Journeys in Latin America - January to June 2009

Friday, 27 March 2009

Santa Cruz, Bolivia

From Santa Cruz

A less verbose post this time, as a stand-in for a fuller one in a few days...

After a marathon series of stages, in which waiting for buses featured as highly as sitting on them, we arrived to Santa Cruz in the South-Eastern part of Bolivia, from Loma Plata in Paraguay.

The road on which we spent a large number of hours - the Trans-Chaco - passed mostly in the dark, but i saw enough to know that the Chaco around the border of Bolivia & Paraguay (which was militarily disputed with great loss of life in the border-defining Chaco War of the early 1930`s. It looked like a grim place to fight a war - apparently more soldiers on the Paraguayan side died of thirst than bullets.

Anyway, the city of Santa Cruz has a pleasant centre with a lively and friendly central square, and side streets packed with little shops & cafes which more than anywhere else so far reminded me of being close to the centre of smaller Nepali cities and towns. The scrawls, grafitti, and painted adverts are in Spanish of course, but many sites could have been transplanted. Bolivia of course is the poorest of the South American nations, and it certainly shows, especially as you walk out from the central square, but the people seem to have a cheerfulness-through-adversity look about them - but this is just a first impression of a tiny part of the country. So far there has been no hassle whatsoever.

OK - we`ve had a few problems with uploading photos recently due to lack of internet places and slow computers, but they will appear soon... rob

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