Thursday, May 23, 2013

After a good 12 hours of sleep, we we’re all ready to do some more exploring in La Paz. We woke up with the sound of fireworks exploding. We later realized it was a continuation of the miner’s protest that has been going on now for about 3 weeks. Apparently, very few stores open before 10AM, so we couldn’t really go to any of the markets. No worries, because Gabe was on his way to meet us for breakfast number 2. We ate saltañas, which are basically like hot beef pot pies, but you can eat them with your hands. Very delicious. And we drank Fanta! The Fanta here uses real sugar, so it has a different kind of pleasant sweetness to it. 
Walking in the Plaza de San Francisco

The empty markets

Una salteña de carne! Es muy deliciosa

Afterwards, we continued our city exploration and browsed through different vendors. Things we saw were textiles (super colorful, like the rainbow woven all together into pants, tapestry, wallets, and much more), charangas (small, high pitched guitars), and lots and lots of llama fetuses. Eeeks! We made our way over to a quaint colonial street called Calle Jaen. It was a lot less populated and was filled with artisan shops. Our main goal was to go to a folklore and ethnography museum, but it was closed at that time. Instead, we went to a museum showcasing the musical instruments of Bolivia. It was an absolute blast since we got to play with some of their instruments. The folklore and ethnography museum was a very nice and modern display of Bolivia’s history.
A local shop owner showing off her 100% alpaca textiles
Calle Jaen - A restored colonial era street with many artisan shops

Grabbing lunch on Calle Jaen
 A display of drums and Ben playing an interesting combination of washtub bass and bass drum

 Ben and Wes exploring the musical instrumet displays
The group posing in the museum´s premier Charanga concert hall
The main entrance to the ethnography museum, located in a restored colonial house

By this time, we were all pretty much exhausted and ready to sleep. After resting for a bit, Gabe brought us to a nice local Bolivian restaurant for dinner where we had lots of meat. The serving size was huge that it could feed three people rather than one! We finished off the day with a nice game of cards and rested for our road trip to Cochabamba the following morning.

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