Meeting La Paz

Apparently I’m now living in one of the 14 finalists for the Seven New Wonder Cities of the World. I’m yet to be convinced.

Don’t get me wrong – La Paz is stunning, somewhat like a synthesis of Quito and Cuzco.

The view from my bedroom window takes the edge off having to wake up at 6.15am each morning.

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The view from the minibus window, as we carve our way up through the rocky mountains from the Zona Sur to the historic city centre, takes the edge off having to make the 30-40 minute commute to work.

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The view from the cable car connecting La Paz and adjoining El Alto – well there’s no edge to take off there.

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I’ve been here less than a week.

Don’t ask me about Ecuador

Comparisons are inevitable but I don’t want to presume things are going to be “like they were in Ecuador”. Evangelical Christians are super conservative here. Everyone is late to everything. Don’t expect veggies with your meal.

Nor do I want to be constantly stacking up the two countries against each other. The mountains are greener in the Ecuadorian sierra. Paceños are more reserved. Food was cheaper in Loja. People are more polite here.

The older you get, the harder it is to be a blank slate. Loja had all of two years to leave her mark on me. Don’t ask me about Ecuador – it was tough to leave the second time round, too.

Climate change

Madrid was hot and cold; she didn’t love me but I fell for her anyway.

Loja was mostly warm; there were ups and downs but it didn’t take long for us to get familiar.

La Paz is cool and I think we both need a little more time to get comfortable with each other – but we will get there.

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