#potd: Back to La Paz – art, culture, social struggle and edge!

mujeres_justiciaReturning to La Paz in Bolivia the other day felt a little like meeting an old friend again, we felt instantly at ease. As we wandered the streets for the first few hours back in this amazing yet crazy city, we sensed once again it’s uniqueness, it’s peoples confidence, and a vibrancy on the streets that was missing in Peru. In our first few hours we saw more street art in La Paz than we’d seen in 10 weeks in Peru, much of it with a clear social message – like this piece ‘Mujeres en busca de justicia’ (Women looking for justice) by the radical feminists of Mujeres Creando – still going strong three years on we are pleased to see, on a wall outside their building (see their website – the article ‘vivir bien como disfraz‘ pulls no punches).

Cusco airport at 6am brrr

Cusco airport at 6am brrr

We’ve been here only once before, for just 12 days back in March 2014 (see blogposts), and have wanted to return ever since to learn & understand more, fingers crossed we will have longer this time. We flew in this time to La Paz’s airport up on the altiplano (over 4000m), in it’s sister city of El Alto, the sun was out and the views stunning as we landed, and experienced for the first time driving over the ‘edge’ down into the valley bowl where La Paz is, some 500m below.

view south down Cusco valley from our last hostel

view south down Cusco valley from our last hostel

We’d been back in Cusco (Peru) for a final few days after visiting Arequipa, but not only was Cusco windy, cool & wet, but we’d both picked up our first stomach bug of the trip, meaning we couldn’t stray too far from a loo for several days. This was a bit of a letdown as we’d hoped to revisit a few people & places, and end our time in Peru on a higher note. Indeed departure day summed up those last few days – damp, misty & cloudy.

But hey it could have been worse, we could have been freezing our bits off back in the UK, watching the British Prime Minister gladhand the monsters currently in power in the USA & Turkey. Yuk!


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