Our first encounter with the city of La Paz was very interesting. It was fiesta time. The main circuit of town was completely closed off and overflowing with people dancing in a parade and many people standing and enjoying the festivities. Walking out of our hostel it was hard to know which way to look as there was a lot of running liquid going in all directions and it was not water.
The festivities of the fiesta went on until the wee hours of the morning and celebrated with many great fireworks.
For those who are unaware La Paz is the highest city in the world and has many, many hills. Walking around it is best to move slowly because every corner you turn you are greeted with another steep road.
After touring around the plaza and checking out the grand church we headed to the witches market filled with many handicrafts, clothes and other touristy must buy items like Llama foetus.
Whilst looking around the market we kept an eye out for some things to buy to keep us warm in case our luggage didn’t show up. We figured if we buy something and were prepared for the worst then our luggage would show up.
After touring around town and perusing the markets we headed back to our hostel in hopes to be greeted with our luggae. Unfortunately it still hadn’t arrived. Apparently the flight was delayed and the luggage would arrive later. Fingers crossed. To entertain ourselves whilst we waited we went to a wrestling event. This was an interesting experience as the acting in the wrestling made the acting of Days of our Lives look like it deserved a Golden Globe. Two thirds of the way through the show things started to get out of control with water being sprayed everywhere and the crowd throwing bottles and anything they could grab at the wrestlers they didn’t like and in return the wrestlers spraying water and other liquids at the crowd. As the barriers started to fall over my “man friend” turned to me to see if I wanted to leave, he realised I had already bolted to the nearest exit.
Arriving back at the hostel we were given the amazing news that our luggage had arrived! Hooray! Clean clothes. YAY
The next day we contined to explore La Paz and organised ourselves for the Salt Flat tour. On our explorations we made our way to San Pedro Prison made famous by the book Marching Powder. It’s interesting to compare the San Pedro Prison and surroundings that I had imagined with how it actually looked in reality. As described in the book San Pedro prison is located in the centre of town. It was a lot smaller than I expected it to be. It was funny to watch the tourists in the plaza outside the prison who were trying to work out how they could go on a tour of the prison as mentioned in the Marching Powder book. They were all disappointed when the guards told them to get the hell away. After hanging out near the prison we headed to another plaza to soak up the afternoon sun before heading to the supermarket for Salt Flat tour supplies.
Wow wow wow after seven months in Argentina where importation of products just doesn’t happen, going to the Bolivian supermarket was one of my favourite things we did in La Paz. They had stir fry sauces, curry sauces, healthy cereal flavour options and just options in general for all categories. If we had more than two months left in Argentina I think I would have left all my clothes behind and filled up my suitcase with food. After I recovered from the initial excitement of the situation I remembered what we were there for and we stocked up for our Salt Flat trip.