La Paz is a BIG town compared to what we have seen so far, a little intimidating to tell you the truth. We had recommendations from several people about The Pension California, it’s a backpackers hotel in the hub of the city on the corner of Revolucion de 1910 and Santos Degollado.
It’s bright and colorful but also pretty much what you’d expect for budget accommodation ($16.50/per night), not fancy: there are no door knobs (each door is latched and padlocked when you leave), the faucets and sinks are old but functional, there is no glass in the high windows lining the rooms (louvers replace it) but it’s all we need: a clean bed, bathroom en suite with plenty of hot water and TV that only speaks to us in Espanol. The only WiFi is in the common area, forcing you to socialize (or not) with the other guests. We’ve met a man from Michigan who was biking through Mexico but has been waylaid in La Paz waiting for bike parts from the states and two backpackers from Ecuador. Each morning the bus station on the corner is flooded with all types of old school buses, the short ones, that are labeled “transporte colectivo” they drop off office workers, laborers and visitors sporting huge suitcases in to the center of the city. Dunno where they are from but from about 7am, the place is buzzing. While Patty is sleeping I head out early for a café con leche for 14 pesos ($0.70) with a sweet roll and bring her back a little nosh too for 13 pesos ($0.65).
We have cycled all over our little neighborhood which has anything you could ever want it if not someone knows how to find it. Have you ever seen a Mexican restaurant that sells Chinese food? You don’t want to, blech. However, it is going to be difficult to lose weight on this adventure when a 5 pack of hot, fresh churros can be had for $0.85! The color explosions of the murals found all over downtown are fantastic and we spent a fair amount of time on the bikes hunting them down with the requisite taco breaks when
appropriate! A typical lunch (a chicken tostada, a beef tostada with all the fixin’s and a cold Fresca soda) cost me 60 pesos or $3.00. We visited the Museo De La Ballena, a museum dedicated to whales for the most part but also gives a nod to the dolphins and sharks that are found here in the Sea of Cortez.