Unless you climb any of the mountains, there is not that much to do in the highest capital of the world, La Paz. La Paz means the Peace, which is quite ironic since this city has been anything but peaceful over the years. You can still see some of the bullet holes in buildings at the main square.
Still, there is of course some activities that’s worth doing and one of them was the private city tour! The guide brought us to the San Pedro prison to tell us about the crazy stories it withholds, the very different but interesting Moon Valley, the plaza where we learnt about the tension between Bolivia and Chile, and finally the Witches’ Market. Bolivians are the most spiritual people in South America and it is very common to go to the shaman rather than the doctor. At the Witches’ Market we could see some of the rituals, among them a basket full of wishes (in the sharp of cards) surrounding the skeleton of a baby lama.
According to our guide, Niel Armstrong once said when visiting La Paz that this valley looks more like the moon than anything else he had seen on the earth. Therefore the name Moon Valley. Two goofs in Moon Valley. The clock at the main Plaza is a clear statement from the Bolivian president. He said they should not have a normal clock just because the Western world once decided this. Also, it is a “wish” to go back in time, before the Spaniards invaded and before Chile conquered their sea access. Risky business getting a hair cut in Bolivia…
The actual itinerary was to jump into another night bus from La Paz to Sucre, however, we were not very keen on another super long bus ride so we and two of our fellow travel companions took the 45 min flight instead. Definitely worth it! Especially since Minna got sick (again) and the comfort of a bed was well needed. Sucre is the former capital of Bolivia, and is called the White city as they have kept their colonial style in contrary to La Paz.
Visiting one of the best preserved dinosaur footprints area in the world!When the dinosaurs walked here about 70 million years ago, the ground was horizontal. Due to collisions between the tectonic plates, the surface has become vertical. Minna’s hand vs dinosaur foot. Obviously a long neck and a tyrannous rex!
Our last stop before the salt flats (which we really look forward to!) was Potosí. This is the highest city in the world at sits at about 4060 m, however, it is most known for its mines. Walking up and down the slopes has once again become difficult and sometimes at night we wake up due to the lack of oxygen in our lungs. In other words, taking it slow is a definite must in this city!
Potosí at night. A traditional vegetarian dish in Bolivia where they put a hot lava stone in soup to heat it up.