QuickPeek: Tourism. Rest. Hiking.
We arrived at the terminal of La Paz early in the morning. We had a Couchsurfing host in town, but he was expecting us late at night. We had all day to hang about so we stored the heavy backpack at the terminal and decided to walk about town. The Centro of La Paz was a shitshow of incredible traffic, pollution and jam packed with people. I had noted down a few Vegetarian restaurants in town and thought it might be good to grab a b’fast. The walking trail led us to the center and some tourist corners selling souvenirs. Eventually we were super unlucky because of the restaurants didn’t exist and the other was closed just as we got there. Shucks.
The town didn’t seem friendly to hang about in a park all day and we thought it might be a good idea to head to an archeological site outside of La Paz called Tiwanaku. It was a bit of an adventure as the corner where we were told to find the bus was empty and we were informed that the buses ran only in the morning and we were asked to go to El Alto, a suburb of La Paz to find transport. It was great because it gave us the opportunity to take the Cable car up the hill. Seemingly La Paz had solved some of their public transport and traffic problem by setting up an incredible network of cable cars. It was great way to move about and pretty reasonably priced too. At 50c it was incredible value for an arial view of town!
We got to the bus station and found a collectivo heading out. It was an hour long drive and I pretty much slept thro it and got off at the turnoff to Tiwanaku. It was about 2 K’s to the archeological site and it was a steep entrance fee – 100 Bob for Foreigners and 15 for locals. Ouch!! It was an interesting site though and nice to walk about in. Photography was tough in the intense sun and with harsh shadows. After visiting the outdoor sites and the couple of museums, we decided to head back before it got dark. There was pretty much regular collectivo’s heading to El Alto and we took one and returned on the cable car to the city center just before it got dark.
We met our host, Luis, outside his office in the center and I was super hungry and suggested we go to one of the other vegetarian restaurants. Luis was a super sweet chap and took us to the restaurant, but seemed like we were plum out of luck and it was shut down too. Dang. We decided to head home and figure out some plans. Luis lived outside of La Paz in a much quieter neighborhood and we were glad to have a lovely place to stay! He suggested an Indian restaurant in the neighborhood and I was so hungry I could have eaten anything. Indian food sounded awesome and we walked to gram a pretty full dinner.
The next day, I was pretty smashed from the lack of sleep and lots of walking and decided to take it easy. We walked to a posh neighborhood, resupplied in a market and rested most of the day.
La Paz is built on a tiny valley with tons of jagged mountains all around. It seemed like there were tons of hiking options. We had heard of a place called Valle De La Luna and were planning to head there. Luis suggested that we should head in another direction where there was mugh longer hikes with much fewer people. So we headed out in the morning towards a small village called Uni and hiked up an incredible hill with some stunning views of teh valley and gigantic patterns carved out by water. It was a great day to be out and about and though it was a bit tough breathing at 4200m, it was lovely to walk about and exercise the leg muscles after a while.
Once back home I was pretty hungry and I made some egg sandwiches for a bit of dinner and had some nice long conversation with Luis and headed to sleep.
Track NotesExpenses: SG$ 77.26
Comments: Great host, a bit of tourism and an awesome hike. La Paz is a bit of a shithole, but we were treated to much awesomeness!