In the morning, I decided to end my lack of clothes and went to the market. Markets in La Paz are something unbelievable. They occupy a whole district and are interestingly organized. Each street is devoted to a different kind of products. You can find streets only with stores and stalls selling computers, or cosmetics, or shoes etc. It's convenient for shoppers because it's easy to find the best price of a certain product. You don't have to walk around the entire market, just in one street. And walking around La Paz is not so easy. It's hard to breath because of the combination of altitude and pollution (most cars are very old and have bad exhalations).
When I was done shopping I went to the bus station to catch a bus to Copacabana. I was surprised that there were just two buses going there and I missed the first one. That's why I arrived to Copacabana in the evening and missed the boat to the Isle of sun. Copacabana lies on the shore of Lake Titicaca and it's the original one. The famouse Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro was named after this place. The city was crowded by Czechs. I met 13 of them in one day. I met a Czech couple from Prague in a restaurant, then the group of Czechs I'd met in Lima two weeks ago, and then other four Czechs during breakfast. Moreover, I met the Australian girl I'd met in Huaraz. That day was a nice reunion 🙂
Lake Titicaca from the Bolivian shore.
Next day in the morning, I took a boat to the island. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to walk across the island. I arrived there at 9.30 and had to go back at 10.30 to catch the bus to La Paz. It was worth it though. Lake Titicaca is amazing. It looks like a sea, you can't see the other shore. The land around is dry and reminds the Mediterranean countries. Water is just too cold. It's the highest navigable lake in the world. It's 4000 m above sea level and gets really cold in the night which I experienced, too, because my hostel as well as other buildings didn't have any heating.
When I was back in La Paz I returned to the same hostel as before. The last entire day in South America was devoted to the city. I just needed to reprint my flight tickets that were in my lost backpack. Then my first steps led towards the legendary San Pedro prison. It's a prison which is ruled by prisoners. It's absolutely unbelievable what's going on inside. It's one of the biggest sources of cocain in Bolivia, but the police goes in very rarely. It's 400 Bolivianos ($60) to bribe guards and get in. The prisoners even make tours for tourists. Unfortunately, no visits were allowed today, not even unofficially. So I at least took a few pictures from outside.
In my opinion, the most interesting museum in La Paz is the museum of coca. It's very informative and tells you everything about the plant and products made of it. I learned things I didn't have a clue about. Did you know that Coca-Cola had originally contained real cocaine or that one of the first users of cocaine'd been Sigmund Freud who'd snuff it so much that he got nasal cancer?
The most famous attraction, the San Francisco cathedral, was nice, but nothing special. The Murillo square was more interesting. There are the presidential palace, the congress, the new cathedral of La Paz, and thousands of pigeons. Seriously, the whole square was covered by them. If someone complains there are too many pigeons in Prague he should go see this place.
The city of La Paz.
That's it. I'm counting down the last hours in South America and planning the trip home. My flight to Miami departs at 7am, so I have to take a cab and leave the hostel by 4. I should be in New York about midnight. I checked accommodation in New York today and all cheap hostels aere booked. I wouldn't get to Manhattan before 1am which is really late. That's why I decided to sleep at the airport. It won't be first time and I guess not last time, too. I'll be in Prague in Saturday morning. And if nothing goes wrong I'll be at home in the afternoon. After 109 days abroad. It's not as long as last year (230 days), but long enough to look forward to proper beer and the Czech cuisine.