A Travellerspoint blog

No Atkins here

overcast 10 °C

Wow, there is so much Carbohydrate here. Breakfast is a cereal that contains oats, quinoa, corn and some dried fruit. Lunch is usually a set meal (almuerzo) that comes with soup and a main course. Yesterday we had a soup that had pasta and potatoes in it. The main course had more potatoes, yucca and rice. Evening meal last night had rice and chips! That is alot of carbohydrate.

In addition to this we are amazed by the variety of cakes, pastries and ice cream. The residents of La Paz love their ice cream. Today Chris and I suffered, and joined them in eating a large bowl of ice cream with chopped up chocolate, peaches and topped with Dulce de Leche sauce. All in the name of cultural experience of course!

Being a Sunday most things were shut today, so we took ourselves for a gentle stroll (still not able to manage much more then a grandma paced walk due to the altitude). First we came across some kind of street "event" on the main Prado. La Paz is built in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River. The city's main thoroughfare, which roughly follows the river, changes names over its length, but the central tree-lined section running through the downtown core is called the Prado and Chris and I refer to the whole throughfare as the Prado because we are too lazy to learn all the names. Along the Prado there were stalls with art, food, child games, but we are not sure what the cause was. It seemed to have a political vein.

After strolling through this we walked further up the Prado to the La Plaza de los Españoles, which is known today as the Plaza Murillo. Juan Gutierrez set this area out in 1600. There was some Military event going on with bands, soldiers and one very long speech that we didn`t understand. After the speech everyone sung what we think is the national anthem and they raised the Bolivian flag. It was an amazing experience.

As I mentioned La Paz in built in a canyon and the main throughfare follows the river. Off this main throughfare it is very steep, climbing up the canyon. Being 3640m (11942ft) above sea level the air is very thin. This makes alot of the climbing up anaerobic, so Chris and I are suffering from lactic acid build up in our muscles which is leading to cramps and sore muscles. It is all very pathetic and quite humbling really.

Tomorrow we leave our little bubble of luxury and join the Dragoman tour, the main part of our Honeymoon. This section is 6.5 weeks and will take us through Bolivia, Chile, Argentina to Brazil. For more information look here http://www.dragoman.com/destinations/tripdetails.php?cat=wzi

Think that is it for now. Off for some more Carbohydrates now.

Posted by Mrs Pratt 15:10 Archived in Bolivia Comments (1)

La Paz

Breathless

sunny 15 °C
View Honeymoon on The Pratts's travel map.

We arrived in La Paz, Bolivia yesterday at 6:00am local time (5 hours behind BST). The city itself is at an elevation of 3600m, but the airport is in El Alto which is even higher. Sitting at the front of the plane (but still in proper cattle class - thanks AA) we had the opportunity to make a dash for immigration. After a two minute power walk we found ourselves completely out of breath and feeling a little faint. Our backpacks arrived ok and we were thankful for having the airport transfer booked in advance when we saw a lovely lady holding a "Pratt Brasnet" sign.

We stopped on the way down from El Alto to La Paz to take some photos of the Illimani mountain which keeps watch over La Paz which itself is in a basin surrounded by mountains.

We're staying at the Hotel Europa which is quite luxurious by local standards. I mentioned we were on honeymoon as we checked in which got us an upgrade to a suite - sweet! It's like an apartment with separate living and dining room and a walk in wardrobe. We've got windows on three sides of the hotel which gives us some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

We both felt like crap yesterday - a combination of too little plane sleep and the ridiculous altitude. I've so far convinced myself I've had heart problems, an aneurysm, HAPE and I'm not sure, but the rash I've developed could be meningitis. I've just had a paceña beer (with another on the way), though and that combined with a great night's sleep means I'm feeling ok at the mo!

Today, we've done a bit of grandma-paced walking (you can tell the people who've been here a while, they're strolling along quite normally and taking steps two, instead of half, at a time) and taken a tour of the San Fransisco Cathedral. This was particularly hard work as it involved steps and heights - getting to the top of the bell tower nearly killed us! We stopped off at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant for an almuerzo (set menu lunch) for about 70p each.

One thing we've taken advantage of is the altitude sickness fighting powers of "mate de coca" - a tea made with coca leaves. One cup removed my headache and replaced it with a nice little buzz. You can chew the leaves for a greater cheek numbing effect.

That's about it for the "world's most boring travel blog" entry 1. I'll keep drinking the mate de coca and hopefully things will get more interesting. Rest assured, this place is stunning, even if my writing hasn't quite portrayed it that way!

Posted by The Pratts 15:17 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

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