Just a Mini-Update, or, Feelin’ Lazy

Howdy Folks!

Well, let’s see. Even against my best intentions, Santa Cruz developed into another Sucre. That is, we spent a lot of time lazing around. However, our Hostel was most certainly suited to leisure pursuits. Every morning we were served fresh melon juice and an assortment of fresh, ripe tropical fruits, which we consumed while watching the only available English channel on the wide- and flat-screen TV, CNN. Turns out the Israelis are still killing the Palestinians. Some things will never change, I suppose.

After breakfast, Brandon and I generally retired to the hammocks in the courtyard, which was overflowing with a veritable jungle of flowering tropical plants. To top it all off, two tame toucans (yes, toucans) lived there, and were more than willing to chill out with you.

Chillin out

The days slipped by easily there, and we avoided doing too much in the city, because for some reason everything was half again as expensive as anywhere else in Bolivia, and beer stores were almost impossible to find. One memorable evening, though, we North Americaned out and went to an arcade in a mall. There, you could rent a little cubicle with a giant flat screen TV, a super comfy couch, and a Playstation 2 for only two dollars an hour. We had a pretty good geek-out session for sure.

I think the height of our hedonism occured on Sunday. We decided to get some serious drinking done, and to do it right. So we went off to the huge market and bought a few coconuts, a couple ripe pinapples, some fresh mint and a large bottle of Havana Club 3 Year (for those of you who haven’t drunk it before, do so. It is quality in a bottle). We milked the coconuts, juiced the pineapples, and made cups from the empty coconut shells. We then concocted the freshest piña coladas I’ve ever had (thanks in part to the blender at the hostel), and garnished them with the little drink umbrellas I’ve been carrying around this whole time (thanks, Robin!). When we got tired of piña coladas, we made excellent mojitos with the good mint we had. What a day!

A damn fine mojito

Like most good things, though, Santa Cruz had to end. Too much partying had been taking its toll, and the slacker-traveller guilt was starting to get strong. So we headed to Samaipata, a sleepy little town set in the sub-tropical hills three hours from Santa Cruz. The drive, typically Bolivian, actually took seven hours (actually not that bad, as it turns out), due to a washed-out bridge first and a landslide second. We got here, though, and this place veritably rules. Everyone is friendly and says hello on the streets, the heat and humidity are at most acceptable levels, and the surrounding countryside is gorgeous.

A cholita walking to town

The first day we went to a little zoological reserve only a three-kilometer walk from town. The walk alone would have been worth the time, but the zoo (for short) was totally way cool. Excuse my slang, but that’s how you would describe it too. There were all sorts of cool animals, like tropical birds and turtles and even a little armadillo you could hold in your hands (under the shell he was actually quite disgusting looking and stinky), but the stealers of the show were the uncaged monkeys who wandered around. These guys just loved people. They would walk up to you, or climb, and hold out their hands as if to be picked up. The second you reached down (or up) they would grab on and climb right up onto your shoulder, where they would hug you and pick through your hair for lice. It was so funny! Also, watching them climb was amazing. Their (prehensile) tails have a little pad on the end like their hands, which give extra grip when they’re swinging around. Playing with monkeys is the coolest ever, and you all have got to try it one day. What else can I say?

My new friend and I

The next day it was off to some waterfalls. After being dropped off by the taxi, we struck off down the trail, which was regularly taken out by landslides. Traversing these was most enjoyable and resulted in extremely muddy boots. Beautiful forests, falls and mountains were the keywords for that day. I also saw my first tropical butterflies . . . specimens larger than my hand floated around on their almost unnaturally colored wings . . . dad, you would have been in paradise (especially with the giant — and repulsive — non-butterfly insects everywhere)!

Apart from that, we’re eating well (steak with mango chutney sauce, amazing, and cheap!), drinking well, and living well. In a couple days it’s back to La Paz, then to Lake Titicaca. Then it’s into Peru, where Maccu Piccu awaits. After that, I will work my way northward along the coast, eating seafood and enjoying the beaches, until I get to the north where I will learn how to surf. And then, it’s back home. No pictures on Flickr this time around, I’m afraid, so you all will just have to cope with the little flavour I’ve given you here. I’ll take care of that when I get back to La Paz.

Thanks for the emails, Mark and Kieran!

‘K Bye!


~ by turvyc on March 7, 2008.

One Response to “Just a Mini-Update, or, Feelin’ Lazy”

  1. Nice Hammock!

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