The lovely lady managing our campground , Maria Louisa, tells us that when she moved here La Paz had 20000 inhabitants. We brought her flowers for her 85th birthday yesterday, so it has been a while that she moved. Now it’s over 200 thousand people , but still has a small town feel. The mix of Mexicans, Americans and Europeans does create a unique cultural experience. The Malecon is the boardwalk along the beach , and it seems like the mix of US state department travel advisories, drug kartell related killings and low between the seasons made it the perfect time to dig everything up. So don’t expect love at first sight in La Paz , you need to work it a bit . It’s a working town with some tourism, but that seems secondary. Most of all people are friendly and helpful and authentic. First night we made friends with Rachel and John, a couple from Canada, over drinks at a malecon bar. It turned out they attend the same language school, El Nopal, as we do for the week. We meet the Mexican owners of the language school,who have lived in germany and are happy to practice their fading german. The school is more like a community , we love to go before class and hang out in the yard and use the blazing fast wifi , a rare occurence during our travels. Then we meet a chilenean in his bagel shop, enjoying fresh Bagels and cappucino. And at El Nopal we heard about the Farmers market … The Italian lady making aged cheese, the German lady selling weisse bratwurst and lachs schinken (home made). Organic farmers with lettuce and veggies, and a baker with whole wheat bread…. we are in heaven. We came to town just in time for one of the major celebrations of the year. The Dia de Los Muertos celebration is a true community effort , free of charge, low key vendors but hight cred for the best altar or skeleton costume. We run into Dave and Nancy again at the celebration, a lovely couple riding their bikes from Fairbanks,Alaska to Patagonia, Argentinian . We had met them 200 miles earlier in a coffee shop and after 5 month pedelling have arrived here. They also plan to attend El Nopal, to learn more Spanish. Small Town …..