I took a bus from Potosi to the capital and for the first time in my Bolivian bus travels I was so cold on the bus. I barely slept. I was so envious of the man snoring softly on the seat next to me, warmly wrapped in his fluffy blanket. at some point i considered waking him and asking him if he would be so kind to share it with me. and it is not like I wasn’t properly dressed. I had my hiking boots on, a thermal shirt, a fleece and a jacket. Mistery…
The first thing I did when I arrived in La Paz, was to research the onward bus tickets to Cusco. It turned out that there was a bus leaving at 2pm and I thought it would be ideal, since I only needed a few hours to do some shopping. After a long wait in the public bathroom, I had some breakfast and headed back to the bus company to purchase my ticket. The lady I had spoken to wasn’t there and the new lady told me buses weren’t going all the way to Cusco because of a riot on the Peruvian side. I got the ticket to Puno, and decided I will deal with the rest upon arrival.
I headed to the market only to find it very closed. What was I expecting it was still very early in the morning despite the scorching sun. I had some time to kill so I walked around a bit, visited some monuments and interesting sights, charming little street. For some reason I didn’t feel safe at all. Of all the clothes I carry with me, I happened to worry the two items that scream ‘Foreign!’ for my walk around town. I remember standing at a bridge overlooking a busy road, when I realised that I guy I had seen at the main plaza was standing a few meters away from me, staring. I decided to walk away, see what he does. Luckily, next time I stopped further down the bridge he kept walking. Still, it wasn’t over. There was another guy, again carrying a backpack, standing and staring. I felt really uncomfortable. I did the same thing, walked away,hoping he would leave. Luckily he did. There was no way i was walking the same way though. I went back and hid at an Internet cafe. Back at the market the big search began.
I knew I wanted to buy a lot of alpaca socks for family and friends, but I needed this particular type. and there was the price issue too! I looked, and looked, and thought, and finally found them. It took a lot longer than I thought but at the end I had all the present I needed. By the time I got to the witches’ market where they sold all sorts of crazy items (dead baby lamas at various growth stages, herbs, syrups, etc.) it was too late and I had to go back to catch my bus. Shame, because I was really looking forward to it, wondering what funky stuff I will come across.
On the way out of the city I was amazed by the views. The way La Paz is spread over the hills, over such great space is truly impressive. It was a short but a nice visit. I am glad i managed to squeeze it in.