I´ve An Inking Of An Idea

Trip Start May 30, 2005
Trip End Sep 30, 2006

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Farah and I arrived in Santa Cruz on the Tuesday morning, back in proper tropics. Santa Cruz is fairly close to sea level and this is my first time back in the tropics since I left Singapore. How I missed it! Driving in the taxi towards to center of town everything looked really quiet, post-carnival blues? We managed to find something to eat eventually and started to worry about what we could actually do here if everything is closed. Could be a dull dull time.

The hostel had been really quiet when we´d arrived as well but later in the morning people started appearing. They all had paint stains over their hands and faces, some were wearing their paint stained clothes as well. They looked a mess.

The carnival is a little more ´dirty´ here than in civilised Oruro, everyone sprays ink at each other here. Oruro was all about dancing and costumes, the carnival here is just about getting everyone dirty!

As they say, when in Rome! Later that day we donned on some of our older clothes. To be honest, after spending 9 months wearing the same clothes they´re all a bit ropey. Stepped outside and started walking down the post-apocalyptic streets of Santa Cruz. It didn´t take long before I was sniped from the side. Pleas for them to stop didn´t work and I had to run away. If I´m to survive in this town then I need some firepower of my own.

Farah and I found the arms dealer and purchased the smallest water pistol imaginable, but then have you seen ´Men in Black´? Next up was the Ammo, a little pot of ink each, lock and load then we´re off. We didn´t get bothered too many times after this, a quick squirt from our concealed weapons was all that was needed.

The streets were just one festive party, Santa Cruz is organised in a grid system and at the intersection of two roads there was always something going on. Either Pizza, gun or ink sellers, or there would be a street party with a huge sound system blaring out Salsa music.

We met up with some people from our hostel that had been in Santa Cruz for the entire carnival, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise because, they were a nice people, but they then went out of their way to get ice cold water from the beer sellers and then sneak up behind you with it, just as well it´s tropical here.

The locals all had to return to work the next day so the streets started to get quiet quite early. We continued on trying to find another party to attend, after walking for about an hour we eventually had to give up on the quest. Instead a few of us found a late night eating place, something like a pizza hut and went for food. We must have been a real sight in there, eating away covered in all the colours of the rainbow.

As you can see from the photos it was carnage and I´m only sorry that I didn´t get any pictures of the carnival itself, but then, I don´t think my camera would have survived.

A quick shower before bed time only improved matters slightly, I was a long way from clean. Ink really is a tricky thing to get off nails!

The next day Farah and I headed off to Samaipata, the main reason why we actually came down this way. A nice chilled village up in the hills.
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