In the footsteps of dinosaurs

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bolivia  , Potosí,
Saturday, August 14, 2010

After having a calm month I am back on the road, on the train (the Wara Wara del Sur) now while writing this, on my way to Tupiza. Finally!
It was great to spend 2 weeks in Cochabamba, and then 2 more in Sucre. I met many great people, locals and travelers, and liked staying in a place a little longer, as you can look at everything from different angles, and deeper... I got to know locals, and many places in the towns, not just a quick 'overview'. I really enjoy traveling like this. I am getting used to this life, the incredible freedom, I can go anywhere I want, anytime I want.
In Sucre, Maria-Eugenia visited me for a weekend. We explored Sucre and surroundings, and went to a houseparty and karaoke. Bolivians surely love karaoke! And the funny thing is that almost all songs are in Spanish, even the English ones! Hilarious :)
After Sucre, I wanted to head to the beatiful Salar de Uyuni, but Potosi where I had to travel through to get there, had severe strikes for 3 weeks and so it was impossible to get there that way. So I head back to Cochabamba, where I finally visited Toro Toro national park together with Maria-Eugenia. I have been wanting to go there the 2 weeks I was in Cochabamba before, but every time something went wrong... Once I got really sick with the amoeba parasite (I almost fainted in the restaurant and Lizzy, my host and also doctor, could barely feel my pulse, from now on I drink drinks with electrolytes every now and then), and another time there was a Tinkuy festival going on so the busses were full. And I didn't want to be there at that time, because Tinkuy is a dance and fighting, where they want to fight till they blood, to donate the blood to pachamama (mother earth). Not really a part of culture I want to see :) It does happen that people die in these festivals.
But I am happy that I DID get to go to toro toro finally, and it was amazingly beautiful! It reminded me a lot of the national parks in west usa, especially the smaller ones. It's not so touristy yet, there weren't many gringo's, a LOT more bolivian tourists, which gave me a nice of-the-beaten-track feel. The manager of the tourist office asked Maria and my testemony's and hung it on the wall :) So if anyone ever passes there, have a look :)
The park's main attraction is dinosaur foutprints, but the geology was also very special. I've been wishing so many times already that I would have studied geology!! I almost did... But then again I would have had a totally different life than now, maybe/probably not even be here now, and I am pretty happy where I am right now and the great friends I met because of my choices in the past. So no regrets :)So anyways, I've been thinking I really want to study this, probably on my own, need to find a good book or download some wikipedia pages. The landscapes are so amazing, I want to know how they were formed, how old they are, what the materials are!

The first day we could join a car with some locals, together with a german tourist.
Our guide the second day was a young girk of 20 years with her month old baby. She hiked into the hot canyon and was with us from 8am to 3pm, and didn't take water or food...
I notice how I get better and better at relativating. My phone died, because mangojuice spilled in my daypack, and so I lost almost all phonenumers (yes probably also yours, please mail me it!) that I have been collecting since the last 11 years that I own a phone. I bought a new phone and they tricked me telling it was a quadband, I forgot my cameracharger in Cochabamba, a local sticked chewing gum to my back/beloved jacket in the bus,... and many more all in the last weeks. But I don't get upset, just a little 'shit, again something' feeling, but it's just stuff. I am here, free, enjoying the world. Endless possibilities. And everything constantly changes, the good and the bad, no reason to hold onto them.
I do hope to get my charger in a way because I do love taking pictures :)

There was so much more I wanted to tell, but now I can't think of anything, just a list of loose things...
- I LOVE how there are dogs everywhere, all the time. They are really part of the society, like a parallel lifeform in the cities to the humans. They pass you in the streets, look left and right before crossing the street, wait next to high-traffic roads for busses to pass where locals just throw their trash out... They have their society in our society.
- Trash. Like said, in the busses most people just throw everything out of the window.
- When taking long-distance busses full with locals, there's constant entertainment. Along the road vendors are waiting to be picked up by the bus, sell something, and then get off again at the next village, and waiting to hop on a bus coming from the other direction. For example, on the 4-hour busride to Oruro there were first 2 ladies hopping on the bus selling tamales and plastic baggies with a mix of corn, potatoes, dried meat, a hard-boiled egg, and a tiny baggy with spicey sauce. Then came a man with icecream. Then a lady with another kind of food. Then a man selling natural laxative stuff in a very convincing way (in the meantime improving my spanish and entertaining the bus). In other busrides also children hop on and play panflutes and sing for some pocket change.
- the bussystem is amazing. You can get anywhere. And they also function as fast mailingsystems, drop your package off at the terminal, and the recipient pickes it up when the bus arrived at his terminal. Great system, a lot better than the snailmail... took 2 weeks to send a few English books from Cochabamba to Sucre.

ok I am running behind on my blog, soon to be posted more about my next adventures!

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ruben606 on

Jaja... ons ML terug op stap... watch out world, here she comes !

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