Travelling from Peru to Bolivia, our first stop was in La Paz, with a couple days off, to catch our breath.
Anyone who’s been there will know that I’m joking a bit, because this beautiful city sits at a very high altitude, and it is indeed hard to catch one’s breath here.
For fun I’ve done a little comparison of high altitude places I’ve been:
5,300 ft… Denver … Not much problem
6,400 ft… Red Rocks, CO. amphitheatre… Best not to go running around stage
7,380 ft… Mexico City… I get winded sometimes, just walking around.
8,650 ft… Paranal, Chile (ESO optical telescopes)… I took a few days to acclimate for my photos. And didn’t walk far.
10,600 ft…. Echo Lake, CO. (Some of us in the Gabriel band rode motorcycles up there back in 2016)… My brain was so muddled, I needed help to get key back in the bike!
11,940 ft… La Paz, Bolivia… Here we are. 2nd highest city in the world - I believe it!
13,320 ft… La Paz Airport… Ouch, quite a bit higher than the city. Take a couple steps.. rest a bit.
16,400 ft…. ALMA, Chile (ESO radio telescopes)… Don’t even ask what that was like!
La Paz is very hilly, and has a wonderful system of cable cars to get around. That’s Pat and Markus in the car ahead of me.
But I’m getting ahead of things… we took the cable cars, and I got my photos, on our return to La Paz. Our first show was in the very different Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
It couldn’t be much more different here. La Paz was about 60 farenheit (it’s Winter here) and very dry. Santa Cruz is about 95, damp and tropical. We’ll see if anyone in our touring party completes this week without coming down with a cold!
An unusual bow at end of set. The show went great, but Markus’s instrument fell off it’s stand as we were about to take a bow - he’s looking it over here – so we weren’t able to do our usual encore. A shame, but fortunately the instrument wasn’t damaged - it’s very sturdy.
Okay, next morning, put away those shorts, take some deep breaths… it’s a flight back to La Paz for our show there.
It was a great show for us - maybe best of the tour.
Frankly I was relieved to not get dizzy during the show. Not that it’s a hard physical concert, but, with this altitude, I did have a stool handy in case I needed to sit.
Next up for us, another day off here. We took to the cable cars, and I got the photos at top of the page, and more!
Well, that last picture’s a bit of wishful thinking. Or, Photoshop thinking… David didn’t come along inside the cable car, let alone fiddling on top of it… what can I say, I just could resist.
Pausing in a station, I saw a poster for our concert
And when I say ‘pausing’, I’m exaggerating. The cars don’t stop at all, just slow down in the stations for people to hop on and off. The system is a fascinating combination of very modern, Blade Runner like technology, mixed with housing seeming to have been built into every cliff.
I found on my trip here last year that the city is so broad and on so many levels, I just couldn’t get a single shot showing what it’s like.
So, allow me a few.
That last picture is from the upper city (El Alto) where the airport is. We took a breather, if you can call it that…
And as the daylight fades, we’re heading back to our hotel, and will soon bid goodbye to this very special city.