Sunday, December 13, 2015

A 50 Cent Ride in the Clouds

I have long been intrigued by Bolivia, a country where, from what I have read, in many ways time seems to have stood still. The indigenous women dress in costumes from the 19th century, complete with bowler hats, and the way of life in the altiplano has changed little for centuries.

In La Paz, though, one of the country's two capitals, a futuristic cable car now offers transportation complete with Wi-Fi provided by solar panels set in the roof of the gondolas. The transit system called El Teleferico connects a part of the city known as El Alto with the lower city centre. Transit time is about one-third of the time needed for the same journey by bus or taxi. Best of all, a one-way ticket costs just 50 cents.

The gondolas offer a high-level view of the neighborhoods below, providing an instant tour of a city that sounds as if it could be difficult to explore on foot. Located 12,000 feet above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world, and many of its neighbourhoods are higher still.

For more about the Teleferico, check Incidentally, the Los Angeles Times has an excellent travel section, and you can read much of it online. Other stories of interest include one on the rail trip across Canada and another on skiing in California, where snow is plentiful this year, which is not the case so far in eastern North America.


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