La Paz is a busy city. There is so much traffic. Every time you cross the road you feel like you are taking your life in your hands. It is however a great place to spend time. It just has the sort of vibe that sucks you in and makes it really difficult to leave. It has some lovely squares, churches and old cobbled streets. I stayed in a great hostel (Loki) where I met quite a few people but the most memorable has to be Shirley. Shirley was from New Zealand and a real character. She talked to anyone, brightened the room up and could literally drink anyone under the table. Her drink of choice - blood bombs!!!! I had a lot of fun on our evenings but also the numerous shopping trips we shared. They have an amazing witches market here where they sell everything from knit wear, jewellery, bags, talismans to llama foetuses. Yes I actually mean llama foetuses. I personally found them upsetting and they did not appear on my shopping list. Shirley had a huge family to buy for. So she would pick what she wanted and I would do the bargaining - a match made in heaven. I really enjoyed the wheeling and dealing. It wasn't until the last trip that I finally actually managed to buy anything. I had heard how cold the next part of my trip would be so I purchased an Alpaca 'Val Doonican' llama cardigan, fingerless gloves, thermals (very sexy!) and another llama hat. I looked the business - well in Bolivia I did. In Liverpool I would probably look like the local loon!!!!. In the Loki hostel I had just conformed to the norm.
La Paz is where however I hit the Wall. This had nothing to do with La Paz. I wasn't even sure whether to put this in because you kind of think a blog should be all cheerful etc. However I think when you are travelling most people at some point experience the Wall to some extent and therefore it's an integral part of a journey. Its a horrible place to be and it is hard to get yourself all motivated to get up and go. I had been travelling for 3 months. I was tired and drained and as you may have gathered from previous entries I have also had some tough encounters. I just wanted to go home. Could I do another 3 months? No I don't think so. Travelling on my own had been harder than I thought mainly because I went off the Gringo trail. In addition everyone speaking Spanish is exhausting. Trying to be understood and trying to understand all the time. In a way it was my down time in La Paz which gave me the chance to recharge my batteries and consider how to progress this amazing journey. In the end I knew I had to stick to the Gringo trail and also I needed to shorten the trip. The latter was a lot harder than expected with Air France stating that apparently all economy seats were fully sold for every single day in September! We were obviously welcome to upgrade to First Class at a reasonable price. I think the French have a different definition of reasonable to the English. In the end my Mum sorted it out for me - that is what Mum's are for!!!! So instead of 6 October, I am coming home 4 September in economy with Air France. So far it's working out. I am back on track and it is good to have my mojo back. I am truly enjoying myself again!! Happy Days. Thank you to everyone who supported me during this time through emails, messages and phone calls.
Spent quit a bit of time in La Paz. So I was able to fit in some more normal activities like going to the cinema!!! It had been ages. The multicine complex was amazing for South America. It sparkled with clean tiles and chrome fittings. It even had automatic flushes in the toilets. It was so easy to believe I was back in the UK whilst I was in the complex. I didn't want to leave and realise actually I was still here!!. Went to see the A team. It was excellent and really stuck to the winning formula that made the series such a success. The casting was great - Face as handsome as ever. It was incredibly funny and lots of action. I laughed lots and went hope bouncing with energy!!!!
On the downside this is the city I 'lost' my cash card. Luckily I have a second but I like having a back up plan. It was incredibly hard trying to get through to my bank Every time I got through, gave them my name the line would go dead! I have this affect on people. In the end my Dad had to cancel my card for - that's what Dads are for. So I am just going to have to be extra careful.
So the verdict on La Paz. Had ups and downs here but overall I would say I like this city and it was certainly an easy place to chill out. Onwards and upwards!