Where are we?

La Paz Day 2

We decided that we would drive across the city to where we should be able to refill our propane tank and spend the night at the same place.

We head out around 10 and of course the streets are already busy with a bzillion collectives!! Guess we should have started at 6am to miss them - like that would ever happen! LOL!!!  Not many people in El Alto own cars and use only collectives and the micro-buses. The roads are plugged with these!

I wonder how many eggs break on the way to delivery?

We motor along and then find we are in the wrong lane to get onto the autopiste (freeway) because the collectives are lined up and parked - along with vendors that are setup there - so thought the road was not the right one. But is was and now we are on the road going the opposite direction and have no choice but to continue on at a snail's pace to find a place to do a U-turn.  The traffic is horrendous!! As we are going along a big Coke truck comes up beside us and beeps and gives us the thumbs up and say a few words in Spanish - think welcoming us to Bolivia. Then the passenger hands Dwayne a bottle of Coke and then a second one and waves good bye. Weird but funny :)  I guess I get both bottles since they are sin azúcar (without sugar) LOL!!!

Our cokes and the truck after he passed us :)

Yup now going the wrong way and nothing but more collectives!!

We think maybe we will try another road to get to the propane, but it will take us right thru the centre of the city - pretty well the same road we took when we first came into La Paz on Thursday.  We turn onto a side street, do a u-turn and take the other route. As we get to the intersection I can see that the road up ahead is plugged with vendors and collectives so I say to Dwayne TURN LEFT TURN LEFT! LOL! We are now back on the "freeway" going in the right direction but again stuck in slow going traffic. We finally get to the spot where we should have originally gotten onto the freeway and once we are passed that bottleneck it's wide open!! Because now it becomes a toll road, so not many collectives go this way.  It's been an hour since we tried to get onto this freeway and I would bet we've maybe travelled 10kms?? And that's actually only going oneway and then returning the same way! Crazy!!
We get turned around and are now back to the overpass you should have gone over 1 hr ago!! But traffic is now clearing up :)
We get to the toll booth and pay the 2bols and off we go - 3 lanes and very little traffic. This road eventually goes thru the middle of La Paz central so we do slow down a bit because there are more cars on the road.  Still lots of collectives but seems the people of La Paz own more cars! I see a Tigo store to try and by more internet since I'm out again, so Dwayne parks and I jump out only to find out she can't add internet to my phone.  Get back into Vanna and off we go. I later see a real grocery store so we park to go in.  Mercados are ok at first to buy some fruit and veg but other then that they don't have a lot. I don't buy meat from them unless we are really desperate!

Driving thru central La Paz - Thats San Fransisco Church and plaza. This catholic church actually sculptured different indigenous symbols on the columns to try and convince them to enter
Here is an indigenous craving of a woman holding fish 

And another one - these were pointed out to us by our guide David

This grocery store has everything!! Great place to stock up. Even found peanut butter for only $6!! Dwayne says not to buy it because he's gotten use to being without but I say we should get it because it may be the last time we find it this "cheap" LOL!! Once we are finished we head back to Vanna and continue driving to the propane place. This place is way out in the far south of La Paz and the way maps.me is taking us is crazy but I can't seem to find a better way. We even have to go up a very steep cobblestone road, that we JUST barely make up to the top!!  I call ahead and talk to Marcos to make sure they are around and he said yes he was.  He'll wait at the gate for us. When we arrive he asks why we came from that direction (he speaks very good English - had a sister in Quebec he would visit and learnt English there) and we said that's what maps.me gave us. Guess there is an easier way - we'll make sure to use that when we leave!

We get parked and he shows us around, there is a room to use to watch tv or use wifi, a bathroom with shower plus a full kitchen. There is also power so we plug in. I ask what it costs per night - 50bols per person!! WOW that seems expensive because the last place we parked at - yes it was only a secured parking lot was only 10Bols ($2C) a night!! Even though 100bols = $20C it is still pretty expensive for camping in SA!! The most we have paid for all the above was $10US back in Ecuador.  Oh well guess we will be staying only 1 night!! I know it sounds cheap for Canada or US, but for SA that's expensive. But then again we seldom stay in a campground, preferring cheaper parking lots or wild camping :) I did later check other "campgrounds" in La Paz area and this one is actually the cheapest! Some are charging 80Bols pp/n!

As it turns out Dwayne says we really don't need to fill the propane tank because it's still pretty full.  Thought we needed propane?? Oh well lets hope we get thru Bolivia with this tank because it sounds like it may be difficult to find another place that fills our type of tank.

Since we got here around 2pm Dwayne decides to once again work on the water tank to fix that leak. Marcos said if we could remove the tank he knows someone who "welds" plastic, but unfortunately that can't be done. I work on my blog since I have free wifi and it takes a couple of hours for each of us to do our "work" 😂

We plug in all our electrical "stuff" to charge up with the power we are plugged into. Watch a movie at night and then call it  a day.

Owner of the "campground" live across the street in a very modern looking house

Marcos actually is a mechanic and has his shop on this lot - explains why all the vehicles 

Patio of the building with kitchen etc

Bathroom with shower is off this common area

We leave the campground around 10 and find the better road down! We are way out in the south of La Paz and it's amazing how the nice the houses are here. There are lots of new ones as we drive down. It is really pretty in this area.  We follow the river to get over to the main highway to take us south.  Of course maps.me wants to take us all the way back the way we came yesterday!! Stupid thing!! So I have to plot our way to cut across to the highway.  Along the way we pass a lake where lots of people are enjoying a Sunday, with boats, blowup "squirrel cages" to run around on the lake.

The scenery is pretty blah driving thru here. Just altiplano with foothills in the background.  We eventually get to the city of Oruro around 4pm. I've found us a spot at the airport parking lot that we can stay at for the night. The place is deserted but still has a guard at night.  I don't think to many planes arrive at the airport. It looks like a nice building, but no one around. There is also free WIFI!!!! So making good use of that checking out places to see on the way to Salar de Uyuni (salt flats)

After supper a guy comes over to see us - he might be a guard not sure. I ask if he knows Juan Carlos - yes he is his boss. I explained that he has told other overlanders that it is fine to park here at night. So we have a "conversation" for probably 20 minutes. Talking about our trip, kids, grandkids, how much money do Canadians make a month - here in Bolivia they make an average of $300US a month. Anyways before he left we gave him a pop and he was happy with that :)

Here are some of the houses in the south area of La Paz

There is a huge one!

Cool new house and an old Ford Falcon driving by

Sunday funday at the local lake

Moving day? or someone got new living room furniture :)

Scenery from La Paz to Oruro 

Could see a small village way off in the distance

Then zoomed in - the only place with some trees that must have been planted


  1. From the look of the fences around the houses, they must have real problems with thieves. That must also be why the 'campground' has a guard. I guess like most cities.

    1. Most places I think from Mexico down always have high fencing around their houses. I've seen it for so long it just seems normal :) There was no guard at the campground, but there is a gate that the closes the entrance driveway. Just the norm here.