Exploring La Paz on Foot

Trip Start Mar 08, 2005
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Trip End Mar 29, 2005


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

We slept like champs after the prior 2 days of hating life. We didn't have any big plans for La Paz. We knew there were a few things to see, but it's not exactly a hot spot for tourism. There are some great hikes around the country, but La Paz doesn't have tons to offer.

But we did check out a pretty cool modern art museum. I love art museums where you can buy almost anything on the walls. I guess it was more of a gallery. But there was some great stuff. They had a Che painting that was unbelievable. It was based on the classic rebel photograph, but within that picture the artist painted various scenes from Guevara's life. The same guy also did a Castro painting that was pretty good.

The sculpture was interesting. I'll post a picture of the female crucifix.

Other than that it was pretty much just a walking tour. We went by the American Embassy, because neither one of us had ever managed to visit an embassy abroad. Which is great, because theoretically you're supposed to register with them whenever you get to a country. So I'm a little behind. But we didn't have our passports on us so they wouldn't let us register. It was interesting to see how the U.S. Embassy is the only one with any serious security. An armed guard, looks like a compound, you have to be buzzed in to the room behind bulletproof glass. The other embassies are pretty nondescript. We made these security comments as we passed the British Embassy and so when we went by the next day that had at least closed the front door.

We enjoyed feeling like high rollers and spent a little money. Empanadas were delicious and cost 12 cents. Pay toilets are 6 cents which I think is a hell of a deal. Yet you still regularly see people peeing on the streets. I would have spotted them the nickel. But seriously, people just don't have anything. The cathedral of San Francisco has plenty of beggars that don't seem even mildly offended if you give them that 6 cents. I gave a little girl in Cusco a sol and she rolled her eyes at me and walked off. I spit at her, but she was too quick.

That night we decided to go crazy and eat at the same Chinese place. In Peru all we ever had was Pollo a la Brasa and fries. Or burger and fries. Or just fries. So the Chinese was nice. And we could have a couple of courses and drinks for $5 combined. And it was only a few steps from our hotel. Did I mention it's not a great idea to wander the streets of La Paz after dark.

Well, more on the dangers of La Paz later.
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