Ok, so I thought I’d escaped the Loki lifestyle, but for some reason it always brings me back. I swore to myself after I left Cusco that I wouldn’t book at Loki in La Paz, but I just couldn’t help myself and I’m glad that was the case. I loved the Loki set up and location in the highest capital city in the world. It felt very much like a hotel or apartment building and the Loki sky bar at the top floor gave an unbeatable view of the city and the gorgeous Mt Illimani in the distance. Of course as soon as we show up we knew two people working at the bar. One we met way back in March at Loki Mancora and another whom we had met back on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. I knew a little partying was in store after this.
Aside from Loki hostel, La Paz is a unique city which I came to like fairly quickly. We stayed for a total of five nights, and I could have easily stayed for much longer. There are endless things to do and see in and around La Paz – one of the most popular being cycling Death Road, which I wasn’t brave enough to endure. I could only picture my uncoordinated ass going right over that cliff! It’s a top priority for a lot of travellers, but a little too adventurous for my taste. I’m sure if I did it, I would have enjoyed it in some terrifying way. But I’m starting to realize that while travelling, it’s sometimes okay to just skip out on things that you’re not 100% interested in instead of doing them just because everyone else is doing it and it’s a top attraction. I’ve put myself out of my comfort zone on more than several occasions on this trip, and I’m proud of that as is and know my limits! For the first few days we ate at the local food stands (no food poisoning thank goodness – whew!), wondered the narrow streets lined with colorful markets (including the witches market!), and enjoyed the array of delicious restaurants. Side note: for the many people who told me that the food in Bolivia wasn’t good at all and the people weren’t remotely friendly – for me, you were completely wrong my friends. At least this was my experience. I find the people of Bolivia to be beautifully interesting, kind, and most of all helpful. And if you go to the right places, you can find some incredible food in La Paz whether it’s market food, fresh squeezed juices along the street, or more of an up scale type of restaurant. It’s there, and so, so inexpensive!
After a few days on our own, we happily met up with Shelby and Alison, who we had worked with at Loki Cusco. We all decided a couple weeks prior that we would all meet up in La Paz and then head to the Salt Flats together. This was the plan all along until we found out about the strike in Uyuni. We were determined to find another way in, but in the meantime we all enjoyed the city together for the next couple days. Alison and John bravely rappelled off a building with Urban Rush, dressed like Mario and Luigi, of course. They also have Superman, Spiderman, Batman, and other super hero costumes to add to the, “I’m inside and enjoy jumping out a windows.”
We spent the rest of our time wondering the streets of La Paz, went out to some great meals at The Steakhouse and La Cueva (Mexican food that’s actually somewhat decent in South America!), had some drinks at Oliver’s Tavern (where the La Paz pup crawl kicks off!), took the cable car up to view the city, and just overall enjoyed being reunited after our crazy times at Loki Cusco.
Thankfully, we decided to go into a random tour agency (after worrying about not being able to have access to the salt flats because of the strike), and boy I’m glad we did. Exhibit A of Bolivian people being nice and helpful. Our new friend Joel gave us the local insider scoop on how to get around the strike and into the salt flats for CHEAP. Hell. Yes.