So it seems perhaps the altitude has got to me, I woke up in the night with a headache and despite taking numerous aspirin I'm not shaking it. I'm gonna up my water and mata de coca intake today (although I'm not too sure I can drink too much more of this tea without developing a habit :)
This evening I'm leaving for a 4 night trip to the Southern part of a Bolivia to visit Uyuni and the spectacular salt flats. So I pack up my bigger backpack which is being stored at the hotel and try and cram everything I need into my small one, no mean feat as this part of Bolivia is extremely cold so I need lots of layers, gloves and a hat to keep me warm.
By midday I've checked out of the hotel and am spending the afternoon wandering La Paz visiting the Plazas and Museums I missed the other day. Really I'm now just killing time till my 8pm overnight 12 hour bus trip to get me to the meet point of my tour of Uyuni. I'm not sure I'm gonna like this bus trip but it was a quarter of the cost of flying so I decided to suck it up.
I'm typing this while sitting in Plaza Murillo, which is one of the main plazas of La Paz and is surrounded by governmental buildings. It's also the cities equivalent to Trafalgar Square with thousands of pigeons (my least favorite animal) waiting to be feed by locals and tourists buying corn from the vendors around the square. It's a fun place to sit and people watch as families gather to eat what looks like jelly and cream purchased from ladies wandering around selling plastic cups of the stuff and people buying freshly squeezed juices from yet more vendors. Friends gather, children play and office workers stroll through on their way back to work after lunch. It's a very relaxed atmosphere with people really taking the time to enjoy life and connect with each other.
This city seems to thrive on small mom and pop shops and market stalls, it's delightful to see no big name chain shops and certainly not a Walmart in site. When the sun is out the temperature is pleasant, otherwise it's on the chilly side, now I understand why the ladies wear so many layers with their traditional outfits although I've still not figured out where the small bowler hat they wear fits into the equation.