Title: This city has everything we need
Location: La Paz, Bolivia
So we bumped our way from Copacabana to La Paz about 10 days ago, with Rhonda still reeling from the effects of sunstroke. The city itself is the highest capital in the world at about 4000m above sea level. Like many other capitals, it´s sprawling and overcrowded both on the pavements and on the roads and this, combined with the altitude makes it a hard city to get around.
However, ATM machines, fast food, 5 star hotels, Spanish immersion classes and book exchanges have all treated us well and were very much appreciated.
Spent several days in the city getting our feet, shopping and eating and visiting the sparse sights. La Paz isn´t the most picturesque of cities, nor does it have a wealth of interesting museums or attractive plazas but it serves as a good base, having everything we needed.
We visited the Coca museum here, it was great to see the different cultural attitudes towards coca, from its indigenous use as a herbal remedy to the use of coca leaves in the silver mines of Bolivia to give energy to the miners and of course to the snorting off mirrors in various bars etc in the west...
Having exhausted La Paz we booked ourselves onto Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking´s "Worlds Most Dangerous Road" bike ride. (Which seems to be one of the main reasons people visit La Paz). Basically the ride takes you from the top of the Andes at about 3800m down to 1400ish along 60+kms of winding, unpaved, cliff-edged road. We later found out that it gets the name from the 300 people and 50+ trucks, which fall off the edges each year.
Since these adventure we have been taking Spanish classes at the local Spanish school. It's going great and I get a lot of practice outside by speaking to the natives.