Wow! What to say?
We landed early Sunday morning at LaPaz airport. It’s much smaller than I had anticipated. While Teresa was changing money to Bolivian (**The current conversion is aprox 7:1).
I got a little peak of the mountains in the distance. Although the fog prevented much of a view.
I loved the ‘mushroom trees’ lined around the airport. Teresa and I have a difference in opinion as to whether the shape is natural or man-made. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know. I think that they are natural.
Sunday was a super lazy day. I had a headache and felt a little light-headed and winded all day. Teresa is fared a little better than I did with the altitude.
We are staying at Hostel Cruz de la Andes. It’s clean and pretty nicely decorated. Very comfortable…..that is, if you can look past the fact that there is no heat in the rooms. Teresa was freezing and I will admit that I was pretty chilled myself. Going to have to ask for some extra blankets for the next couple of nights. ** Found out on our second night that we can get a heater in the room for $3usd/day…needless to say, it’s the best $3 I’ve spent in a long time!
Tried the cocoa tea and have to say that I really don’t see any difference with it. I was still feeling mild altitude sickness symptoms. Regardless, I kept drinking the tea!!
We ate some street food and wandered through some of the street markets just outside of our hostel. One was a yummy baked bread with a chicken based gravy inside. I’m not certain what it is called; but I enjoyed it. Teresa ate about half and decided the gravy was a bit too much. I also indulged in a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. Full of orange pulp, it was perhaps the best glass of OJ that I’ve ever had. I was feeling a little under the weather for dinner so opted for some chicken soup which was pretty good although plain. Teresa had a beef steak, rice and salad. (I had to order a salad myself). After dinner we went back to the hostel and had a lazy evening.
Monday morning I was feeling like CRAP! Could hardly move my head hurt so bad and I was dizzy as well. One of the first stops of the day was the PHARMACY. I love that you can go to pharmacy and get meds here. I got a 7 day dose of dexametasone and something that the pharmacist recommended for the altitude. Feeling 100% better after 2 doses of medication. The pharmacist was very helpful and friendly….insisted on shaking my hand on leaving.
Day 2 we hired a private tour for $28 usd each. Nirco Tellez (P: 7777 43 95, Email email@example.com). He was very informative and pleasant and knowlegable He provided not only information on the local area but the surrounding areas as well. Bus, hotel, sights, restaurants….very good resource. I would highly recommend you contact him if visiting LaPaz, Lake Titicaca, Sucre, Salt Flats, etc.
Nirco took us through the city to the Nuestra Senora de La Paz Chrch and the Presidential Palace next door. We also did a brief visit to the witches Market, and the Valle de la luna. It was nice to get a brief overview of the city. We also stopped at the Mirador Kili Kili for a quick although cloudy overview of the City of La Paz
On a cultural note; there are about 50 local women that line the sidewalk outside of our hostel in the mornings starting around 0500-0600 selling these interesting plastic colorful decorative items. I’m uncertain of the use of these items. They remind me of something that you would possibly hang for a brthday party like streamers. Teresa and I have decided that they are either for Carnival or Easter. If I find out the truth of the matter, I’ll let you know. I’m amazed at the number of sellers and buyers for these interesting items.
I am in love with the Bolivian women and how they dress. It’s very functional and beautiful. The color combinations are amazing and the Bowler hats are too cute! And….the things that they can use those blankets for!! Amazing how many useful things can be wrapped up in those and carried on their backs. I’ll try to get some photos together and do a post specifically on this subject.
For whatever aggravating reason….wordpress is only allowing me 2 photos in my blog posts via my tablet. I have all the pictures in a Picassa Album, if you interested. I will be updating the album for BOLIVIAas we move about. You can subscribe to the album and automatically be emailed when there is an update, or just check back once in a while.
Note: I will be posting cost breakdowns for each city when we finish in a city.