La Paz   Leave a comment

Saturday 20 September 2014

Pretty much all buses from Sucre to La Paz leave in the evening, and although we try to avoid night-journeys because we want to see the countryside, we don’t have much choice this time.

In case we were wondering why warm blankets have been provided for each passenger, we soon learn that the bus doesn’t have any heating facilities – and as we are travelling on the Altiplano at an altitude between 3,800 and 4,100 metres (12,400 to 13,500 feet) above sea level, it gets quite chilly during the night.

… and that’s despite several layers of merino, fleeces and down jackets…

Rarely has a sunrise been so welcome…

A smile can brighten the day as well

Before we reach La Paz we cross El Alto, the second-largest city in Bolivia after Santa Cruz – La Paz comes only third.

The traffic is horrendous at a quarter to eight in the morning (and at any other time, as we learn later)

And then, after the toll boot on the Ruta 3, Nuestra Señora de La Paz opens in front of you – it is a breath-taking sight, although today the sky is overcast and the views are not as impressive as I would have wished for my dad.

We are so cold that we need some breakfast straight away in the bus terminal.

There is no shortage of accommodation in La Paz, but I’d like to stay at the Hotel Milton, which I liked a lot in 2010. It’s just under two kilometres from the bus terminal and we decide to walk.

Our road, the Avenida Illampu, is closed for market

As a returning customer I get a good deal and a room on the fifth floor with great views of the street market.

The hotel also has a roof terrace

Downtown La Paz

Iglesia de San Francisco

… and from the inside

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Murillo

Palacio Legislativo de Bolivia – fitted with a ‘Bavarian style’ clock

La Catedral Metropolitana de La Paz

In true German style we have some coffee and cake in the afternoon – and write postcards!

Towering over La Paz is Mount Illimani, at 6,462 metres / 21,200 feet

In the afternoon the sky has cleared and we take the brand-new Linea Roja, the red line cable car that connects La Paz and El Alto and helps to reduce the enormous volume of traffic between the cities.

Cementerio General from above

Sophisticated corner solution

You could be forgiven to think that the centre of La Paz is a huge street market…

There are whole sections for every article you could possibly need

Although we are still tired from the previous night, we can’t miss a visit at the restaurant ‘100% Natural’ in the Calle Sagárnaga, where I’ve eaten one of the best tenderloin of the whole journey four years ago.

We are not disappointed

… and for the ones who are concerned about our calorie-intake, I would like to point out that we share one portion between us

A last visit to our fabulous roof terrace – Avenida Illampu by night

Buenas noches, La Paz…

 

Posted 24 September 2014 by Pumpy in Bolivia, The 2014 Rucksack Trip

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