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(Cordillera Real - Bolivia - July/August 2006)

La Paz and Copacabana

La Paz is the landing point, if you fly into Bolivia. One must stay there a few days, to acclimatize.
The cultural shock is quite great, particularly since one must go through the popular housing quarters of El Alto, just outside the airport.

Those buildings, which now cover all the slopes of the canyon in which the city is located, were built completely at random. Many buildings are not completed, and open empty windows without frames.


Calle Sagarmaga (right in the picture) is the meeting point of "tourists" (in Bolivia, they don't call foreigners "gringos") : trekking agencies, restaurants, and mostly souvenir shops (which all sell the same products).

The buildings, which are often very beautiful, would need a good cleaning job.


The electrical distribution networks are actually artistic illustrations of man's chaos...

Street vendors set their tables up in the early morning, and offer all kinds of goods, fruits and vegetables, at extremely low prices.

90% of cars are private or collective taxis.


In the old town, the nicest street is Calle Jaen, very nicely restaured.

Several museums are in that street. The Museum of Musical Instruments is a quiet place to visit, in a busy and noisy city.


Copacabanais a very quiet small town.


But the town is also the main transit point between Peru and Bolivia, and the access point to the Sun and Moon islands : its main purpose is tourism.

Hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops border the sidewalks, and the passer-bys are almost exclusively tourists...


From the top of the Calvario, sight gets lost in the immensity of Lake Titicaca...



A few practical informations
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