La Paz – what a city! Full of pushing pedestrians, honking, diesel-spewing minivans and hundrets of street-vendors, great street art and loud Latino music that breaks the silence of the night.
La Paz surrounds you: you’ll love it, you’ll hate it, but you can’t ignore it. The city seems to reinvent itself at every turn – cablecars in the sky brings you from the heights of El Alto to the depths of Zona Sur in the blink of an eye. Standing hotels are remodeled at a manic pace, and fancy restaurants are springing up like rows of a corn.
When we arrive here we are first of all struck by the gritty city reality. It’s the urban jungle, baby: diesel, dust, and detritus; blinding sun, sharp-suited businessmen flank old traditional ladies that are searching their way through the crowd.
Our taxi ride from the airport to the inner stand shows us one thing: who brakes loses and who takes consideration is passed backwards. 😂🙈
The driving style, however, contradicts the friendliness of the people we were allowed to experience. Many here have nothing at all – but they are always friendly and we never feel unsafe at all. Often we see little children wandering around at night or sleeping in a little carton-box next to their mothers, who tries to sell her bread late into the night at the roadside.
We visit the famous witch market and admire the colourful and very strange products that are sold here. We stroll through the streets and try to withdraw money without success. Tip: with a Visa card everything works smoothly.
For the next day we let our adrenaline level explode. We book a mountain bike tour and race towards the valley on the “Camino de la Muerte”.
Starting in the snow-covered, Bolivian peaks, the path leads us first over asphalt and then over a gravel road into the jungle. On the way we quickly realize why it is called “Death-Road”. Steep abyss and narrow passages explain the memorial plaques along the way. The Death-Road is a legend itself. Since the opening sometimes around 1930 it’s estimated that over 90000 people died on this 56km long road. It is officially the most dangerous road in the world, but since the opening of a new road it is mostly used by mountain-bikers that are searching an adrenalin-kick while enjoying an amazing view.
Despite the obvious danger, it was a lot of fun for us. After an amazing decent we have a cool beer in the pool and a great lunch/dinner menu before the minibus takes us back to La Paz in about 3.5 hours. What a day 🤩!
The next morning we have to get up early again… our next flight is on the program, which will take us to one of the most remote areas of the world: Salar de Uyuni.