Subdued Carnaval and Cholitas Wrestling

Trip Start Oct 17, 2010
Trip End Apr 18, 2011

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Friday, March 4, 2011

We arrived back in La Paz from the jungle and the first thing we did was some much needed laundry (we´re talking multiple weeks of hiking and working in the jungle). We decided that since we were going to be in the city for Carnaval we would stay in the Wild Rover Hostel for a good party. The Wild Rover is in the class of hostels we call the ¨wrist band hostels¨ because everyone residing there must where a brightly colored wrist band. Everything is conveniently in English and you really don´t need to think much. We don´t usually stay in wrist band hostels because they tend to attract a type of traveler who is more concerned about getting black out drunk than experiencing the local culture. The extent of their Spanish may include ¨Una mas cerveza por favor¨... well actually probably not because they are wrist banders so they don´t need no Spanish. (Ok in actual fact most people there are awesome and are just looking for a good time, like us) The hostel is noisy all night long and there are degrading lists of rules posted on every wall telling you for example, that if you set fire to, or vomit on your bed you must pay for it... no shit. However we must give them props for the amazing Irish cooked food.

Anyways this is exactly the role we wanted to play for the Carnaval weekend so we wrist banded it up! Carnaval in La Paz was quite tuned down this year because sadly there was a catastrophic landslide a few days earlier that rendered thousands homeless (and I am sure hundreds dead). However this did not stop the locals from attacking everything that moved with foam and the odd water gun. It actually wasn´t as bad as we thought it wold be as long as you didn´t retaliate or ask for trouble by carrying around your own ammunition. Sadly the parades were canceled but there was still lots of children and youth dressed up and relentlessly foaming each other.

Were were planning on catching a bus to Uyuni on Sunday but we ended meeting friends for drinks the night before and got inexplicably drunk. One word for the wise: too many 5% half liter beers and 4000+ meters of elevation do not mix. Needless to say we did not catch our bus the next day so instead we went to Cholitas Wrestling. Basically WWF meets bad domestic morals. It was sooo funny. Just a bunch of local men beating up and then getting beaten up by women in their traditional garb. Plus being on carnaval weekend meant it was almost more entertain watching the foam attacks in the stands then the wrestling itself.
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