2008 Roadtrip La Paz, Bolivia

When Dimitri felt well enough we went to the center of La Paz. It was like a journey through time as well as space. We ascended from Zona Sur at about 3200 masl to about 3600 masl (11811 fasl) in a taxi. In Zona Sur, it is predominately modern with cosmopolitan-looking people.

The center is predominately indigenous. And the Chola women maintain the traditions in their dress to such an extend that I'm sure it's now a fashion statement.


The characteristic dress worn by Chola women was imposed on them in the 18th century by the Spanish king

We were told to go to the Eloy Salmón street off the west end of Santa Cruz to buy a new camera and a cell phone to replace the ones that were stolen in Cochabamba. We have bought the newer model of the Canon camera (SD1100) that we had bought when we were in LA and at the same price--US$255 and a new LG cell phone for US $42.

We took a walking tour of La Paz and had a fine time.

Plaza Murillo with the Congress building in the background

We just can't get over where the center of La Paz is situated. It is in the bottom of a canyon. We find that most unusual. Most canyons would be a poor choice (I think of water rushing through destroying everything in its path). But not in La Paz. And we can't find a photograph that does it justice.
Sadly, we dídn't go into the center of La Paz for the July 15 celebrations. There was a parade and lots going on. We just didn't feel well enough for that kind of thing.
Wikitravel has an alarming entry for La Paz. It says: "Operating (not just bringing) a laptop computer or anything containing a hard drive is a risk. Most hard drives sold today safely work up to 3,000 meters/10,000 ft. La Paz exceeds this by one-third. While you may get by without anything bad happening, the hard drive could be destroyed (disc crash) and you will lose your data and installed software (even after returning to sea level). At the very least, you should back up your data before arriving. The high elevation won't subsequently "stress" the hard drive though, assuming nothing happens during your visit."
Since we travel with two laptops, one running Windows 2000 and one Windows Vista Ultimate, we were concerned. Fortunately, the computers didn't suffer a disc crash.