11.03.2009 22 °C
Just 2 more sleeps to go in La Paz Bolivia. Today we did a City Tour of this Large typically crazy South American City. La Paz lies in a Valley at around 3,500 metres and is the highest capital city in the world. The population is largely poor in Bolivia and the poverty is amazing. We also visited the Valley of the Moon which is very much what the name implies.
This afternoon I have just risked strangle mugging being covered with honey or mustard and risked the pickpockets and the crazy traffic. In the past 3 days we have experienced a 10 hour train trip as previously described and yesterday had a 14 hour day which started at 5am and did not finish until arrived in La Paz at 9:30pm. We travelled by bus to Lake Titicaca, then by catamaran to Sun island
climbed more stairs at high altitude and travelled on a reed boat which was rowed by local Aymara people and powered by a diesel motor. Today we also spent time in the Witches Market where we saw Llama foetuses which are offered as gifts to Pachamama when building a new house so no members of the family will die in the first year. We also saw stuffed frogs and very tired Jaguar and Puma skins.
The other night we saw some our group eating what appeared to be flattened road kill but listed on the menu of the restaurant as Guinea Pig. Nothing was missing including teeth sliity eyes claws. When asked what it tasted like we were told - Guinea Pig. Apart from the laughter some of our group almost lost their meals and several had nightmares that night. In Cuzco we attended a Folklorico show and were dragged up on stage to Dance with the local performers - a real test of our fortitude as we were at over 300 metres.
So far none of our group have had more than a cold and none have complained to our tour Director. We are all punctual and seem to bring the good weather with us wherever we travel. Yesterday we missed a massive Hail storm over the El Alto Area at 4000 metres and when we travelled through the area it looked like it had snowed.
I have also included 2 photos from Sillustani in Peru where the Incas buried their kings around 1400AD in upright tombs.