Friday, October 31st, 2003


Learning zampona

A little worried about visiting Bolivia because of the political problems going on earlier. After eating at the highest lake in the world (in Chile) we took a bus into Bolivia. After a long uncomfortable ride into Cochabamba, central Bolivia, we got to our hotel which sounded great in our guidebook but was actually quite narsty. Yellow dots stained all the sheets and the beds themselves made very loud squeaking noises whenever you moved an arm... It also had uncle-fester-bed qualities to it: a valley in the middle you kept falling into ... no fun. We went out to feed our starving bellies, going around crowds of drinking and drunk people, a protest in the plaza, and that hostile feeling we were talking about earlier was back with a vengeance. After cramming some tomato, onion, com and egg pizza down our throats (not half bad, especially the com on the pizza), we half-slept through the night to be woken up by loud angry people walking through the streets, rallying about something I suppose. We hid our white asses in the hotel until they went away.


The streets are dirty and the driving insane, worse than in Peru! But the plaza is stunningly gorgeous! Tons of trees and greenery. The people are very friendly too.  Super cheap compared to the other countries we’ve visited… to give you an idea our hotel costs $5 Canadian a night, and a huge good meal and drink here costs $2 Canadian.


Walking around the plaza one day we saw another demonstration that included a US flag being burned. We started walking towards it, but in seeing this we did a 180 and got as far away as possible as people often mistake us for Americans... Really wanted a big Canada flag at that point :)


Didn’t do too much for Halloween because we were a little nervous about being on the streets with all the locals who were drinking. Most were in costume which was neat… although most were very small and tight costumes… saw 2 little girls, about 8 and 9, trick or treating to the restaurants. They got a handful of nacho chips each, not really what I would have wanted as a kid but it’s a restaurant I guess. Didn’t stay out too long cause people were starting to sound rowdy.


So, all in all, we probably should have just stayed in Chile and explored more of it but we were running out of time (and money to afford the outrageously expensive tours) and needed to get back into Peru. Bolivia is probably a whole lot nicer when the country is more settled and when you’ve got money to tour the area. Another time!


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