EVERYDAY NOTEWORTHY TRAVELS
South America
May 9, 2011 in Bolivia, Brazil, South America , , , , , ,

I was sitting on a mattress in Szymon’s appartment and it hit me – I’m going back home. In a few days I’m getting on a plane in Sao Paulo and I’m flying to Europe. I just have to get to Sao Paulo. I made that jurney the opposite way once already, so why would I have any problems going back?

I bought a bus ticket to Santa Cruz, said goodbye to all the crazy people in La Paz, the most crazy one went with me on a bus station and I’ve set up in the queue for the baggage. Guy in the window gave me a card that said Sucre, which surprised me a bit, so I started to explain to him that I was actually going to Santa Cruz. He told me that I have a ticket to Sucre. Word by word, person to person and that’s how my awkward journey started, one that went not really according to plan I had in mind. Lady in the window remembered me very well and of course my request for a ticket to Sucre. Nothing helped. Nor the explenation, that the glass in her window is bearing a great sign Santa Cruz or that I gave her a piece of paper with the same name (that one she no longer remembered). I made a research and it turned out that I won’t be able to take a bus to SC in the next days, so I went to Sucre.

A blessing in disguise, I met a girl on the bus, whose friend could arrange a flight to SC for a good price, more than that, she also had a good deal on a flight from SC to the Sao Paulo. The sun began to shine for me again. I bought the tickets, I visited the kids from Nanty at the pool and the next morning I went to the airport.

After 3 hours of waiting for my flight, it was canceled because, well, the sky was cloudy. It did not rain, no thunders, simply there were some clouds on the sky. In addition, I was told that they won’t refund my ticket, because obviously it’s not their fault. It is worth to mention that the buses in my desired direction did not run, because the roads were flooded. Oops. I had no other choice but buying a flight in another airlines and after 2 hours I was flying.

In Santa Cruz I ate ice creams, I requested a refund for the tickets in Boa airlines (they said they will send it within 2 months and there’s still nothing on the account until now) and I talked to the toucan, which bit me in the nose few months before.

At the airport, my bag went through security check three times! Despite assurances that the flight will fly on time, one hour after the scheduled start, monitors kept convincing us that everything is great.

I am in Sao Paulo, where again I’ve met the three coolest guys in Brazil. The last two days, wow, it’s hard to acknowledge that in 48 hours I’ll be on a plane to Europe. All good things come to an end eventually.

May 4, 2011 in Bolivia, South America , , , ,

Something that can not be missed. I have already elaborated about my weakness for chollitas, but I must say that chollita’s wrestling is a unique spectacle and the experience is priceless. It was a little pretense, perhaps some tricks seemed to be too obvious, especially when the opponent crashed bag of paint on chollita’s head… There was face sitting, throwing a fighter into the crowd, throwing popcorn, buzzing and cheering. The most fun had of course locals, who approached the subject seriously and I’m keen to think they find it all real…

May 2, 2011 in Bolivia, South America , ,

After few weeks in Sucre, a time for changes came. Thanks to the courtesy of a colleague from MyWayAround my choice fell on La Paz. I didn’t have to think long because city itself is breathtaking. But, when you add to this some good tips from a person who actually lives there and a company of brilliant people – we have the trip!

April 29, 2011 in Bolivia, South America , , , , , ,

Poland has/had amazing traditional costumes like “krakowianka”. Unfortunately nowadays we can see it only on pictures or during special events. To be honest the latest manifestation of polish tradition in a form of clothes I remember from kindergarden, where every year I used to disguise in “Krakowianka”. I had a special vest with corals and a wreath with ribbons. It was perfect.

And that’s another reason why Bolivia is the best country in the world. They have their “krakowianka” on a daily basis on the streets. Residents dressed in the “tradition” walk to the store for a bread, work in the fields, even at the University you can meet chollita (my personal favorite).

And one day they held a great festival, during which I could look closely at everything and everyone wearing it.

April 19, 2011 in Bolivia, South America , , , ,

In Buenos Aires I met Miguel, who told me about Ñancie – an organization that works with child and adolescent workers of the street in Sucre, Bolivia, run by amazing people who actually care.

The program organize play time for kids to help them have also fun in life, not just work. It also collects funds for equipment for schools, mandatory white uniforms, shoes, etc. Many children do not have anything because the parents also have nothing. 7-year olds run around the town and sell a chewing gum to tourists. One boy gets up at 4 am to collect plastic bottles and cans from trash bins.

I have spent 1 month in Sucre and that was approximately time of my adventure with Ñanta. The first week in the pool with a bunch of amazing kids, and later, because of a throat’s infection – outside the swimming pool.

The first day a girl asked me if I jump into the pool with her, without waiting for an answer she jumped herself, and I had to wait until my nose stops bleeding, because she hit me with her head. At the end of the day I got kicked in the bladder. It happens. Nevertheless, I went home all happy because I with a bunch of kids had some good laugh. They hugged me, tried to drown me and in the meantime I tried to teach them to swim.

Bolivia is not a rich country in economic terms. It has everything else, an amazing culture, vibrant colors in folk costumes, but you rather will not find money on the street. I hated to watch small children working to help their parents. But you know what, never the less they have a different childhood than you or me, they were one of the most happy kids I’ve met in my life. And their hearts are big.

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