We have been in Bolivia for a few days now and are slowly adjusting to it (it always takes a bit of time to find your way around a new place). We moved from one of the richest to one of the poorest countries on the continent and the differences are immediately apparent. Unpaved dusty roads, wooden shacks and stray dogs running around are common sights here in Bolivia. It is much more obvious than in Brazil or Argentina that we are foreigners and people are clearly curious of us, often approaching us to have a chat, or simply staring. It also seems like there are few fixed prices so you have to negotiate or haggle for many things, including room prices or bus tickets and try not to get overcharged too much (you need to simply accept you will get overcharged a little).
The weather was quite poor during our first couple of days here (unusually cold) and we didn’t come across anything extremely interesting so we blitzed quickly from the border through the biggest city in Bolivia, Santa Cruz and got to the tropical north in the Amazon Basin where we spent two nights in a town called Trinidad. There, we had quite a nice time simply relaxing as there was not much to do, so we ended up watching the Champions League matches live (Wojtek), as well as catching up with news from around the world and the CSI series (Julita). We tried some local specialties, such as saltenas (a kind of pastries similar to what they call empanadas in other countries), and a corn brew called chicha (which used to be traditionally produced by old women chewing the corn – hopefully not any longer…). We also spent a couple of hours watching two sloths right in the middle of a city square, even though they supposed to be rare sightings even in the jungle
And after too many hours on a bus, driving through an extremely dusty dirt road, crossing a river on an improvised barge and spending the last several hours in an overcrowded car with eight people, including one guy carrying a TV set, we reached a town of an unpronounceable name Rurrenabaque (mercifully shortened to Rurre). Here, we had some really great time with some nice Brits we met on the way, Lucy and Josh, as well as organized a tour to the jungle where we´re going to spend the next three days – and shall report back upon our return! Meanwhile, have a look at a selection of pictures from our first days in Bolivia.