What a beautiful city. Nestled into the mountains, the city is shaped like a long, narrow bowl, offering a nice view of the city from almost anywhere you stand. I've never been anywhere like La Paz in my life. You can feel a strong sense of deep-rooted culture from the minute you land, and the people were nothing but warm and friendly.
There's no better way to see the city. The first three lines of the Teleférico were completed in 2012. The cable car system is the highest and longest of any in the world, and connects central La Paz to El Alto and Zona Sur. Several more lines are due to begin construction. It's clean, friendly, and somehow manages to handle 1.7 million trips per day!
"Inspired by America’s WWF and Mexico’s famous lucha libre, Cholita Wrestling is a one-of-a-kind event, featuring Bolivian women battling it out in spectacular fashion.It’s no secret that the staged shows focus more on entertainment than skill. However, if you’re up for a laugh and even willing to be part of the act, a Sunday evening watching Cholitas wrestle will not disappoint!" Read more at La Paz Life.
Photos by Matt Sherwood.
40 miles of downhill biking through the jungle, dropping 11,000 feet in elevation, and hitting speeds of 54mph on pavement and 34mph off road. Most of the road has no guardrails and runs along the edge of cliffs as high as 2,000 feet. Death Road used to claim the lives of hundreds of people year after year, and earned it the title of “world’s most dangerous road” in 1995.
Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni, amid the Andes in southwest Bolivia, is the world’s largest salt flat. It’s the legacy of a prehistoric lake that went dry, leaving behind a desertlike, 4,086 square mile landscape of bright-white salt, rock formations and cacti-studded islands.
La Paz is trying to grow the amount of tourism the city receives, and what better way than to post all these good looking gringos on the cover of their local magazine? This months magazine was promoting Fiesta del Gran Poder, a world famous fiesta and parade.
Fiesta del Gran Poder
"Translated as 'Festival of the Great Power', Fiesta del Gran Poder is a religious celebration paying homage to El Señor del Gran Poder, or Jesus Christ. The dramatic festival features thousands of dancers parading down the sprawling streets of La Paz, flaunting their colourful costumes while thousands of spectators cheer in delight." The parade lasts over 12 hours! Read more at La Paz Life.
First photo by Mike Chino.
Looking for a llama fetus? Swing by the Witches Market and you'll find plenty. You'll also find almost anything else you can imagine, including love potions, medicinal plants, spells and spiritual advice.
"One of the most peculiar items travelers will come across while perusing the market’s stalls are the dried llama fetuses. According to locals, Bolivian families make a cha’lla (offering) to Pachamama by burying a llama fetus under the foundations of their new homes for protection, health, happiness and good luck." Read more at La Paz Life.
San Pedro Prison
The craziest (true) story I've ever heard in my life took place a couple blocks from my apartment. It involves a man jailed from cocaine trafficking and a severely corrupt prison called San Pedro.
"San Pedro is not your average prison. Inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants. Women and children live with imprisoned family members. It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments, while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation."
Marching Powder will blow your mind every chapter, and I highly encourage you to read it. The fact that the prison was practically next door to me, and I visited many of the same places in the book - including the "best club in La Paz" - made it all the more unbelievable.
Well this was fun. Who wouldn't want to dress up as zebras and dance in the streets? Literally. There was between 20 and 30 of us and got all dressed up, paired off, and sent around the city to dance. The kids loved us.
Till next month, much love, Adam.