Bolivia is a cheap place to hang your hat for a while…once you pay the hefty $100 visa fee now required of US citizens. It is understandable given that we demand that much (and have for a while) for folks visitng the US. It seems quite ridiculous, actually that we require it of such a tiny 3rd world country. At any rate, if you have time to hang out there and make it worth your while, perhaps your experience might prove to be better than ours. For us, the $100 per person fee was the icing on the cake for a ¨not worth it¨chunk of our travels.
From Lake Titicaca, we bussed our way to La Paz, settled on a nice hotel in town and then meandered the streets of La Paz. It is quite an interesting city, with tons of vendors lining the streets selling just about anything you could want and houses packed at serious heights up the hillside. More than anything we seemed to notice that this city really loves its fried chicken - so of course we had to dine on that for lunch (um-nummy!). Since they also really love their ice cream - we had to top off lunch with that as well.
From La Paz, we flew to Trinidad. A quick sidenote is that we grabbed Burger King at the airport in La Paz. It seems that even Burger King identifies the importance of fried chicken in La Paz as it seemed to be as popular as the beef options. As far as bugers go, they life lots of beef with some bread and that´s it. There were double, triple, and quad burger options without any of the veggies you might typically see. Crazy about their fried chicken and beef!
The flight to Trinidad was on the tiniest commercial plane I have ever flown. As we approached the plane, I told Jason that if he survived and I didn´t to make sure that my mom knew that I still wouldn´t have changed anything about life to this point. Jason, in turn, asked the same of me. With that, we occupied the only 2 seats in our row and did somehow managed to fight the motion sickness and made it to Trinidad safely.
The plan from Trinidad was to hop on a cargo boat and make our way to Guayaramerin (on the border of Bolivia and Brazil). Trinidad, however tops our list of ¨don´t bother¨. We took a cab to the port and asked the captain about a boat. It wasn´t yet there, but he assured it would leave on Wed. When we returned to the hotel, the very friendly guy at the counter told us that reality is if the captain said wed, the boat might leave on fri. We still kept some hopes up and shopped around for a hammock without luck. We were also looking for scissors as Jason wanted a hair cut (we had left ours in our carry-on and they were taken before our last flight). When we entered one of the market stores (the only one that we found selling scissors), the guy who owned the store looked at us and said ¨no vende-se¨. I didn´t think I had heard him correctly. He repeated it and waved his arms for us to leave. I wish I had my wits about me to ask why. It was just so surprising. Our only assumption is that we are ¨gringos¨(we clearly stick out in this town) and he doesn´t like us. We were both dressed conservatively, we didn´t have anything flashy on, no jewelry, and we hadn´t said anything. We eventually found a pharmacy with scissors and Jason got his haircut before we headed off for dinner on the square. The restaurant was excellent. We dined outside under a canopy on some fabulous food. The downside is that we clearly stick out in this town and had several beggers stand at our table as we tried to eat. Our waitresses were nice enough to push them along whenever they saw it happen. After a day that contained a bust on hammock purchase, advice that we might remain stuck there, refusal to shop, and constant begging, we decided to bail on Trinidad and Bolivia.
So, we bought a plane ticket to fly to Guayaramerin on Wednesday morning. We decided it was time to alter our plans in hopes of returning to a trip in which we enjoyed the travels again…