"Bolivia did prove one of the more challenging countries we’ve visited. Cold showers, uninspiring cuisine and high altitude were just some of things we battled. Throw in the odd hostel reminiscent of a Soviet-era gulag and you have a destination that lags well behind its more well-traversed neighbours." - http://www.atlasandboots.com/17-interesting-facts-about-bolivia/
|first sign of the country's|
level of development...
When my taxi arrived at the hostel, I didn't want to get out...it was a dark street in a rough looking neighborhood (the word "skinheads" was graffitied onto the stone wall directly across from the hostel front door). The sign was faded and crooked, and the door had security bars. I asked my driver to wait, and he readily agreed, clearly as skeeved out by this place as I was. After a minute of leaning on the buzzer, an older woman shuffled to the door, clearly not happy to have been roused from her sleep. I waved the taxi driver goodbye and stepped inside. The woman grumbled constantly about the cold, rubbing her arms through two layers of sweaters. I soon understood her pain. The hostel is built like one of those old stone monasteries designed to stay cool in the summer, which I guess makes sense since there is no AC. But I am visiting in the heart of the Bolivian winter (end of June) and there is no heating...temperatures outside are about 9 C (49 F) in the daytime, but drop to freezing during the night. My fingers are going numb as I type, my hair doesn't dry, after about an hour fidgeting in the bed with no less than 4 wool blankets piled on top of me, my toes regain some feeling.
|Made sure the door was super locked|
|My bed. Minus the rock pillow it was actually sort of comfy|
(although after the first night there was a me-shaped dent in the mattress)
|My own TV. Such luxury.|
|Why is this weird mattress in my room? Did it have bedbugs?|
Cholera? Consumption? Did a kid pee on it? I'll never know
|No one to share this huge beer with|
|Sopita de Mani|
|Note there is no fork...and the milk can?|
Not milk. Just more burnt coffee...
Although I am starting at the highest altitude I'll reach on this trip, I hope it's uphill from here...
Since I'm already complaining, here are some other things that have frustrated me in the last day and a half:
1. I had to (unexpectedly) transfer in Bogota, and the waiting area after the gate before the shuttle bus smelled like Peruvian chicken...I would soon learn that a lot of South America smells like this chicken
2. Every single wifi network I have thus far connected to has been painfully slow
3. I got a sunburn on my nose in Playa, and now it's red and peeling and painful and I'm blowing my nose constantly which hurts every time and now it's all scaly and I look like a toddler whose parents need to wipe their nose...
4. Toiletries not only explode because of the high pressure, but also are sort of half frozen because of the cold...
5. That feeling when stuff you don't expect to have meat in it has meat in it... (looking at you, street
6. La Paz should be called the city of pigeons. Seriously, they are everywhere. You can walk through a flock of them hopping around and they'll barely flinch. Occasionally something will spook them and an entire hoard of like 50-100 birds will take flight, circle over the square they were in, and land back down...when this happens everyone ducks and covers their food and kids scream...