I had a nice long lie in (after four nights sleeping in buses and shacks, my bed was a total luxury) and then packed my stuff up as I was moving hotels. I checked out and said goodbye to the lovely staff at Hotel Rosario and moved next door to Hotel Estrella Andina. I actually did not know when I booked Hotel Rosario that it was right next door to the hotel our tour company (Intrepid/Dragonman) was going to use in La Paz, but it certainly made my move super easy.
Hotel Andina is a few notches down in standard to Rosario but the staff seem super friendly and the room I am sharing with Betsy who arrives today, large and clean.
After my lodging logistics were settled I made my way to Plaza Isabel La Catolica where my bus tour started in the afternoon. The tour was marketed as one of those hop on, hop off city tours available in most cities, but as there was only 1 bus it appeared that if you hopped off, you'd be waiting at least 3 hours to hop back on again!
The first 1 & 1/2 hours took us around the South of the city and out to the Valley of the Moon (shown in the picture) I have to say the commentary was pretty poor and information rather lacking by the standards of such city tours we are used to, but it was still a great way to get to know this busy, bustling, colorful and rather dirty city. The Valley of the Moon was interesting and I assumed somewhat like the scenery I will see in the Grand Canyon, let's see.
The second part of the tour which lasted around 2 hours (most of it stuck in the terrible La Paz traffic) was on downtown and the city, I had already walked much of this route but it was still nice to see it from a different view point and we also drove up to Mirador Killi Killi which gave spectacular 360 degree views of La Paz. You could really get a feel for how this the highest Capitol city in the world spills into a basin at the top of a mountain with the ramshackle housing getting better and better the deeper into the basin you went.
After the tour I walked an hour back to the hotel (I still keep having to try and catch my breath here) and rewarded myself with a nice cream.
As Betsy was arriving today to start our tour program with Intrepid tomorrow, I relaxed in the lobby of the hotel until she arrived. We then went out to dinner to a quirky place recommended by the hotel (Angleno Colonial) , the food was not bad but the ambiance pretty cool with lots of old antiques decorating the dimly lit dining areas.