Well we have made it to Santa Cruz the second city of Bolivia. Getting here from the Brazilian border was an experience. A 15 hour train journey that was so bumpy that I can only assume the train had square wheels. Not to mention the windows were open all night resulting in freezing temperatures and the invasion of a moth colony into the carriage.
We arrived early in the morning and after getting our passports checked at the station by "Interpol" took a taxi to our hotel globetrotter; which after the Pantanal is luxury but comparable to a hostel back home. The taxi ride was an adventure in itself. From the outside it looked like a normal beat up toyota corrola but on the inside it was evident it used to be a right hand drive so the steering coloum had been removed and put on the left however all the dials including speedo was still on the right with a big hole where the steering wheel once sat! The driver had also replaced the standard chair with an upgraded wicker version. It was difficult to tell if his chair was actualy attached to the car. Less said about the driving the better.
After some catch up sleep we met the others in the group and took a taxi to Aqua Land on the outskirts of the city. Taxi was the same as before but had the additional facility of a half finished whisky bottle next to the drivers seat. Driver started to laugh when I attempted to find a seat belt.
Aqua Land was like any other waterpark I have ever been to and was a good way to spend the afternoon. The Skol of Brazil has now been replaced with Huari of Bolivia.
There is little in Santa Cruz of major interest. It is an industrial city with little colonial influences. On the surface Boliva is a lot poorer than Brazil with a lot of beggars and their children along the main streets. We ate at the main square which housed the cathedral and an Irish pub but beyond that not much else. Dinner was cheap and tasty with Pasta for Hannah and Steak dinner for myself along with several drinks and salad for under 10 pounds or 130 boliviano.
After a good nights sleep we got up early to catch a flight to Sucre but unfortunately there is a demonstration at the airport and all flights have been cancelled for the day. This is a common occurance apparently. We have booked on the same flight tomorrow (thursday 14th) and have our fingers crossed that all will be back to normal by then.
We have a lazy day ahead that has started with the internet and will no doubt lead to cards and Huari, tough life.