Bolivia: Home of Aymara, Quechua, Pachamama, thin air and vertical streets.

I’m here!  Today marks one week in La Paz.  I was off to a shaky start. According to Google, La Paz airport is the worlds highest airport situated at 13,617 ft.  As I sat in a chair slumped over gasping for air, I watched everyone else merrily gathering their bags from the conveyor belt.  I, in contrast, watched my bag go around and around while trying to conjure up enough energy to actually get up and retrieve it.  I slowly made the move then promptly shuffled over to the medic room and asked for oxygen.

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A nice gentleman, who works for tips, ran over to help me out of customs and then to  a cafe.  Being out of my mind and not yet having a grasp on the conversion rate, I tipped him handsomely.   Now, not only do I have a friend for life, but I sense I was also very close to a marriage proposal!  After my loyal attendant ran off to offer his services to the next group, I proceeded to stare at the wall for two hours untill I decided it was a decent enough hour to check into my Airbnb.  After sleeping 20 hours the first day,  I was ready to conquer La Paz.

So far, I’ve been to the “White House,” the witches market, a variety of museums, rode the Telefirico (kick-ass gondolas that transport people above the city connecting the different neighborhoods in record time -Bravo La Paz!), saw a few Bolivian movies that depict their history and worldview and, to top it all off, swam in the Olympic swimming pool!  I was the only one there.  Does it get any better?

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Dried llama fetuses

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Still born llamas

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View of city from Telefirico

 

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Shoe-shine boy during a Sunday moment of reprieve.

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Full moon from the bathroom window

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