Copacabana to La Paz
We took a local bus at 10.15am with Manco Kapac from Copacabana to La Paz (25 BOB) after picking up some freshly baked chocolate croissants (and coffee for John so he could function) at the Pitstop Bakery in Copacabana. About 40 minutes outside of Copacabana you’ll need to cross Lake Titicaca to get to the mainland. You’ll have to get off the bus at the town of Taquina and walk left to get your 2 BOB ticket from the Boleteria near the market to cross the water. Your bus will follow on a completely safe wooden raft. You can pay to use the bathroom at both sides of the water here too. Our bus let passengers back on to continue our journey outside the Restaurant El Palacio de la Trucha (Trout Palace haha). It was a pretty uneventful ride for another couple of hours until we reached the Gustav Eiffel created bus terminal in La Paz.
We arrived to some form of demonstration so walked to the main tourist area from the bus station (all downhill, about 10 minutes). We decided to stay at Inti Wasi Hostel (60 BOB) which was pretty much felt like we were on Prison Break. We just stayed for one night in La Paz but we had a full day and a half to explore, although it rained a lot. On arrival we ate at Dutch owned Café del Mundo (are there any people left in Holland?) which was nice – tasty and calorific hot chocolates, just how I like them! They had wifi so we definitely overstayed our welcome! New obsession for me: chocolate chip quinoa cookies – absolutely delicious. Oh, the demonstration – just some police and those damn banger things. Nothing to write home about…
The main tourist drag here is called Calle Sagárnaga, which houses the Mercado de Hechicería or Witches Market. Oh where to start on this one…well, they sell llama foetuses. Everywhere you look. Absolutely disgusting. Apparently they believe that if they bury a llama foetus under their house it will bring good luck. I would have brought a collection of pennies for them if I’d known!
Plaza Murillo, a few blocks away from Calle Sagárnaga, houses the cathedral as well as the Presidential Palace and Parliament. It’s a lovely square, however most of the space seems to be allocated to the worlds’ pigeon population. Corn sellers don’t do anything to alleviate this…
Calle Jaén is a pretty street a little walk away from the Iglesia de San Francisco (a pretty colonial church sitting on the buzzing Plaza San Francisco). This is where most of La Paz’s museums are housed, however we visited at siesta time so continued on to the Mirador Killi Killi or lookout point over the city. It was about a 25 minute (mostly uphill and with locals laughing at my inability to enjoy climbing a 90 degree angle) trek to try to get a glimpse of Mount Illamani, the snow-capped mountain which pretties up La Paz. It was completely covered in cloud and waiting out an hours worth of rain up there didn’t help one bit! On to the Teleferico we went, a 6 BOB. return trip to check out another lookout point at El Alto, this time 4150m in the sky on what I believe is the world’s newest cable car system.
Next stop: Potosi, after a 9.30pm overnight bus journey