Greetings from La Paz, Bolivia! We arrived safely after a long journey and are managing to avoid soroche (altitude sickness) by moving slowly, limiting our food consumption, and sipping mate de coca. Carolina’s wonderful relatives immediately took us into their home and introduced us to Latin hospitality.
La Paz is the highest altitude capital city in the world. The airport – also the highest in the world – is located in the Altiplano above the bowl-shaped city. The city is charming and very unique, with brick houses precariously built into the dusty mountains. Socioeconomic status is stratified inversely with altitude: the poor live higher up, exposed to the cold nights and scorching sunlight during the day; the wealthy live further down, to the south on firmer ground, better protected from the raw atmosphere above. At first glance, though, these things are hidden from us and we are just impressed by this city in the clouds.
During our two-day stay, we took a bus tour of the city (tourist style) and saw the seat of the Bolivian government, a look-out point above the city, Moon Valley, and plenty of traffic jams.