So we have just completed our week of Spanish classes, 10 hours each, at a cost of approx 1000bols/£100 in total. We learnt at the i.e Language Institute ( http://www.institutoexclusivo.com), located on 20 de Octubre, in Sopocachi, who were very accommodating to our needs, and the fact we only had the 1 clear week to take classes!
The absolute beginner one of us had a fine time at five 1 to 1 sessions, gaining a massive increase in Spanish, and the confidence to use it. Additionally, the teacher also gave many insights into local La Paz customs and history, and tips on things to check out. The ‘lower intermediate’ one of us had a harder time in a small group, not least because the grammar & vocabulary that was learnt some 20 years ago, remained firmly buried in the darkest recesses of the brain – so yes it was a struggle to keep up in class. Due thanks to the sympathetic teacher….just gotta keep practising she said!😈
Crash & Burn! After 4 energetic days of exploring the nooks and crannies of central La Paz, on Tuesday we crashed and burned. Surprisingly this occurred just after we’d found an excellent vegetarian buffet restaurant, and eaten their superb 4-course almeurzo (lunch), at a cost of just 32bols/£2.90 each! The veggie restaurant Armonia (Harmony!) is located above a Buddhist/ spiritualist bookshop of the same name in calle Ecuador, in Sopocachi. Sadly it opens only for lunches, but most of what you eat comes from their own organic, petrol-free farmed land outside La Paz.
Quite why we crashed and burned, given we’ve been living at 3300m and above for 3 weeks now, intrigues us!? But it meant the rest of Tuesday was spent napping in the hostel. Wednesday was no better, and ironically the more robust one of us was suffering the most. The slow week has meant our explorations of the city have been put back, and we have yet to use the crazy system of busses & micros (mini vans) to get further afield and up into the higher parts of town, never mind get to some sights worth visiting outside the city.
Therefore, when we return from our full moon trip to Copacabana & the Isla de Sol sometime next week, we may well spend another week in La Paz. In the meantime listen out for us howling at the moon, or maybe just at the hippies we suspect we will come across!