Cochabamba lays in the middle of Bolivia, both in terms of latitude and altitude. The biggest city of the country's extensive valley range, it boasts Bolivia's best climate and is known as its "breadbasket". Surrounded by mountains and in easy reach of national parks and the jungle, there are plenty of things to see. All of which makes the lack of tourism in Cochabamba nothing less than astounding.
Random festivals, cholitas with hats balanced crookedly on their heads, crazy graffiti, mountain views, pigeons and lines of mini-buses and trufis... around every corner in La Paz are another hundred photos waiting to be snapped! Enjoy this final set of random images from Bolivia's most important city.
Walking aimlessly about town one sunny weekend afternoon, we happened upon a pageant called Miss Cholita Paceña 2011, just as the winner was being announced. With a grin larger than her hat, she danced about the stage, gladly receiving accolades from the crowd. We thought it was a good introduction to this random picture post, which includes a lot of other lovely things from La Paz... a soccer field with a gorgeous mountain view... the Illimani... and two Boxer dogs, handsome from the front and behind!
I stirred to life as we passed through the satellite Aymara city of El Alto, perched perilously on a hill overlooking La Paz. But though my eyes had opened, I thought perhaps I was still dreaming. Bolivia's largest and most important city was sprawled out across the valley below us, beginning to light up as though preparing for our arrival, surrounded by mountains on all sides.
We've lived in quite a few countries, but I don't think we've ever encountered such compelling faces as in Bolivia. The people here, while often shy about getting their picture taken, are almost always courteous and happy to talk. Here's another random batch of images we've taken in Sucre during last few weeks.
Before arriving in Sucre, I really didn't know what to expect! My knowledge of the city and country were near zero, so I've been spending a lot of times in the streets to educate myself. I hope you enjoy this set of pictures, which represent my first impressions of this incredible place.