After the death road we had two more days in La Paz. The first, monday, we spent the morning checking out travel offices in order to find the best deal for our trip to Rurrenabaque into the pampa and the jungle. The entire rest of the day Gab went shopping and I followed her. We also tried out some different food stands around town that day like these ones:
The second day was more interesting. We took part in a free walking tour which started at the Carcel de San Pedro (Where as in many prisons here prisoners have to pay rent for their cell and therefore their families can come to live there with them. Guards only enter the prison once a year for a general raid which created kind of an independent society inside. And on top of all, the prisoners can keep their criminal activities going because due to the location in the middle of the city full cell coverage is available).
There were a couple of other small stops and then the Witches’ Market (Mercado de Hechicería):
This is a place where you can buy everything from religious artefacts, cheap wines and fake money to give to Pachamama (mother earth), all kinds of healing potions to shriveld llama fetuses.
These llama fetuses (available in all sizes from small to big, right to left in the picture above) are burried during a specific ceremony when building a new house in order to receive luck and good fortune. Even if you don’t believe in it this ceremony is necesary otherwise none will built your house because bad luck could hit them. For really big buildings even human sacrifices are necesary. Apparently it happens that homeless people get drugged and burried under the fundaments.
After the Witches’ Market the tour led us to the Iglesia de San Fransisco which was built buy the Spanish on the indigenous side of La Paz in order to convert people to Christianity. It only opens for mess around 5 pm, that is why we had to come back later to visit the inside.
The tour then finished on the 17 story of a 5-star hostel in the city center with a nice view over the same. But that view wasn’t complete enough for us and we took a bus up to the Mirador Killi Killi:
There the view over La Paz was just incredible, the location of the city is very unique in this valley and the unfinished red brick houses (they are still “under construction” and therefore have to pay less taxes) just seem never ending.
Last stop of the day was the Plaza Murillo, where the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and the Congress are located.
After the first decent fruit ice in Bolivia we went back to the hostal and got everything ready for our trip to the jungle and the pampas. We had an early morning flight at 6.30am and had to leave the hostal at 5am the next morning, therefore an early night for us that day.