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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Roads blocked by up to 100 trucks force us to fly to Santa Cruz - no buses.

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We have been waiting for a few days to leave Sucre.
The buses can't pass through the road blocks.
This has been going on for some time I now find out.
We manage to get a great deal with BOA - a new airline.

I wake early and pack.
On-line check in and Internet problems cause us delay.
We then wait for the taxi.
As we head to the airport, we get stuck behind a truck.
I am now so stressed - this is the one flight we could get, and I fear we will miss it.
But to our relief we are OK.
Also we have too much luggage.
I had bought an extra bag yesterday, but even splitting it up, we are over.
No worries, they don't even check out bag weight.

 We are in a bit of a shock.
The airport at Santa Cruz is a long way out of town.
The hostel is a long way out of town.
What have we done?
It is so hot too.
But we chose Hosteling International as it has a good report on the facilities.
And it has a spa and pool.
We book the most expensive private room we have yet had in a hostel.
No private bathroom.


This is a bit steep seeing we are in Bolivia.
I hope my son uses that pool a lot!


It is freezing.
No way am I getting in!
And the spa is cold - drat.

But the hostel is very modern, super clean, and the guests are friendly.
We meet a lovely couple in the outdoor lounge area.

My son enjoys the outdoor space, while I catch up on emails.
We still do not have our funds back from our skimmed credit card.
It is nearly 3 months ago - and it is very frustrating.

Having a child in a hostel can be tricky.
But we have a lovely walkway to the back rooms.
I am able to do all our washing and there is an undercover area to hang it, so this is great.
It is away from where guests gather for BBQ and drinks at night.

But one of the great things they have is a neat kitchen.
In it there is a cupboard where if you leave any food you no longer need, if you are moving on.
Some-one has left a 1/2 jar of Vegemite!
We are so excited.
Ours was confiscated at US customs.
My sister tried to send us some to Panama and the postal service returned it.
We have even walked the streets to try and get it in USA.
So this is such a treat.
We make sandwiches for lunch.
My son insists on 4 slices for breakfast.

We decide to walk into the old part of town.
It is meant to be 15 minutes.
You can at least double this.
We pass a girl with the longest hair!

This is our only day here.
The weather has turned foul.
We haven't bought rain jackets or a knapsack cover.
So we hide out in a cafe and have a fab cappuccino.
I feel like I am back in Adelaide.
Gone are the traditionally dressed ladies; the market stalls; and the cheap food.
Here coffee and cake is the same price as home.
We do find a lovely square, and see a fun guy being interviewed for TV.

The square has a lot of activity - despite the rain.
There seems to be dental checks, and also free immunisation.


The square has a bell-tower.
We find we can climb one of them for about $2.50 for both of us.
It also has a lovely little shop downstairs.

We get a great view over the city - shame about the cage wire.

The rain forces everyone inside.
But my boy decides the pigeons need a bit of attention.
It is a shame as right before this photo, about 100 took off.
I was not fast enough with the camera.

I really loved the buildings in this area.
Some had restaurants inside too.
This one was lovely.... right on the side of the square.
Siesta had kicked in - even on a rainy day, so town was half dead.

This coconut tree had a sculpture of a monkey with baby on the trunk.
Quite a classy town - the little things to look for.
Well spotted by my son.

We wandered through town.
We needed a keyboard for my sons iPad mini.
We found a shopping centre.
About 200 stores - all with technology - mainly phones and accessories.
It felt like Hong Kong.
Floor after floor - finally we found 2 and beat the price down on one.
So yes - you can barter in Santa Cruz stores :)

We gave up shopping - it was late, and rainy.
So much for having a hostel with a pool.
We walked home to the hostel via the lovely flowering square.
Grabbed some food at the local store 
- which by the way was about the same price as a huge supermarket we went to the night before.
We found a great bottle of red wine Kohlberg for $3 - awesome!

That night we had a great time.I met so many lovely Israeli's as I cooked dinner.
My son was made to feel like a star with the attention he got from the guys.
This again has been another hostel that has been great for my son.

If you are reading this, and considering travel with a child.
There is a lot of safe ways to go about it.
I have found hostels are wonderful.
Many have safe and enclosed areas.
Free computers and really you avoid the loneliness.
This has been the case for me, despite being older.
You also get to talk to people about what to see and do.
Forget hotels - you can be very alone there.
Hostels are wonderful.
And most are clean and affordable.

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