Bolivia's Hatchery (by MAPG)
Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
69Trip End Feb 19, 2010
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Whether it was the spirit of conserving the original reddish colour of the hills (I doubt that people that throw PETs out of every window posses such a characteristic), or maybe a material reason, fact is that most houses, new or old, had unpainted exteriors
Our hostel was located in the heart of one of the most bizarre markets, the one for witchcraft. Beside the huge array of herbs, the offer even included born dead llamas. Don't imagine many people buying them. We belonged to the few that did, so dear parents, don’t be scared when you open the package from Bolivia, the llamas keep the bad spirits away…just kidding.
We were lucky to arrive on a Sunday, day dedicated entirely to Bolivians. For this purpose, La Paz’s main boulevard, El Prado, transformed itself into a huge street market, hence resembling the rest of the city. Beside handicraft artist that made out half of the surface, exhibitors included local bands or indigenous dance groups, and even educational facilities or even army divisions posing next to the latest technology. Call it the influence of socialism (the newly elected president, Evo Morales – the first indigenous president – is a convinced communist), fact is that everybody was proud of being a Bolivian, even we were as tourists.
Most of northern La Paz is a market that offers everything. It is actually formed of many different, specialized markets, covering every surface available and even crowding the vehicles
At night life on the streets becomes even more intense. The valley fills up with light, phenomenon best observed from the mirador in the central park (watch out, closes at 7 PM).
Visitors of La Paz should carry big bags and take advantage of the great handicraft that suffocates the narrow streets around the Cathedral. La Paz was the missing part of the Bolivian puzzle. Big, crowded, and the dream come true of the ultimate Mercado.