Friday, September 01, 2006

day T minus 20

We have exactly 20 days left in our south american holiday and we are currently in the highest capital city in the world. It´s funny but I think Bolivia has the highest of many things...

We are staying at a kick ass place in La Paz, the parents of a student at ISW. All three German families we have met or stayed with on this trip have absolutely incredible houses and it´s easy to see why they are where they are if they can live so large. You´d have to be the president of Mercedes Benz to have the kinds of places they have.

Sucre was interesting in the respect that there were strikes the whole time we were there. We were even woken up yesterday at 7.30am to the sounds of dynamite being detonated in the streets. We had been told the strike of transportation folk would last two days and it even included the people who work at museums for some reason but on the third day, it was the construction dudes on strike I guess with lots of cement-looking trucks blocking the streets. We didn´t think much of it until we tried to go to the airport yesterday.

Oh, before I forget, my last two nights in Sucre we ate at the same French restaurant next to our hotel and I had filet mignon wrapped in bacon with a mushroom sauce both nights for the whopping sum of 3dollars and 50 cents. It´s good to be the king! hahah

Anyway, we get into a taxi and more than halfway there, there is a blockade keeping us from going further. We´ll go the other way, the taxi driver says and we get a bit further but then there is another blockade. He tries to drive up a steep dirt road but starts spinning the tires and so we back down and try and go back where we came from but now there are large rocks in the road keeping us from even doing that. We drove back to the second blockade and there changed taxis on the other side of the cement trucks. We shared it with a woman from South Dakota who has been living in Bolivia for the past 7 years working for a nonprofit organization. We ended up making it on time and the flight was relatively uneventful.

There is nothing to prepare you for the sight as you take a taxi from the airport to La Paz, going through a town called El Alto and then bam, you´re on the edge of a canyon with La Paz sprawled out in ALL directions underneath. It was a bit overwhelming but we had to switchback all the way down so the sight became something our minds could deal with. We made it to our host´s house, a hacieda of sorts about 20 minutes by taxi from the chaos of the city, with mountains just outside their house. We were greeted by the maid and after awhile later, we took a taxi into town, visited the main church, at the Plaza San Francisco and visited the museum and then walked around the Witches´Market, buying some souvenirs and then down El Prado before getting into another taxi to take us to Mongo´s a bar with free tapas from 6 to 7.30pm. It was dead while we were there but had some juice and some free chile con carne. We called for a taxi, went home and made dinner and were in bed by 11pm.

Today we´ve visited the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cathedral and a place called Cafe Berlin. It´s tough walking around at this altitude, about 13,500 feet but we are meeting a hospitalityclub guy in about an hour and hopefully he can show us some good stuff. I have my good camera with me but there is not much to photograph as of yet and I think I will probably take no photos of La Paz, it´s a bit too sketchy to be carting around a big camera on my neck but I´ll have the digi camera.

All right, we´re going to see some more of the city, you´ll hear from me soon! ciao!

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