open from 9am but they weren´t. Despite many repeat trips throughout the morning, no one was there. The office finally opened at 1pm, hmmm. We quickly paid as we had a 2.30 tour departure of La Paz and lunch still to have!

Again we faced an issue with Bolivian time. We could not find anywhere open to have lunch. On this trip so far, we have had to make do with odd lunches of crackers or Snickers when nothing else was available. We thought in a big city we would be able to find at least somewhere open! There was even one place with a sign showing their lunch menu...but the place was closed???!

We ended up finding a place frequented by locals. At first we were apprehensive given the hygiene stories we´ve heard but it was tasty...and cheap. About $2.50 for 4 courses.

We headed back to our hostel where we met our tour guide for the afternoon tour of La Paz. First stop was the Witches Market. Here we were introduced to a number of traditional remedies as well as offerings that could be made to various andean gods. For example, a dried llama fetus.

After our markets we drove to the Moon Valley which is a large collection of sandstone monoliths shaped over thousands of years.  This is an amazing place and certainly wouldn´t look out of place on the moon!

We then made our way to a lookout over La Paz where we took some photos.  After that, we were taken to a small museum which housed various items including masks used in parades and festivals as well as a full suit of spanish armour.

Final stop was the main square. We went into the Cathedral which was beautiful.  In the main square there are bullet holes in one of the corner buildings from a period of civil unrest in 2003 where police were protesting about pay. The army and the police fought and 30 people died. Our guide told us that a sniper was in the building and the bullet holes were from people trying to shoot him.

We ate at the hostel this evening (yummy steak) and ended up watching Rambo on DVD!
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