Everyone was thumping their feet on the floor while yelling this (Let's go) because the bus was supposed to leave at 14h and we were still hanging around at 14:30h (searching for more passengers)!
We are planning on bringing this habit to Portugal! :D
We had no real destination after the road-trip, we just wanted to go back to civilization! Firstly we went to Potosi, this city looked so lonely, dusty and crowded that we moved on! Potosi is known for the mines and for its proud citizens!
As always, we "asked" Lonely Planet for advise and moved on to Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia!
When we checked in at the hostel we were so happy! A warm bed, a TV, a bathroom just for us, with a tub!
Unfortunately after the road trip our body started to respond in a very typical away for travellers to the food we had eaten during the trip... We will spare you the details , we did a diet for some days (so many great food and we had to eat rice soup everyday!) and were fit again.
It was also in Sucre that we found the first portuguese travelling!! Becas was a 47 year old guy who worked only during 7months in the tourist area of Algarve and the rest of the year he always travelled!
It was an inspiration to meet him, he gave us awesome tips for NZ, Australia, South America, he had been everywhere!
Sucre is very beautiful, with a lot of architecture from the colonial time, houses with lovely patios, which remind us of Andalusia in Spain. Many don't know, but Sucre is the constitutionally recognized capital, while La Paz is the seat of the government. Sucre holds also a great historic importance: it was in the city that the declaration of independence of Alto Peru, later named Bolivia, was signed. It was the first place in Bolivia we saw so full of tourists, I guess they feel at home here! It was also in the city where we found the first portuguese on our trip.
We also saw a parade for Potosi, it was Potosi day. Although the parade was in Sucre, everyone was showing their pride for their home town!
We got into yet another bus (our favourite means of transportation by now!!), it was 12 hours overnight.
When we got to La Paz, we confirmed what we knew about it: loud, chaotic, dirty and smelly! Check check check!!
It felt a bit like Dheli, although Dheli isn't as hilly ! Every cm of each hill was covered in houses!!
They are always left unfinished, showing bricks, never painted.
What I love the most in our travels is to meet new cultures, understand differences and laugh at similarities. One sight we see all the time here in Bolivia is the "cholitas".
These are the typical women, they wear a bowler hat , long braids and lots of skirts on top of each other. You can see some of them in the slideshow above. They usually also use a scarf to carry around their belongings - be it a baby or fruit.
They are mostly native americans, who wear this clothing proudly! Some time ago, it was held prejudice against them but since Evo Morales was elected president there isn't any shame in it. To me they always seemed... very proud and sure of themselves!
I found this so fake that we didn't go for a show.... We did however visit "El Alto" where this show is held, we used the new teleferic system and by chance there was a hugeeeeeeeeeee market there! We didn't expect it, it seemed never to end and they sold just about everything!! There were not many tourists to be seen, which made it more special - and made us more distinctive (the only white couple around) which I guess was why some locals would stare.
What makes them peculiar was the fact that most of them had their faces covered! Whether with a mask or a scarf!
We read online that this was done to conceal their identity, as it is considered a "lower" job.
Our hostel in La Paz was near the "Mercado de las Brujas" which is quite interesting although touristy. There was lots of souvenirs for the usual tourist, as well as some...witchcraft. Fetus of baby lamas, herbs , dried frogs,etc.
That reminds me of the steeeeep streets of La Paz! Whenever we had to go back to the hostel we had to first stop, take a deep breath and then climb slowly the hills! Not an easy city to live in - if you have a body which is not adjusted to over 3000 meters above sea level altitude!
La Paz was indeed a different kind of city.