Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Clouds

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge this week is ‘Clouds’.

Here are clouds hovering over the city of La Paz, the capital of of Bolivia. At an elevation of roughly 3,650 m (11,975 ft) above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. We’d just flown into El Alto airport which is even higher, at an altitude of 13,323′ and I was definitely feeling the effects.

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Clouds over lake Titicaca as we took the hydrofoil across the lake to Copacabana.

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The clouds around the lighthouse in my old hometown of Umhlanga South Africa, where at sea level my body is happiest.

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Here in Florida it’s pretty flat too. No wonder the clouds fall into the water at our local nature reserve.

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To join in Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge, just click the link.

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Daily Prompt: Clouds I Have Seen

Today’s Daily Prompt ‘Clouds’ reminded me of this Joni Mitchell song from the 1960’s, one of my all-time favourites.

Bows and flows of  angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all.

Here are some clouds I’ve been privileged to see on my travels around this beautiful world. I thought it might be fun to show some photos where the clouds, although quite prominent, weren’t the real focus for the shot; like this one taken through the window of our tour bus in Ecuador.

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Here’s the relaxing view from our hotel in Myrtle Beach SC.

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Mount Vesuvius looks down on the ruins of Pompeii.

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Instantly recognisable beneath the clouds, are the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.

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The Sri Mariamman temple, rising up to the clouds, is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.

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This monster Toucan and his friend Mr. Parrot sit under a cloudy sky in a Costa Rica  waterside park.

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Here under the lowering clouds in Lakota lies the eerie scene of the Battle of the Little Bighorn,  commonly known as ”Custer’s Last Stand’.

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This shot of Mount Rushmore taken from the side, shows just the profile of George Washington, one of the four past presidents who are featured in this massive sculpture.

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Clouds hovered over La Paz in Bolivia, as we drove down from El Alto  airport at an altitude of almost 12,000 feet.

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Looking down over  Cape Town from Table Mountain,  3,558 feet above Table Bay.

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Clouds over a beach of soft white sand in Punta Cana. Absolute paradise on earth.

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I don’t know about you, but just looking at all these photos has given me itchy feet. Time to travel again.  I think  I’ll just go and tell  hubby to hurry up with the house renovations.

Hope you’re all having a great Thursday.

 

 

 

 

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La Paz, an incredible mountain city.

 A few years ago, La Paz in Bolivia was one of the places we visited on a ’round-the-world trip’. At 3,550 metres above sea level, it’s the highest capital city in the world. Its Spanish name is ‘Nuestra Señora de La Paz’, meaning ‘Our Lady of Peace’. The airport El Alto stands at 4,000 metres, and I had been warned about the possibility of altitude sickness.
My first view of La Paz

My first view of La Paz

 

On the journey from the airport to our hotel, I began to feel the effects of the extremely high altitude, and that night I really felt as though I was going to die, in spite of being plied with copious amounts of Coca Tea, which many Andeans believe to be a very effective cure. Thankfully, it did seem to work, and the next morning I was as right as ninepence, and off we went to explore.
In the city centre is the beautiful Baroque style ‘Basilica of San Francisco’.
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At first glance, La Paz looked like most other cities, with its tall buildings and nicely laid out streets.
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Although the country is rich in mineral and energy resources, Bolivia is one of South America’s poorest countries, and the majority of Bolivians are low-income, subsistence farmers, miners, or small traders like this mother with her children.
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I think these bored-looking people must have been waiting for a bus or taxi. Note the beautiful decorated  building behind them.
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There was no shortage of tourism police keeping an eye out for any criminal activity. We had been warned to watch out for pickpockets and bag-slashers, just as in any big city.
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Fortunately for us, we weren’t booked into The Hotel Majestic. I’ve since read a review on Trip Advisor, which said “Calling yourself  ‘Majestic’, won’t necessarily make it so, and while its pink bathrooms, smart parquet floors and cable TV provide some distraction from the dirty baths and ‘stanky-like-a-field-mouse’ rooms, The Majestic is one of those last-ditch choices that’s good for a night and not much more.”
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The gift shops were bursting at the seams with locally made items. The best buys were knitted and woven goods, such as rugs, ponchos, sweaters, and wall hangings made from Alpaca wool. I bought a sweater, but sadly, it turned out to be really itchy, and I had to d’itch it.

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These guitar cases were so colourful, although I didn’t think my son would appreciate one, so I restrained myself.
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Internet cafes were plentiful, but tended to be in the not very salubrious parts of town..
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Many informal traders sat on the sidewalks, selling their wares to the passers by.
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The shopping streets were very steep, but we put our best feet forward and got the exercise, both climbing up,
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and down.
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A very popular tourist attraction is the Witches Market, also known as El Mercado de las Brujas. It’s run by the local witch doctors, the Yatiri, and there you can buy a cure for every ailment imaginable. There are lotions, potions, dried frogs, medicinal plants and even dehydrated llama foetuses, which are buried under the foundations of many Bolivian houses as a sacred offering to the goddess Pachamama.
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The truly affluent residents are housed in the lower ares of the city, whilst the middle-class tend to live in the high-rise condos near the centre. As we drove out of the city on our way to Lake Titicaca, we could see the makeshift dwellings of those less fortunate, crowded onto the surrounding hillsides.
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