Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 8-10: La Paz

Built on the side of a canyon 3,500 meters above sea level, La Paz was remarkable to see coming in by bus from Copacabana.... We can only imagine what it must be like to fly into this city. We spent 3 days exploring around. Perhaps most importantly, we fell in love with saltenas -- a Bolivian speciality of heavenly pastries filled with meet and vegitables. The woman selling them outside the local market was very pleased to see us come back from round 2 on our second day.... (knock on wood) our stomachs seemed to handle this classic street foot just fine. At $0.40 each, the price was right as well.

Another highlight was the witches market where you could buy all different varieties of potions and such. Lama fetuses (yes, that is what´s shown in the picture below) are bought and buried under new houses for good luck. We were tempted to buy a few as presents but couldn´t quite work out the logistics of getting them back home...

As you may have read, Bolivia is in the process of negotiations with the opposition party who have caused some unrest in the eastern provinces in recent weeks. We were lucky to stumble upon full Bolivian political pomp and circumstance on our second day in town as the red carpet was rolled out (literally) for representatives from the UN who came to town to help facilitate the discussions. While waiting for whoever was arriving to arrive we chatted with a cute young Bolivian couple who was also there to witness the excitment. It´s facinating to see how connected all Bolivians (or at least those in bigger cities) are with their politics..... Although it does make sense when there is such a constant state of uncertainty and change.

Oh, and for any American considering visiting Bolivia, be sure you have your $135 ¨reciprocity fee¨ready at the border, which Nader - as a Canadian - didn´t have to pay. The US started charging Bolivia first and so they responded in turn..... Both countries have expelled each other´s ambassadors as of late. Diplomatic relations at their best :)

1 comment:

  1. really, really wish I hadn't enlarged the llama fetus photo. thanks guys.