Carnival Chaos

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Sol Andino Hostel

Flag of Bolivia  , La Paz,
Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Day : 296
Temperature : 10 degrees
Weather : Cold and cloudy with some sunny spells

We have spent five whole days in the dizzying heights of La Paz doing absolutely sod all…it's been great!  We've been so exhausted with all the activity of the past few weeks that it's been bliss to completely relax.

We took the bone shaking ride on the night bus from Uyuni to La Paz. I think it was more or less a bumpy, dirt track road for the vast majority of the way and we were literally thrown around for most of the night. Except at the point when there was an accident in front of us and we were stationary for nearly 3 hours when the road was blocked. Other than that it was fine!!!

We luckily were allowed to check into our room straight away. Unbeknown to us it was Carnival in La Paz and it was utter chaos in the city. As if it wasn’t enough of a culture shock to be in La Paz by itself, with it’s distinctly more poverty stricken streets, crazy pollution choking traffic, stalls selling every souvenir you could imagine including some pretty gruesome ones of dead animals strung up by their necks, and women walking around wearing traditional clothes including the most bizarre hats on their heads and wearing shawls carrying anything from fruit, to clothes to babies in them. No, we arrived during Carnival when the streets crammed full of people and were packed full of stalls selling balloons and ribbons, clown outfits and decorations. Music was blasting from every corner. Firecrackers were thrown into the crowded streets like confetti whilst people ran for cover. Kids stalked the streets carrying water guns full of soapy liquid…and tourists were prime targets to soak! More kids hung out on the tops of buildings throwing water bombs from the roofs…and yes, tourists were once again prime targets. Total and utter chaos! Welcome to La Paz. We liked it a lot. Except for the stench which we are still none the wiser as to where it comes from…but it’s pretty gross! Kind of like a flesh rotting, smokey, fumey kind of smell....but if you can get past that then it's nice!

We met with Dan and Lee to have an Indian at a British owned Indian Curry House. The food was ok.  Not quite as nice as our local take away in Fairford (that's the best in the world!!) but it was a nice change to have curry. I don’t know whether it’s the altitude or not but it seems that our appetites are still not back to normal, and our eyes were far bigger than our bellies as we struggled to finish off the food in front of us. The altitude is still affecting us when we go out for a walk, as whenever we have to walk up the slightest slope and we are gasping for air…it’s very odd!

Tomorrow we head off to Lake Titicaca for a few an even higher the mean time, I've heard that there's an oxygen bar here in La Paz...we'll be heading to that tonight I think!!!!
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Eileen on

just read the last few blogs in a oner ! ... all amazing ..

I get a headache from the exertion of walking around tesco so I'd be even more of a wimp than you dom ! lol


Antony on

Visit the oxygent bar pront would be my advise !! Another good set of pics and interesting blog update. Antony

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