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A round the world trip in more than 80 days.

Why this blog ?

Our aim : travel and discover the world during 353 days and through some fifhteen countries. We are hoping that this blog will allow us to share the experience with our family and friends thanks to the posts and photos that we will be publishing and also thanks to their comments.

Currently ...

now. For the moment, we are gently readapting from nomadic to sedentary life.


No peace in La Paz

The sight when arriving to La Paz from Copacabana is amazing. A enormous valley, completely covered of houses from hill to hill, expands at your feet. At night, when the city lights are on, it must be magic.

Once you get nearer, and from an architectural point of view, La Paz is not specially impressive. I have loved it though for its lively side. Old downtown, the most touristic part of the city, is full of old colonial buildings, many of which are falling apart. The whole place is packed with little stands and markets. The most spectacular and scary of them is the 'Witches Market', where you can buy anything from herbs or concoctions to talismans (such as a lama fetus to protect your newly built house). Other shopping options, such as the 'Black Market', 'Comercio' street or 'Lanza Market' are rather standard street markets. And among all this, there are hundreds of food stalls. Actually, you change from one market to another without even realizing it.

Last Sunday, it looked like all families and young people from La Paz went to enjoy the city. Many of them to the stadium to watch the derby between the two local teams, Bolivar and Stronger. Some others to enjoy the city skyline from the scenic point and the children playground areas next to it. And the rest was walking, having an ice cream or going to the cinema in El Prado street, the local main street. One or two to get cards or coca leaves read by a witch. And to go back home, no worry, just catch a taxi, a minibus or, even better, one of the buses with a funny message on the windshield: 'Labios Mentirosos' (Treacherous Lips), 'Libre como el viento' (Free as the wind), 'Loquito' (Little Crazy), 'Tu y yo, Lucifer' (You and I, Lucifer), 'Amor' (Love), 'Suavecito' (Smoothly), 'Poderoso Bolivar' (Powerful Bolivar), etc.

The city has got its share of museums : about colonial lifestyle, textiles, religious and others that are less usual, where you can go if you want a change of scene, or to avoid the rain. The rainy season is coming early this year and after three thunderclaps you get completely wet unless you ran for cover in time.

The 'Coca Museum' shows the history of coca from prehistory to nowadays. It was used for religious rituals (to communicate with Gods and spirits), medical protocols (anesthetic) and nutritive purposes (its high content in some nutrients allows to complete the carbohydrates-based diet), what makes it one of the pillars of the indigenous culture even today. Under the Spanish colony it was first banished as 'diabolical' by the Inquisition, and a bit later miraculously freed of sin when the secular authorities, Phillip II at the front, realized that the indigenous people, submitted to 48 hours shifts, endured better the harsh work conditions when they were chewing coca leaves.

Not less interesting, the 'Museum of Music Instruments', is located in one of the better preserved streets of the old La Paz. Inside the museum, there are hundreds of surprising music instruments of all kinds : wind, stringed, percussion, indigenous, mestizo, criollo, foreign, for children, for adults, small, big, made out of condor feathers or chest, out of unconventionally carved wood, out of metal, out of ceramics, using turtle shells or 'quirquincho' skin, as well as a set of extravagant rattles. The best is that they allow you to play some of the instruments, if we can call 'playing' the hideous noise produced by a band of amateurs beating drums, blowing on flutes, hammering the keys of a pianola or trying to play a children's accordion. Juan Sebastian Bach and wife, the parakeets that live in the museum courtyard, go crazy with the noise and try to outstrip it with their own singing.