La Paz: A slightly inappropriate name?


Considering that "peace" is the last thing you are likely to encounter here!! Bustling markets, lively folklorico in crowded peñas and insane traffic, with Nissan mini-vans in their thousands, are the order of the day here. My ride from Oruro was a straightforward enough affair and I managed several long days with a great little campsite beside a dried-up river inbetween.
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I arrived in La Paz from above. Firstly, I dropped down into the sprawling, shacks and poorly built houses on the outskirts of El Alto. Then, after an enternity cycling through the rain and being sprayed with mud by buses, I was rewarded with a spectacular view of La Paz, a city laid like a cloth on a deep valley. On all sides dramatic snowcapped mountains.
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I screeched down a winding hill into the town at dusk, found a hostel, and tired as a dog hit the sack without dinner.
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Next day, walking up and down steep narrow cobble streets in flip-flops, I discovered an awesome Museo del Instrumentos Musicales, where I spent a few hours looking at the weird and wonderful instruments of the region. Inspiration hit home and I later in the day I found myself the proud owner of a charango.
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Today I had a lesson on said instrument and I think I am beginning to get the hang of it. Will be fun to while away the hours practising in my tent in the evenings!! After my lesson I had an afternoon to peruse the markets some more and figure out how to use the post. I had two quite sucessful conversations en Español. Firstly with the postmistress and then later with the tour operator for a trip to climb Huayna Potosí which I have booked myself on.

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