The first half of the day was a tourist bus to La Paz crossing the border in Bolivia. As usual we were up early to catch this and again it was a good bus, obviously a tourist rather than a local bus. There was even a film showing on an overhead screen, a Denzel Washington film about a run away train. The film was terrible but an inspired choice in some ways, it was hard to tell it the honking of horns was from outside the bus or on the film. We reached the border crossing where we had to pretend not to know our guide, if they are identified they are approached for bribes and life gets hard for them. As usual with all land border crossings this one was chaotic, full of queues and probably the scene of some crime or other every minute of the day. We waited patiently in line alongside all the inevitable money changers while watching our bus inch its way through the crowd, vaguely wondering if the luggage locker on the far side would be open or closed when we saw it again on the other side. We had no problems when it came to our turn and we entered no mans land and crossed to join the queues on the other side. Firstly we queue to get the form and then again to get it stamped. We were gathering together outside as a group and just as a police man started to pay us some attention and step forward Carl firmly announced we were 'good to go' and shunted us off before it cost us anything.

Back on the bus, with a full complement of bags, we were on our way to La Paz. The dirt track from the border crossing joined the main road at an unmarked junction and thinking to the overland bike journeys I've made I'm not  sure we would have ever found the border crossing short of waiting for a bus and following it - the least we would have expected would be that the tarmac road led there. As we came into La Paz we came over the lip of the ridge that makes the outskirts and had a good view across the city and it was instantly obvious that it was huge, and from what we could see still being finished. We arrived at the bus station in town just as a military parade was starting but somehow I don't think it was for our benefit. Oddly it only lasted a short while until it dispersed and we didn't fathom what the occasion was. From here we used taxis to get to the hotel and it was proper crazy driving. I've seen a few countries where driving is shall we say lax but here really the only rule was that right of way is determined by whose bumper is in front. I checked for a seat belt at least twice.

My first impressions of La Paz were that it was busier than Peru and obviously wealthier judging by the selection of shops on offer. However, perhaps it was also less safe with even a cafe having an armed guard in attendance. Our guide took us on a walk through town. Firstly past the oldest church in town, which felt much more Western than those in Peru, and then onto the Witches market. This wasn't a single market square but rather  a series of streets where traditionally they sold all sorts of remedies which famously include dried lama fetuses - a treat which Russell couldn't help but buy, saying that he intended to place it on the table at his next dinner party to see what his friends would say/eat! From here we went to a little square with a cathedral and some government buildings, all very pretty. Russell tried to get his money shot of a nun bent in prayer with the alter in the background but Carl reported that they had been asked to move on so not so successful.

For dinner we had mixed success, actually little success. Firstly the waiter assured us that there was no way we could order nachos which was no problem but curiously he them came over with some much later. In fact everything was much later and it even took 30 minutes to get our beers prompting us to speculate how hard it was to open a bottle. After we had sent back some of our food because it was cold we couldn't help but raise an eyebrow when someone arrived carrying a microwave!