In the last post, I mentioned that Teresa and I were going to Oruro for Bolivia‘s most renowned Carnival. Well We made it. We survived our first Bolivian bus adventure.
On arrival at the bus station, we picked the first bus that we saw going to Oruro. there were plenty of others but without having done any prior research we just picked the closest one. We purchased our ticket then took turns watching the bags and going out to find food at the street vendors. I have fallen in love with Empanada‘s!
The bus ride was pretty un-eventful (thankfully). Teresa got the window seat and took a few photos along the way and I snuck to the back of the bus to an empty seat to get a few shots of LaPaz City as we were leaving.
We only had one traffic jam and one breakdown. Duuring the breakdown, several of the passengers (men) on the bus go off and went to help. We probably lost about 30 minutes due to the breakdown and about another 30 for the traffic jam. The trip was supposed to take us about 4 hours and ended up taking about 6.
The bus was fairly comfortable with reclining seats and pretty much like any tour bus you would find in the US….just a bit older and run-down. Cost for our 6 hr bus trip About $3usd!!
Oruro seems ‘seedier’ to me than LaPaz; so we are taking extra precautions. Our hotel is right at the Bus Station. The Hotel International. It was the only accomodation that we could find. The hotel is pretty crap (and overpriced). The internet was not working last night and we requested a different room (and got one with much drama and difficulties with the language barrier). The bathroom toilet leaks on the floor so I got wet socks first thing. The only good thng is that the beds are warm and that’s important. Besides, we are here for Carnival…not the hotel.
We wandered around a little after our arrival and followed the parade route. There are already groups performing.
The traditional dances and costumes are pretty interesting. Going on our initial observations, it appears that we will need bleacher seats to be able to see any of the parades. The bleachers run the enture length of the parade route with no standing room for observations. Our mission for Day #2 in Oruro is to find the tourist office and attempt to get seats for Saturdays parade. Hopefully luck will be with us.
- Lessons Learned: Pissing off the Locals, and getting ROBBED…..almost! (arediscoveredlife.wordpress.com)