After three hours in a mini bus, which was so steamed up I don’t know how the driver could even see out of the window, I arrived at the trufi office in Santa Cruz in the middle of the strongest rain shower I’ve seen. The rain hadn’t stopped during my travelled and some of the roads looked more like rivers. I quickly put on my wet weather gear, which I’ve only previously worn in Patagonia, and tried to find the best place to hail a taxi. Luckily it didn’t take long and I was soon in the centre of town.
The taxi driver didn’t seem to know where the hostel was but I did so I got out the car and walked to the location. I was greeted by Ceci, who I had met on the walking tour in Valparaiso and was working at the hostel, and was soon shown to my room and had a warm shower. The city which normally has temperatures of 30 degrees was deserted, despite being a Saturday night, and was freezing. I stayed in the hostel and that night I had agreed to meet another friend Pamelita. She took me to a couple of bars, the first being open air which was freezing and deserted. I can see how it would be amazing place in the sun. The Bar decided to understandably call it quits and we went to another bar near the hostel.
The next day I was pretty tired and the weather was still terrible. I relaxed at the hostel and ended up having a quiet night with some pizza. The Monday was a bank holiday and because Pamelita works for a government company they take part in a big parade. I was invited to her parents house so I could experience a Bolivian BBQ with her family. There was a lot of meat including a cheesy sausage. The meat here is really good and it’s only really flavoured with oil and salt. Afterwards I went to experience the parade which fascinated me. You can see in the photos below lots of red signs, these are in reference to the president breaking the constitution and trying to run for a fourth time despite the county holding a referendum and the answer being no. In Santa Cruz the people are particularly opposed to him.
After the parade I returned to the hostel to have some more pizza and played beer pong which is a regular game they play. I sadly don’t have any photos but you can see that the hostel has a great view of the Church as it’s right by the main plaza.
The next day I went to San Jose, and you can read about it here. I returned to Santa Cruz on the Friday in time to go to a BBQ with Pamelita’s colleagues. This time there was even more meat and karaoke with songs sung in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
On the Saturday I realised I needed to do some life admin which included washing most of my clothes which I’d failed to do in San José despite the heat. I met Claudia, who is Dutch and it was her first day in South America and a French girl who was going home that day and finally explored the city in the sun.
Now there is a cat in the hostel called Khaleesi, which is the perfect name for a cat. She seemed a little nervous but after some time playing with her she decided to be friends. Claudia and i did a little photo shoot when she was asleep.
At 5pm we were supposed to go on a city tour. Claudia and I headed out with a group of Spanish nurses who had been volunteering in Bolivia. The guide didn’t show up so we investigated the church on the main plaza.
I spent the night in the hostel hanging out with friends and the next day I took and Uber to the airport to catch my plane to La Paz. It’s only an hour flight so I had time to check into my hotel and meet up with Miri, who i met on the bus to Santiago, and her boyfriend. They were about to go on a 5 day hike of the mountain range just outside La Paz and they have a tonne more experience than I do. Afterwards I grabbed a Mr Pizza, some beers and headed back to my hotel room so I could do some photo admin and catchup on Netflix. You won’t believe how much time I spend deleting, transferring, backing up and uploading the photos to this blog. It takes hours especially if the WiFi is decent which it’s often not, well not good enough to upload photos.
I awoke early the next morning as I had a tonne of things to do. I went to the bus station and brought a rock to Copacabana, then I went to the Killi Killi mirador which as you can see has amazing views of La Paz.
Afterwards I took the new cable car line down to Zona Sur. I knew the cages down there and wanted to get my haircut.
I decided to go to a cafe first and chose one I’d been to before as I knew the WiFi was decent. As I approached someone shouted “David Lortal” and i thought I was about to be told off. Emma and David from Upclose Bolivia were there and invited me to Darik and Michelle’s leaving party at Colribi Camping.
I had lunch and then quickly got my haircut before returning to Sopocachi where I’d agreed to meet up with Andrea for a few drinks. She had to leave around 7pm so after I jumped in a taxi to Jupapina and joined in the party. I joined in with some of Michelle’s line dancing, picked up some more travelling tips and had a farewell Ron and Cola with Darak before jumping back in a taxi and packing as I had an early rise the next morning as the bus left at 8am.
I was probably over early and managed to leave another card in the cash machine on the way to the station. Again I cancelled it with no many taken and I really shouldn’t get cash out when I’m tired but I still have two cards left and I’m glad I didn’t say no to seeing friends over organisation. But I boarded the bus and I was finally on my way north to the border with Peru.