The flight to Miami went as smoothly as could be hoped for, even managing to claim two seats for myself, requiring no acts of contortion. Miami looked increadable from the air; the river pathways merging the sea to the city. The same can not be said of Miami from the ground however. Getting a bus goin to Miami beach, I passed a sprawl of vacant lots and car showrooms. When I finaly arrived at the beach, I found to my horror that it was occupied almost solely by the retirement community, and only the small proportion of those that made the effort of walking an extra twenty meters from their pools. Downtown Miami was equally rubbish, the only shops around were jewelery shops and the streets were almost empty. Still with hours to spare, I hopped on the monorail hoping to see anything worthwhile. There was nothing however, apart from a park with a hot air balloon and a flying trapeeze, and I ended up going round the whole track. Once that stopped being interesting, I decided to try and get back to the airport. This meant waiting for a bus in some rundown street for ages, where an old man in an executive car kindly offered to give me a lift to the airport. I refused, dreading the possibility of a catch in his offer, and finally made it safely to the airport without any soliciting taking place.
The taxi from the airport to La Pa passes through El Alto; a poorer district of La Paz. It also contained a run down theme park with a roller coaster supported by rusty scaffolding and still having numerous hairpin bends. On a darker and not entirely unconnected note, there was also a man covered in blood lying beside the road. La Paz, though not as deadly as El Alto is far more hectic. Cars drive where they please and men wearing balaclavas hassle everyone (even people wearing sandals) to shine their shoes. After failing to heed advice about altidue sickness, I stumbled up the hill back to the hostel, almost tripping over the pavement. I had a relatively quiet night first, despite free homemade beer at the hostel.