Bolivia, ponchos, fedoras and curious hotel rules

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, June 18, 2007

Early morning in Tilcara and our bus doesn't arrive because the axle has broken somewhere along the way. We wait a couple of hours for the next and pass the time chatting to a young Czech couple, Petra and Pavel. How often have you met a Czech couple in your travels, especially one that has spent a year fruit-picking in New Zealand?
 
The border crossing between Argentina and Bolivia is one of the most low hassle and casual weve done. Anna is asked for a few Bolivanos for borrowing a pen from a youth. Nothing more.
 
Its never good to judge a Latin American country by it's border towns (and ports). They're often a meeting place for opportunists and vagabonds - some harmless and others not so. Villazon at an altitude of around 3400m is much more pleasant than we expect, and although the people seem a little morose and non-communicative, they are not specifically unfriendly.
 
We encounter a crazy indigenous woman begging at the bus station who is not satisfied with a few Bolivianos and starts hitting Pavel with her sombrero. Later we have a great bowl of soup and a very poor pizza.
 
Both of us feel low in energy. Maybe it's the altitude, or the dodgy empanadas we ate in Salta a few days ago.

We have our first sighting of ponchos and fedoras.

Also worth mentioning is one of the rules in our hotel overlooking the plaza, which translated reads "If you are registered as single then you cannot bring into your room persons of the opposite sex, prostitutes, persons of dubious morality, or animals." Animals? What do they get up to in this crazy country?
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