A half day + bus trip from Puno to La Paz took us further through the Altiplano, a high plateau which extends from just west of Qosqo in Peru south through Bolivia to northern parts of Chile.
The bus ride from Puno to La Paz brought the end of our time in Peru. Sadly at this time we also farewelled Diana, our Peruvian tour guide at this border.
Diana Jarandilla, you were simply awesome, and thank you.
Our tour guide changed at the border and we embraced VIV into our Group, Viv a Bolivian citizen. HI Viv.
Part of this longish bus trip was caused by the over 2 hours taken to pass through Bolivian immigration, queuing outside under the hot hot Bolivian sun. Viv from La Paz described the queue as a lesson in patience to visitors from the Bolivian government. I did wonder if the number of roadside stalls and shops close the queue might have been our first introduction to the Bolivian way of clipping the tourist ticket. Many ice creams were eaten (or dropped accidentally).
Arriving in La Paz, we transferred to the Osira Hotel on San Pedro Square.
Then we all trotted up to the gondolas (termed cable car in La Paz) which took us up to the heights of La Paz.. We were rewarded with amazing panoramas over La Paz and a glimpse of the third highest mountain in Bolivia.
Some continued on for a walking tour of the city and those who were staying on in La Paz opted to take the walking tour the next morning. That evening we enjoyed a meal at Chez Moustache strolling along some lovely parts of La Paz.
The walking tour of La Paz CBD was really interesting. Viv took us on a very passionately described history of Bolivia and caught a view of the President. The tour took us into a number of squares one of which featured a backwards clock. This clock symbolises the major change in thinking underlying the current constitution of Bolivia. We also saw the scars on buildings of the use of the military to quell protests against a previous president and visited a market area.
And a very large protest street march, marching on the main square.
Yes they are bullet holes.
An interesting aspect of traditional clothing was the bowler hat worn by older women. This ia apparently a residual element from the time of the English.
And a humorous note spotted in a Café.
All too soon, the tour ended and for many of the Party that night was to be cut short to catch flights out of El Alto. night or next morning. So we got together for a final meal at Chez Moustache (again), and enjoyed everybody’s company for the final time.