Wednesday, 28 November 2012

La Paz

We last left off leaving Isla del Sol to go to La Paz...well, had we known what the city was like, I would have stayed on the island! La Paz was just a big, dirty, polluted and extremely noisy city where we (unfortunately) had to stay for a few days. La Paz was a great hub for OTHER places, although it did look very nice at Christmas time.

Christmas decorations in Plaza de San Francisco

We arrived in La Paz around 5pm after taking the 1.30pm Titicaca tourist bus from Copacabana. Because we had heard that Express Kidnappings (hijacking tourists in unofficial taxis) was extremely common, we decided to stay as close to the train station as possible so we could walk to our hostel.

These pancakes were in our room for 3 days...

Thankfully, The Adventure Brew Hostel was just around the corner. A cool and large hostel, with a free homemade beer every night you stay, table tennis and all-you-can-eat pancakes for breakfast! Breakfast is always a seller for us! There was two Adventure Brews next to each other; one was a hostel (where we stayed, number 503) and the other was a (nicer but more expensive) B&B (number 533). Both had the beer and pancake deal but after about 2 days, we were already sick of pancakes!

Despite how good the hostel was, it couldn't mask the horrendous car horns beeping CONSTANTLY at all times during the day and night (but especially at 6am!!). Make sure to get a room not facing the main road. Either the drivers were SO awful or they just loved pressing the horn. Either way, I barely slept in the 5 nights we stayed and I must admit, it made me severely dislike the city!

Because of the terrible driving, there are zebras helping you cross the roads!

There is not much to say about La Paz as the largest impression was negative. Although we did enjoy going to La Lanza central market ever day for some very tasty (and very cheap) food. We also managed to stubble across a fantastic veggie restaurant in the centre that was packed with locals, called Reencuentro con la naturaleza (Murillo, 826) . For only B15 we had a salad, a soup and a massive main meal. A true hidden gem, tucked away in a court yard and thankfully not in the Lonely Planet so we were the only gringos there.

Another grate place to try was Sol Y Luna a dutch restaurant with a great menu. We went for the Arab Plater for two. So nice to have falafel again!

Fantastic falafel dish
A great meal at Sol y Luna

We spent our time in La Paz stocking up on supplies for the rest of the trip (did I mention Bolivia is very cheap!), extending our 30 day visa at the immigration office (piece of cake!) and buy new hiking backpacks. Sadly, the black market had nothing suitable so we had to look in every single outdoor shop in La Paz... That's a lot! We finally found the best selection in a shop (Salantay Outdoors: Illampu, 807) yet still managed to haggle and got a B200 discount (that's a win!).

The main excitement of our time in La Paz was mountain biking down Death Road (the Worlds Most Dangerous Road, also know as Yungas Road).

Happy to leave the big city, we set off on the 11pm Boliviar night bus (B90 for cama, 7h) to Cochabamba  for a well needed break from the city!

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