Bolivia constructing world's longest cable car

10th Apr 2013

The beginning of work on the world's longest cable car line in Bolivia was marked by garlands of flowers and the traditional offerings to Pachamama, the deity of the Andes.

The line will be the third to run between La Paz and the city of El Alto, Spanish for 'the heights'.

The devotional ceremony was conducted by a group of Aymara priests, who presented gifts of fruits and vegetables, ancient prayers and songs to the goddess, whose name is usually translated as Mother Earth.

Although El Alto began life as an adjacent suburb of La Paz, it is now Bolivia's fastest-growing city due to large-scale migration from the La Paz's rural districts.

Founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1548, La Paz is one of the world's highest cities and serves as the de facto Bolivian capital although Sucre is the legal capital.

The cable car station will feature a restaurant with views out on to the beautiful snow-capped Mount Illimani, the source of many Bolivian folk songs, public works minister Vladimir Sanchez said.

The cable car line will feature 427 booths moving at five meters per second, capable of ferrying around 18,000 passengers between the two cities every hour.

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