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Searching for a cure in La Paz

sunny 23 °C
View Latin American Tour on alexis.johnson's travel map.

Today we walked to Calle Jaen, a colonial street that has several museums and some artisan shops. It was nice, but a lot shorter than I expected.

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At the bottom of the street was an old peoples’ home. Loads of them were sat outside the building on benches in their slippers. It was probably my favourite part of Calle Jaen.

We headed back to Calle Ingavi where we found the folk art museum. We didn’t pay the extra bit to take photos, but apart from more tapestries, pottery and some traditional feathery headgear, there wasn’t much to take pictures of.

Wait.

Except for the darkened room lined with freaky masks!

From what I could tell (by attempting to translate the Spanish interpretive boards accompanying each and every mask), the majority were fairly modern and used in festivals and Carnival celebrations. Most had religious connotations (ie angel or demon), and quite a few represented the ancestry of different tribes.

The freakiest one was the last mask in the room, and very much resembled the face we associate with the Saw films. It was terrifying.

Woz was keen to leave this area quickly.

After the museum, we walked to Plaza Murillo (the main square surrounded by government buildings), had a lunch of a saltena each, followed by an empanada con queso, followed by a small ice cream cone from a vendor at yet another plaza.

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Continuing on our merry way in the heat of the afternoon, we arrived to the Witch’s Market where one can buy all sorts of vials and potions, get your palm read, or gawk at the neatly piled shrivelled up baby llamas located in every storefront. (Google it.)

I asked what they were for...and a lady (witch?) told me they were offerings to pachamama (Mother Earth).

They look real, right. But how on earth does one find that many baby llamas of a similar size and shape and dried-up-ness?

I kept that question to myself. I don’t even want to know.

We settled on a few trinkets/charms that will look after us.

I picked out a condor which is meant to be good for safe travels. Woz picked up a turtle because he likes turtles. And it’s meant to bring you good health.

We also bought a slightly larger pachamama trinket for our shelves that has all the goodies on (frog for money, snake for long life, and a heart for love). I reckon we’re sorted.

I'll be honest, this bit was the highlight of La Paz for me, and I kept trying to come up with reasons to head back there and look for more healing.

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We chilled out for a bit in a cafe called Pepe’s waiting for it to cool down, but eventually decided to brave the heat and walk back to the hostel. We watched several episodes of Arrested Development on the computer, and went back out in the evening for a hearty meal of burgers and fries from Toby’s Burgers + Fries.

We walked back to the Plaza Murillo and found the dessert we’d both been keen to try: jello/jelly with a weird cheesy creamy topping.

The topping was weird and cheesy. Warren said it tasted like cheesecake, but he’s full of shit. I mixed it in with the jelly so it wasn’t so noticeable.

I think Cool Whip would do well here.

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Posted by alexis.johnson 12:44 Archived in Bolivia

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