Saturday, December 16, 2006

La Paz is great!

Before arriving, I'd heard lots about La Paz, mostly negative. Would only take a few hours to see the lot, nothing to do, rains all the time. I have to say au contraire, the city seems big, vibrant, and the weather is good! Now I'm not just being biased by the purchase of new NX-1A headphones. But they are good. I am happy. Although they are white, and stand out like, well something that stands out.

Out of shot: tears of joy streaming down my face

No doubt in the UK I'll be mugged for my "ipod" (as if you'd ever catch me with anything Apple-branded!). Anyway, US$ 40, which is cheaper than they would be back home, about the same as in Japan I think. I'll live with the white thing for now. I was also tempted by a tiny digital video camcorder thing, but decided that though the quality is atrocious, my phone can do that too, so I'll try to record some videos for your pleasure!

Here are two, one with the manic roads, watch out for the crazy buses, and the second just passing along some stalls. This is my first experiment with video posting, I promise I'll find more interesting things to record later!!

Wandering through the markets, I see cars with boots full of wedding cakes, a man sprinting along the street, grimacing with the effort, hoover under his arm, bags of used wine corks, rows of stalls selling dog collars, strange shaped buses, like a big caravan on a trailer, seeds for growing plants, miles of fresh fruits, the fragrances wafting and mixing with the fumes of the traffic, tiles with all sorts of patterns, generic, fish, animals, occasionally someone calls out to me, offering a deal on some food, or a drink, I pass drums full of nuts and beans, people selling paint have large cards with discs of colour on display, someone staggers past with two huge carpets rolled up on his back, and last but not least, there is a good selection of kitchen sinks!

Here are several photos of my morning:

The crowded markets don't stop large lorries ploughing through

Or buses..

Wonderful fruit

Christmas approaches

Some "Sony" products with rather dubious non-Sony packaging... Hmmmm

That's not a knife..

They are into their panettone for Xmas cake

The proverbial kitchen sink!

Dead things at the Witches' Market. I think these are baby llamas?

More of the same

Small people

Efforts to defeat the congestion charge surpass those in London

Being a lowly shoeshine boy brings shame on families, so they hide their faces with balaclavas

They like their balloons here. These are Xmas trees!

The country is named after Simon Bolivar, one of the leaders of the fight against Spanish colonial rule

Grandiose buildings in the main square - this is the National Congress

And impromptu performances in front of the Cathedral

Damn his underexposed face, this was such a good scene!

Old icons meet modern construction. These were above a bank

The Museum of Contemporary Art was good, though I have to admit I went round thinking that there was a very prolific artist who it turns out was called the Spanish word for "watercolour". Only twigged this when I came across the artist called Mixte. Doh!

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