Saturday evening and from my 12th floor window I can see the urban skyline, the red brick houses on the mountain to the left and the rugged cliffs on the mountains to the right. The winter sky is clear, the sun is brilliant and above the hum of the cars I can hears the dogs bark.
Occurs to me that the topography of La Paz is a perfect setting for an imaginary 1548 toy town. At night, glittering lights on the mountains just sparkle, no rhyme, no ask, just an invitation to play. The winding roads up and down the mountains are ideal for an electric train station setting. The public metro system is made of cable cars, imagine going to work with a panoramic view:). Yes, wheelchair accessible. Then there’s the airport, perched right on top of La Paz, “birds” flying. My boutique hotel is two floors placed between offices floors in an office building. Playing “house”. Then there are the snow capped mountains, a bedtime fairy tale.
Friday evening, just turned dark, in this very sleepish town Uyuni. Someone singing a folk song and the streets are quiet. Another whirlwind day, again up at 5.00 am. Watched the sun rise over the largest salt water lake in the world, 10,500 sq km, 3650 meters above sea level. Visited the train “cemetery” a site with the trains which carried the minerals in 1920. Lunch in a “museum” with picnic tables, Bernardo had cooked the meal himself. Visited an island of giant cactus, panorama view of the salt lake. Visited a cavern with rock formations 20,000 years old. So many magnificent pieces of nature come together in this area. Uyuni has been on my bucket list for a few years now, never imagined it would be so so spectacular. Flying back to La Paz tonight.
La Paz. Took my breath away. Not altitude. Okay with that. But the sheer raw physical beauty. Ayn Rand. City founded in 1548. Now a cosmopolitan 3 million plus.
Journey over here was okay. Despite American Airlines. Only thing was the mosquito spray leaked onto my poor toothbrush. Would have been thrilled to walk around with an open gaping mouth but no mosquitoes here. So.
12,000 feet higher than yesterday, 36 degrees cooler.
The moon valley park was other worldly. Stalagmites. The pigeons in Plaza Murillo were unstoppable. The city is filled with surprises, may it be culture or art or just the people, who are very friendly.
Roads without rules but things seem to work. Hot humid and chaotic yet no one bats an eyelid. One of the poorest countries in the world and it shows. Some say fasting is good for the soul, makes one understand what we have and others don’t. I would submit a day like today has a similar impact. A much deeper appreciation of how a natural disaster here would so quickly dip that scale called survival.
The first pic is the divide between the Caribbean and the Atlantic, with Nevis in the background. Total population of ~ 65,000, with about 15,000 on Nevis. Craig my guide lives in the village which was the first ones to free the slaves. The biggest sugar plantation is now a heritage site, once owned by Samuel Jefferson (yes roots of Thomas Jefferson). A very beautiful island, still intact in its natural beauty and one which respects its heritage right through to the indigenous people who lived here way back when.