La Paz is less than Peaceful

Holy crap there’s a lot of people in La Paz!!!
The streets are packed with pedestrians and vendors and the amount of minibuses on the roads is mind-boggling! Quite the adventure, one we are glad to have experienced and ready to be moving on from.
We spent the last 2.5 days exploring the world’s highest capital city and are getting ready to leave Bolivia for Peru tomorrow.
The first day here we mostly explored our hostel. It is a brewery too!
The top floor has a bar in it that overlooks the whole city and has a view of La Paz’s closest snow-capped mountain. We got dragged into a poker tournament the first night where Alex went out first and Amanda and I (playing together) placed 4th.
The second day in town we explored on foot. There are several large churches that were interesting to peer into, but not nearly as exotic as the witch’s market we visited. Walls of dried llama fetuses (feti?) were displayed alongside a myriad of other weird animal parts and herbs. We refrained from buying any, but did take some pictures of our horrified expressions. Another highlight of the day included the bum outside one church who in an attempt to beg from me tried to give me a hug and grabbed my butt!!! In a fluster I sternly and loudly told him, “No tocas!!!” Not quite right, but at least in my perturbed state I remembered to use Spanish instead of English. We finished off the afternoon with a trip to the mirador, a rather random children’s park with a great view of the city.
Today we spent most of the day visiting the site of a pre-Incan civilization. The Tiwanaku people lived here much before the Incas and eventually joined the Incas when their civilization started to falter do to a long drought problem. We wandered through the ruins and checked out a ceramics museum with a disturbingly large collection of human skulls. Turns out the Tiwanaku wrapped bandages around the heads of the elite to elongate the skulls often causing epilepsy which then led to the civilization developing a brain surgery that removed part of the skull to relieve the pressure! Eek!
Tonight we are hanging out at our hostel again, excited to be spending some time with our Quito friends Erin and Andy who are in La Paz at the moment too! They are basically doing the same trip in the reverse order so we were excited to be able to meet up for a short time in the middle of the trip.
Tomorrow we catch a bus to Puno and meet up with Alex’s dad.
More to come from Peru….

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