Saturday, August 7, 2004

Welcome to 12,000 Feet in the Air

La Paz has been quite a treat so far.  We have discovered many nice restaurants very close to our apartment, a cool pool hall with a dart board, and a British Pub. 
Today FM and I jumped in a cab and went to the Witch's market and artisan fair, saw San Francisco church, the main square, a semisubterranean temple and them climbed up a big hill to get a wonderful view of the city and the mountains in the distance.  It was nice to get out and around a little bit, get a feel for the town and our relation to everything. 
Llama fetuses at the witch's market.  Bury them under your threshold for good luck.  Okay, then.
San Francisco Church

Chilling Bolivian 
Cuties at the lookout
The money here is called Bolivianos, and the exchange is about 8 to 1.  They have 16 BS stores, which is a crack up.  Haven't been yet, but you know I will!  Local beer that we like the best is called Huari, and is 4.5% alcohol.  They do have another beer called Bock that has 7% (I didn't know that when I bought it, I think we'll stick with the Huari!).
Like mountains everywhere, they are beautiful, but hard to capture in a photo. The whole city sit in a bowl, with the mountains all around.  The elevation varies from about 13000 feet (at the airport) to 11000 feet, where we are, to 9000 feet, which is about a 20 minute cab ride down the mountain.  I sure hope they have some kind of monitoring system in place for these taxis that make them get new brakes and such every certain amount of miles!  These are some steep hills.  Nothing in the whole city feels very flat.  I think of those wooden sleds we rode down the street in Madiera and what a wonderful tourist attraction that would make here.  You could do it on every street!
Haven't had much problem with the altitude, nor FM, so we feel lucky about that.  Just get a bit winded walking up hills, makes us walk slower.  The Bolivians have a saying on how to adjust to the altitude.  "Eat lightly, walk slowly, and sleep alone."  So far so good. . . heehee.

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