Don’t get me wrong, the following is definitely not a complaint about the discomforts of traveling. We were just thinking that we only posted positive stories of our travels. That’s why I’d like to share a bit of the other side of traveling in South America.
We’ve seen and done great things within the last three months. That’s why we call ourselves lucky that we just had three minor setbacks during our stay in South America untill now (knock on wood).
The typical traveler’s disease
We got through two months of Chile without really getting sick. It was just after arriving in Sucre, Bolivia that I got a serious case of traveler’s disease for 5 days. Yes, that means preventing dehydration with ORS because of the fulltime need of a toilet. It got us changing our airbnb accomodation to a hostal with private bathroom. I didn’t want to share one bathroom with the other guests. This made us stay a couple nights longer than planned. Fortunately Sucre was worth a longer stay and we really started to feel at home.
Bus travels in Bolivia
It also gave us time to do some more research on the best bus company to take us from Sucre to Santa Cruz. Because apparently bus rides in Bolivia can be a nightmare. We witnessed it when we just crossed the border into the country. We passed a bus that was on its side while some people still tried to climb out.
If you’d believe all the bad internet reviews, the journey from Sucre to Santa Cruz is suposed to be one of the worst bus rides in Bolivia. That’s why we tried to buy tickets with the ‘best’ companies but it appeared to be difficult to book with them in advance. Thus we decided to book with a cheaper company, El Caminante, that offered us a surprisingly fine ride to our destination. Sure the road was bumpy but the driver and the state of the bus were good. So I guess we might’ve gotten lucky.
Where did our money go?
In Concepcion we lost our wallet somewhere in between the shop next to our hotel and our hotel room. We turned everything upside down but didn’t find the damn thing that held most of our bank cards and quite some cash. We figured that we lost it and someone took it.
Luckily we prepared for something like this and still had some cash and Dagmar’s debit and credit card. So together with our colorful new bolivian wallet, we’ll manage to continue our travels.
Delayed by the stomach (again)
The third minor setback made me write this blogpost. I got a little sick again. We were planning to take the bus from the missionary villages to Santa Cruz, a nightbus from there to Cochamba and finally a straight bus to national park Torotoro.
In between arrival in Santa Cruz and departure to Cochabamba we had a couple of hours. We decided to get a delicious iced cappuccino. I took a second one because.. why not. Stupid me! I figured that almost a liter of iced coffee topped off with whipped cream did the trick. So we spend an extra night in the biggest city of Bolivia after all.
The upside, it was so busy at the bus station (probably because of the approaching easter weekend) that the company was easily able to sell our tickets just 15 minutes before departure. That’s great because otherwise they don’t give refunds.
When we arrived in Torotoro Dagmar got a bit sick too. So she couldn’t join me on the second tour there. What did she get? A common cold, more your typical Dutch illness than South American.
So again, no complaints at all. We just wanted to share another side of the adventure.