14.01.2007 - 15.01.2007 15 °C
Your bags are perched atop the minibus, random people keep jumping in and out, and you´re staring out the window from an altitude of some 4100 metres. It doesn´t take long to realize you´re in a different world now, a circus of a country named Bolivia.
You stroll around and you keep noticing new things at every corner. Elderly women wearing veils and large bowl-like hats. Shoeshine boys wearing masks to keep from shaming their families. A multitude of houses scattered on the hills, reminiscent of tiny cardboard boxes. Little buses scurrying up and down the roads, picking up passengers in some organized chaos. And twenty barber shops in a half block radius.
We´re staying in a colourful area aptly named ¨The Witches´ Market.¨ You can buy anything here: coca leaves, llama fetuses, toilet bowls, lizard skins, magical sex oils, anything. And at dirt cheap prices. I´m hoping to send some interesting souvenirs home.
What else in the first 36 hours? Jen´s been attempted pickpocketed. Pete broke some kid´s toy after being too enthusiastic about playing with it. The first museum we´ve visited this whole trip...the Museo de Coca, highlighting the extraction of cocaine from coca leaves. And we couldn´t take out any more money last night...so we used our remaining equivalent of $10 to feast 6 people on a various assortment of fried chicken concoctions in our hostel room. Why couldn´t we get cash? Well, the hostel strictly advised not to go to the ATMs along the bank row on Sundays. And if we wanted to change cash at that hour, our best bet was to go to ¨the two guys on the corner of the plaza square¨...yea right!
I don´t know where we´re going from here. But I got this feeling that both the sketchy and adventure metres just shot up a few levels. Just the way I like it.