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Crossing the river before summiting 17,500 Pico Austria. Photo by Ella Williams (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest, 2nd Place), South America Semester.

La Paz Scavener Hunt

Scavenger hunt in La Paz! Rebecca, Ella and I were grouped together and set off from Compa around 9am.  We found the telepherico with relative ease and rode it down to Soracachi, about a twenty minute walk from where we were supposed to meet Brian to get clues for our scaveneger hunt.  We found a quiet and direct street, and enjoyed the crazy staircases diving off the road and the local architecture.  After weaving through some Bolivian traffic we found Brian at the square of San Francisco.  The square was the biggest urban center we had seen thus far. It backed onto a Spanish Colonial building (now a museum), a market, and there were street performances in the middle of the square.  Unfortunately once we got our envelope of tasks from Brian, Ella –  our Spanish speaker- wasn´t feeling up to exploring La Paz.  Rebecca and I decided to soldier on despite our beginner level Spanish.  By this point it was 11:00 and time for some food.   We searched the streets for some traditional Bolivian cuisine which proved harder than expected! There were American, Chinese, Japanese and Italian restaurants, but no Bolivian! After much searching we found food two floors up one of the buildings.  There was a till with a menu choice of three dishes, and we chose number two.  It had chicken, salad, and potatoes.  Once ordered they gave us two poker chips which we then handed to the waitress for our order.  Strange system but the food was delicious.  Unfortunately they didn’t have any running water to refill our water with so we went searching for a public washroom.  Rebecca saw one…in the middle of a lingerie shop.  So there we were sitting stirring our steri pens surrounded by mannequins dressed in questionable clothing. Wasn´t expecting doing that in Bolivia.  Water bottles refilled we decided to go on a shopping spree. Rebecca and I saw the Witches’ Market (100s of stalls filled with clothing) and wandered the streets searching for gifts to send home.  It was very relaxing and MAN alpaca wool is soft.  At around 3 we met up with another group and had a tasty second lunch before heading back on the telepherico.  What a day!