They are everywhere in La Paz. Bowler-hatted women with wide layered skirts and yards of petticoats. A strange look. A fashion adopted from the colonists who used their own Spanish style to separate themselves from the indigenous people. But the Aymara took it, and made it their own, and centuries after the Spanish left, flounced skirts (known as a pollera) and fringed shawls continue to … Continue reading Cholitas of La Paz.
We’d been told to get there early. But the line was still long. Everyone wanted to try it. Where there’s a queue in Bolivia there are vendors. Men, women and teenagers paced and hawked. Ice-cream men did a roaring trade, pushing hand-carts, and handing out cones. Ball-point pens seemed to be the hot item of the moment. ‘Boligrafas, uno peseto’, shouted a man holding out … Continue reading As High As A Kite. In La Paz.
There’s no way a city like La Paz should be where La Paz is. Squeezed into a gully, red-brick houses tumble down steep slopes, and seem to dangle precariously, half-way between heaven and earth. It’s topsy-turvy crazy, with the poor people living on the canyon’s lip at 4,000m; (‘El Alto’ literally means ‘the high place’); the city centre about 500m lower, (referred to as ‘la … Continue reading La Paz. Not Just Another Big City.