Santa Cruz

Trip Start Jan 03, 2006
Trip End Mar 03, 2006

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, January 30, 2006

Hi All,

Just a quick update (no pictures with this one). Yesterday we took what was one of the more interesting flights of my life from La Paz to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Bolivia air is as you would expect it to be. I dont think Ive ever seen a passenger air craft bank so close to the ground before...but were here, alive. Santa Cruz is wildly different from La Paz. Prior to the 1960s, and americas interest in one of Bolivia little exports, Santa Cruz was a tiny frontier agricultural town of about 30, 000. Today its a thriving city of over 2 million, and is noticably wealthier than everywhere else weve been. There is a bit of a statistical anomoly with respect to expensive SUVs with very dark tinted windows (they seem to be the main form of vehicle purchased in this part of the world), but other than that looks amazingly western. I dont think a lot of tourists make it this far because our backpacks seem to be causing no end of amusement for the locals.

The other great bonus offered by Santa Cruz is its wonderfully (32 degrees C) hot, humid and oxygenated climate. Both Eve and I were completely over being out of breath just getting dressed in the morning and sick of freezing cold nights...just generally sick of the altitude. Last night we got a great dose of "careful what you wish for" as we sweltered in the tropical south american heat.

Very shortly we catch a train to the frontiers and cross into Brazil, bidding farewell to Bolivia and one of the more interesting weeks of our lives. And we were just getting a handle on Spanish!!! damn We also, unfortunately, have to bid goodbye to that wonderful 6:1 exchange rate. Our SuperPullman class (the level above first class) train tickets to the border (23hrs) cost about AU$20...dinner last night with 6 beers cost AU$15. Alas...would be great to spend more time in Bolivia, but time is running short and we need to make it to the brazilian coast.

oh well, gotta go start cramming portugese.

Love to all.

Adam and Eve
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