A travel blog of a journey that I started in 2010 and I don't know when it will end ...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Puerto Villaroel, Santa Cruz, Samaipata and Trinidad

From Cochabamba to Puerto Villaroel we see a really radical change of the landscape. We pass from almost no vegetation to a tropical forest in only two hours.

The great Final we watched at Ivirgarsama, a village 20 minutes by car to Puerto Villaroel.
It was unbelievable how Barcelona take over Manchester United... great match!

Once we are the Champions of Europe, we go to Puerto and we try to get the information of the options to go up on the river till Trinidad. The river is in a really low tide and the boats that go direct to Trinidad (4-5 days) are not running. The only option is to go with a fishing boat to the half way and then take another boat to Trinidad.

For this option is better if we talk with the naval military, because they control who goes north. When we reach the military base we meet Coronel Blanco is the head of the base in this moment. The image that we didn’t take a photo was the coronel (around 50) with a giant fish in one hand and talking to us saying that he will help us. After some talk he say that we should come next morning to see if any boat is going north.

We eat Surubi, we eat fish!!
Next day we go back at the military base. Blanco tell us that there is no boat going north today but he tell us to wait there till he came back.
After a while appears another coronel and tell us that there is no boat leaving today, and if we want to go for a walk in to the village he can contact us in the case that some boat leaves... Ana have a Bolivian number...great.
We pass by at the evening again. The soldiers told us that one boat have gone north already! We try to know if tomorrow some fisherman is going north or not. We talk to them and they say that in two days maybe.
I wait till next morning to see if is any chance to get transport, otherwise I prefer go to Santa Cruz.
In the morning they tell us that maybe next day but not today. So I say goodbye at the girls and I get the direction of Santa Cruz. They prefer stay. Theoretically in 5 or 6 days we can meet again in Trinidad.

To arrive at Santa Cruz I use collective taxis. Three in total to get there. Each taxi do from town to town at a fix price and goes when is full. I’m lucky and I don’t have to wait too much.
I stay in Alojamiento Santa Barbara (individual 35B), central and clean. The historical centre of the city is kind of nice. White houses, shelters, a lot of churches and museums.
After some walk, I take a coffee at the German cultural center (that has wifi), and I see all my messages... Jordi and Nil were at the stadium in London! Bastards! jeje

In the morning, after the breakfast I go to Samaipata, a small village at 3 hours from Santa Cruz. You can do hike’s and visit the ruins of El Fuerte.

Another time a collective taxi. I was curious to know why the major part of the cars in Bolivia are Toyota and they have the instructions and some stickers in Japanese, because in Japan they have the driver on the right side... The driver answer my question. They import the cars (second hand) from Japan and here in Bolivia they transform the car. They change the side of the driver and they put a system in the engine to be able to work with gas or petrol... wau!

At Samaipata I find a familiar accommodation, Alojamiento Vargas. I get some information that what can I do and how do I get to the El Fuerte.
Walking the small village I met two girls from Singapore, we end up having dinner in a restaurant at the main square and telling each other our trips.

Next morning I go walking to El Forte, 2 hours going up till I reach the visitor centre. El Forte is a giant rock on the top of the hill that has been worked (no one knows who) and had been a place of peregrination of the pre-incaicas cultures, the Incas and also the Spaniards. There are a lot of theories about what it was...

Just before I get in to the El Forte the two girls from Singapore appear with a man from Canada. They went up by taxi...
So we visit together the ruins.
I go back with them by taxi. I could walk, but I’m already starving.
We go down to the village we have lunch and then we visit the museum that explains a little bit all the theories that has been made.
In the morning I decide to go back to Santa Cruz, I’m doing Couchsurfing at Totti’s house. A very nice girl that lives in a great house not far from the centre.

At night we go out, well I join a birthday party of one of her friends. Salsa, samba and cumbia! We got back home late.
When I wake up is Already 11am. Relax day. I do a Spanish omelet with the super pant that doesn’t stick the omelet and Totti does a salad. We watch a movie and then when it’s like 6pm I’m going to take a night bus to Trinidad.

I would stay here with Totti longer than a day... She is so generous and great, but I want to keep going.
So, in the morning I’m in Trinidad. I took a moto taxi to the centre and I stay at Alojamiento El Carmen (individual for 40B with Tv). I sleep what I didn’t on the bus and then I go to have some salteñas as a breakfast.

I check if the Ana’s said something on the net (Facebook), but nothing.
I watch a movie, I go to eat some Arroz con queso (rice with cheese) and meat, and I walk a little around the streets that are full of motorbikes. I miss my Vespa!
After dinner, I check the email and, bingo! Anna has said that they are in Trinidad and they stay in some other hostel. I go there to meet them.
We explain ours last days that we’ve been away and I go with them to their dinner.
Then we go out a little. We find the place, and we drink some beers. We dance as we can, we have good time...
I wake up late. It’s Sunday and we walk the town with the sunshine killing us. We wont to go to a lagoon that is an hour walking, but we decide not go. You take a shower and in a moment you sweat again.
Once we wake, we go to take the bus to Rurre (Rurrenabaque)

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