Wrestling, climbing, shopping…

We spent the last three days in La Paz doing a funny mix of activities. First, we visited Tiwanaku, an archeological site, which was a centre of an ancient pre-Inca culture that existed between 1500BC and 1200AD.

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Yesterday, we spent the first half of the day shopping, first visiting the largest market in South America in El Alto, where you can buy everything: clothes, car parts, electronics or live animals. Then we did some more shopping in the markets in central La Paz. The result: a huge bag full of goodies, which we´ll probably have to carry for the rest of our trip…

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The evening was something different altogether – we went to see a lucha libre show, which is a South American variety of wrestling. Similar to (North) American Wrestling it´s all staged but still a lot of fun. The best part was that the La Paz show also includes fighting Cholitas, that is Bolivian ladies in traditional hats and dresses! We can tell you, it´s quite something to see one lady smash an aluminium tray against another lady´s head…

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Today was different still. First, we went high up to conquer the peak of Mt Chacaltaya at 5421m! The mountain used to be a home to the highest ski resort in the world, now shot down because tha glacier melted a few years ago – that´s a real effect of the global warming for you… Since you can drive almost to the top, it wasn´t a long climb – only about an hour – still, you can really feel the altitude and Julita had to stop just before reaching the top and go down due to headache and dizziness…

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After Mt Chacaltaya, we visited the beautiful Valley of the Moon, notable for its limestone formations set spectacularly against the backdrop of red-coloured mountains. It was a truly fantastic day, if a bit tiring (only due to the altitude).

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Tonight, we´re catching a bus out of La Paz and moving to the southern parts of Bolivia, first to Potosi and then to Tupiza, from where we´ll report back in a few days´ time.

This post will always bring memories of great time spent in La Paz with other backpackers Lucy, Josh and Donagh: drinks in sky bar, crazy search for a jazz club one night, madness of shopping in El Alto and a night out at the wrestling.

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