We are in Coroico, Bolivia! As you probably already know wifi is very scarce and slow here. We have found a place at the top of the hill, Sol y Luna, with limited wifi where we wanted to stay for the night but they don’t have space so we are just having lunch.
Two Nights in La Paz
We walked through La Paz’s Witches’ Market… It wasn’t nice. The dry star-fish, love potions and lucky charms were okay, but there were dead baby llamas! Lots of them! All dried out and hanging from the stalls.
Before you build a house in Bolivia there is a traditional ceremony you need to perform before any builders will be willing to start building for you. You need to sacrifice blood to Pachamama. This is done by burying a baby llama under the foundations of the house followed by a big party.
That’s the story our Red Cap tour guide told us. Legend also has it that if you are building a big house or apartment you need to bury a human, alive, under the foundation. Apparently, the easiest way to do this is to give a homeless person (or someone who won’t be missed) lots of alcohol and then, when they pass out, you bury them. Obviously this should be followed by an even bigger party. (This is not legal in Bolivia it’s just an Andean culture legend. If it really happens…. well, nobody really knows.)
Our Red Cap tour started outside San Pedro Prison. This jail is very interesting. The inmates actually own their cell or hire it from another inmate. Some of the families of the prisoners live with them in jail. Until recently, tourists could go for a tour of the jail and even spend a night there if they wanted to. The government stopped this when they realized that the main reason for the tourists to go there was for a cocaine high.
Bolivians love their carbohydrates, especially potatoes. This can be clearly seen if you walk through the food market or order a local meal. (Or if you look at the local ladies.) Being fat in Bolivia is considered beautiful and represents fertility. It’s also like that in many of our traditional South African cultures. I remember being “complimented” a couple of times by well-meaning black ladies about how nice and fat I’m getting.
Marc had an egg and beer smoothie at the market. Mmm! No, it wasn’t that tasty but it’s one way to get your protein in. We also had local potato soup which was very nice.
We went to various travel agencies to compare prices for cycling Death Road. At one random agency (there are many) we met Jon and Sharon who had done the Death Road the previous day. Coincidently, we found out they were also living in the room next door to us at our hostel, Residencial Latino. So we went out for a drink together and discussed the possibility of traveling to the jungle together.