It´s a small miracle that I managed to even get to Oruro for carnival. When an Australian girl that I met on the plane turned up at the hostel the night before I was to go to Oruro, a night of heavy drinking ensued. Managing despite this to arrive at the coach station on time, I then found out that the ticket I bought was for the previous day. After buying a valid ticket, I was herded around the station and onto an empty coach by a very twitchy Bolivian. Thankfully it was the right coach, and was amazingly not delayed and quite comfortable.
Oruro carnival is loco. Though the town isn´t that large, the carnival is so lively, Notting Hill is relaxing by comparison. The parade goes on from around 7 Saturday morning, was still going strong when I went back to my hostel at 5 Sunday morning and continued throughout Sunday. Even today, there is the odd procession parading the streets, though slightly slower than before. I´ve also been miraculously lucky finding people too. In retrospect, I should have gone with a tour from La Paz so I would be with a group. The hostel itself is a terrible place to meet people, there is no communal space and the room is like a prison cell with the door partly kicked in so thankfully I didn´t need to spend much time there. The bizare array of charcters that I met here ranges from a old and very dirty Bolivan man buying many cans of beer early in the morning; a girl from Brighton and a drunk Canadian man, who was standing on top of a narrow balcony high up off the street; and a group of boys around my age from the hostel, with who we clad ourselves in devil masks and wreaked havoc, foaming anyone we could. After a diet of fast food and a Shane McGowen quantity of alcohol, I was forced to head straight to the food market and eat bowls of pasta soup (much tastier than it sounds), though I was put off by local children throwing water balloons at me while I ate. Being a gringo I was constantly bombarded with water, the more malicious children though it would even be funny to tear my waterproof poncho off before soaking me. Little rats