Friday, July 29, 2016

La Paz - Hills, Altitude and Partying through to the Inca New Year

La Paz

The capital of Bolivia, La Paz, is perched high in the mountains at a hight of 4000m. Many visitors have trouble with the altitude when they first arrive but I was lucky enough to have already been at altitude so I didn't have trouble with sickness, however, navigating the steep streets of La Paz was still a physical challenge.

Streets of the old city

The main centre of the city is built up around Plaza Mayor and the San Francisco church.

San Francisco church

And Plaza Murillo, where all of the government buildings can be found.

Plaza Murillo

Presidential palace

Congress building

As La Paz is very steep, it is surrounded by many lookouts where you can get a great view of the city.

La Paz from Mirador Killi Killi

There are also several commuter telefericos which also give a good view of the city, especially at night (although my camera couldn't do it justice).

La Paz at night from the teleferico

I was also lucky enough to be in La Paz close to the traditional New Year (solstice), so the city had a real party atmosphere.

Live band in a La Paz bar

And on New Years eve I went out to Tiwanacu to celebrate the sunrise through the Puerta del Sol at the Inca ruins in the town.

After enduring a freezing -4°C night

The fire didn't help - however the té con té (Tea and Rum) did.

We dragged ourselves to the ruins to see the sunrise.

Sunrise through the Puerta del Sol

It was a big celebration

Sun falling on the ruins

Seeing the sunrise is supposed to bring good luck for the new year which was timely since I was planning to ride the North Yungas Road (commonly called The Death Road) in a few days.....