La Paz - not as peaceful as the name

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Residencial Latino - 140 bs, bth, sattv, break. Good

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Well, here we are, in the higest capital of the World. Potosi was the highest city (more than La Paz) but La Paz is the highest capital....records, records.

We left the hotel at Potosi at 6am and have arrived at the hotel in La Paz at 6pm, so 12 good hours of buses with 1 hour of exchanging bus at Oruro. So we are taking the evening calmly, having some Bolivian tapas and reading before going to our colonial hotel...

Oruro was a bit of a flop. Bolivian Tourism really promotes it for its carnival, but that is only one week a year. There is nothing else there, except lots of road work (Evo Morales is from Oruro).

But the 12 hour trip was nice, with changing sceneries, mountains, lakes and small towns. And we managed to avoid the night bus...

One of the curiosities of the bus system here is that we leave most bus stations with plenty of empty seats on our bus. Then just round the corner from the bus station (literally 20 metres away) the bus stops and dozens of locals get onboard. We think that they just want to avoid paying the terminal tax of 1-2 Bolivianos and just buy their ticket and weight outside.

The problem with that is that they bring on board all their bags, and believe us...Bolivians probably have the Guiness World Record for "Carrying Large Bags on Buses". Amazing. Old ladies with 10 boxes or bags on their backs! Worth seeing.

Not much else today as we wont be out and about in the dark (a rule which we have followed in most places except Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires).We prefer to get up early and walk around with sun light.

By the way, threat from the transport union to block the frontiers has now happened so we will see tomorrow what posibilities of getting to Peru via Titicaca exist. We need to be in Cusco by the 3rd of April so we cant hand around for long.
The good news is that we have learnt to ride Llamas and we might just cross via the mountain frontier unnoticed (not).

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