Published: August 18th 2007July 27th 2007
We have traveled for over 6 months and had sublime weather, only 3 days of rain. Somehow when planning the tour we forgot that Bolivia is the coldest place we visit and that we choose to visit in winter, so got the double whammy, cold on top of cold. So guess what, Josie got sick again, another day in bed. Paul had a walk around some markets and came across the 'witches' market. This is a place where animal fetuses are sold along with other herbal remedies. We had been told that it was good luck to have a fetus put under the foundations of a new house, I can't see that it would do any harm.
We had most of our meals at the restaurant next door to the hotel, The meal of the day was four courses and very cheap.
28th, I was feeling a bit better so we went off for a walk among the chaos, people have stalls that go all over the footpath and onto the roads, so that you have to walk on the road and then the taxi's and buses that fume amazing amounts of fumes all over you, need to toot
and avoid you. It is all very from how we are used to shopping. We got a bit lost and spent 3 hours trying to find our way back to the Hotel, everyone was telling us different directions. Paul later said we were so close most of the time. We had lunch at the restaurant next to the hotel and then I was going to have another sleep. However a young fellow from the hotel said why didn't we go and watch the fiesta, that was just down the road. Off down the road we went. We paid 50 bolivianos for a place on a stand. (about $7).
The fiesta was amazing. The stands kept filling up and people were selling food and drinks to the people in the stands. Everyone was passing bottles of beer and fizz and food up to people behind and then passing money down and the change back up. We arrived at 1 pm and thought it would go for an hour or two - wrong. The fiesta involved lots of departments of universities and other training places and each department was in different costumes and had a band they danced. Thousands of people
were involved and it was so beautiful. The costumes were all colours, and some were short as and some were more modest and the ladies all had their hair done in long plaits, with hats on. The men had some mightily elaborate heavy types of costumes on, some with masks and everyone danced. It was gorgeous. The stands got so full we couldn't move. We did not realise how long it would go on for, a man next to us said it might finish by 10pm. We were stuck in the stands, jammed in from every side. To get down front he top of the stand you had to climb down a rickety bamboo ladder that did not reach to top and I was too scared to swing my leg over and dangle it 4 feet to reach to first rung so we stayed longer. It was quite cosy with every one so close together. We had ladies with big skirts behind us and when they climbed down the rickety ladder it got very cold. We waited for a few more people to leave so that I could climb down the stand and find another way out. Eventually the cold
got us and we had to force our way though the people and down under the seats. We watched until 8 pm and it was fiesta was still going strongly.
29th Guess what, My chest was so sore and I was really short of breath. I could only breath with the top 1" of lung and it was really frightening. I had to see a doctor and had an x-ray and ended up in hospital. They called it a clinic and I had to stay for 2 days on a drip with painkillers and slept alot. I was treated so nicely and the nurses tried so hard to talk to me, but it is very difficult to make conversation, when my limit is 'Do you have a book?' and 'How much does that cost?' The food was really nice and everyone was very kind to me. They expected Paul to sleep in my room with me but he thought he would sleep better in a bed. He was very good to me.
31st I got out of hospital and the hotel changed our room so that we had a bathroom and I didn't have to go down the
hall when I was still unwell. So I spent the next couple of days resting.
There are more photos below