When you book a bus ticket it includes pickup from your hotel which was at 0715, the bus full of foreign tourists left Puno at 0730, got to the Kasani border crossing at 0930, took about an hour to exit Peru walk to the Bolivia side and enter Bolivia. Next stop Copacabana a resort town on the Lake shore at 1100 and the time changed to 1200 Bolivian time, total confusion at this point, there were about 10 busses hanging around and no-one knew who was getting on what bus and they were all going to La Paz hahahaha, that’s Latin America for you, I was taken to 4 different busses before I got on one, we left at 1330.
After about half an hour we came to a ferry at Tiquina and had to get off the bus which went across the water on its own ferry and the passengers went across on smaller boats, took about an hour and we were off again at 1505, got to the outskirts of La Paz, traffic as usual was a total mess and I thought, on my bike this would not be fun, until we got to a short stretch of toll road and it was empty hahahaha, no one wants to pay the toll, a bit like Mexico, then back into the traffic and arrived at my hotel at 1730, it drizzled on and off most of the way, this is the rainy season here in the mountains.
Nearly all the buildings in this city are made of large red clay bricks with no plaster or paint so the whole place looks red, all was revealed the next day by the tour guide, apparently these buildings are considered unfinished and pay less tax but that law was changed 2 years ago and they now have to pay the full tax regardless, the Government is hoping that people will start to plaster and paint their houses, so far no such luck.
The southern lower part of the city is the upmarket area and the higher (alto) part of the city with the views is where all the poor people live, apparently the lower part has better weather more sun and less rain. Also about 180 houses slide down the cliffs they are built on every year.
Guns have also disappeared from view, petty theft is common but not major crime, there are no security guards at every shop with AK47’s or shotguns, lots of police without guns around the tourist area, we were warned not to go out of these areas as there are no police.