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Published: October 14th 2012
So my week began with a super sexy sight. In the trufi in front of me was a man cleaning his ears with a screwdriver and I was so distracted I almost missed my stop. No I'm kidding, I just wanted to get out of there!
In the afternoon Mechi and Santi were playing together and the game looked as follows: Santi was wearing a Hulk costume and was chasing Mechi. After some while he would die and Mechi then would put him on my lap, so I could reanimate him. Then it started all over again. Chasing, Dying, Reanimating...after six rounds or so I said there was nothing more I could do and this time he was actually dead. Santi, sitting next to me on the sofa, let out the biggest possible fart that can come out of a tiny body like his and declared he was now alive again. That's when I had to leave the game, cause I was laughing so hard at him I couldn't not play the doctor any longer. Unfortunately he got sick in the evening and started puking all over the place. He said "Joanna...Santi bleeeehh *the sound of throwing up*" and I
just nodded. What I was thinking though was: "Geez kid, I know. I saw it while eating my dinner and you just ruined my appetite!" I decided not to say it out loud, cause I didn't want to be mean and mainly cause I don't know how to say it in Spanish..
Also i taught Mechi how to play on a Gameboy and was really funny to watch her trying to hit the right buttons. I then left the Gameboy with her when I went to bed and the next day the battery was nearly dead, so she must have had a long night practising.
Although I didn't want to travel my first weeks, there was a nice group going to the national park toro Toro and after some convincing from my friend I decided to join them. We wanted to leave with the bus at 6pm on Friday, but Friday was just not my day. It was one of those days where pretty much everything goes wrong. In the morning I took a wrong trufi ( cause my host mom told me it would get me to the office faster...) and ended up in the center of
the market la Cancha instead of in front of the entrance to the Projects Abroad office. I then had to take a trufi back as the driver told me at some point I had to get out now. All in all the normal 15 minutes I need to get to my Spanish class turned into 40 and I decided to stick to my trufi number 101 and not try any different ones any more. In the forenoon I had a little highlight when I found German Haribo (it's candy) in a store while shopping for my weekend provisions. But my bad luck returned in the evening. We were all meeting at my friends house to take a taxi from there to the bus station. The taxi driver however did not know where exactly it was, but of course he didn't tell us. When we were getting out he was like "I think it's here" and then left. So we were just walking around the place as everyone told us this was the address, there was just no bus to Toro Toro. It was getting late, one group was already at the bus and we couldn't find it. The bus was
supposed to leave at 6pm, but fortunately Bolivian time, so we finally made it there at around 6.40pm after we found a taxi driver who knew where to take us to. You think that was lucky? It was, so I had to get some more bad luck to even it out. My bus seat was broken and the lean kept going back and forth, so for six hours I had to sit straight and was not allowed to lean back as that way I was squishing Marie's legs (my fellow journalism friend). Also the bus was packed with people as the ones who didn't get a seat were standing and it was HOT! Now you think that's bad? Oh it gets worse! My plan was to shower on Friday and just get dirty until Sunday, so I didn't have to carry around too many toiletries and towels and stuff. My bag with all my clothes was laying on the ground and somehow an egg which was on a palette six rows before me managed to roll in between all the seats and people and break exactly on my bag. Now my entire bag was covered in egg and it smelled
awful. Fortunately the fabric was strong enough to let only a little get on the inside and cover my towel, the rest of my stuff stayed more or less intact. Only the clothes I was wearing got eggy.So when I arrived in Toro Toro in the night I had to wash my bag and my towel, but since I didn't really have any soap and the sink was tiny I couldn't get it too clean. I went to sleep just wanting to end this awful day.
Saturday turned out be amazing. We joined a group with a guide and were 13 people consisting of Bolivians, Americans, French, Germans, Danish and a Canadian. The landscape was breathtaking and the first adventure was climbing in a cave. We got in there and it was complete darkness. Only our little helmets with the lights on top helped see something. At some points we were squeezing our bodies through the smallest openings and wandered 500m inside of it. Our guide told us to cover our cameras and since I didn't have a cover I had to put it under my shirt which made my décolleté quite big. When I was trying to get
through the small spaces I ripped my shirt apart and probably flashed one or the other person. Oh well... At one point we were asked to turn our lights off and stop talking. It was the strangest feeling. There was just nothing any of your senses could notice. No sound, no smell, no sight, no nothing. What I was wondering about though is how the first people came up with this route through the cave, because some passages we climed were almost impossible to make. It was an amazing experience and I'm really glad I did it, although I doubt I'll ever do it again.
When we got out of the cave after some three hours we got into our car and went to have our next adventure. On our way we stopped and took a woman with us who was walking around looking for her kids as they had been punished by their teacher and ran away, being lost since. At first she didn't want to get in the car packed with foreigners holding cameras in their hands, but after a moment she changed her mind. We stopped on top of one mountain where we enjoyed the lunch
and the beautiful sight before going on a long walk. Our guide took us to a little canyon and we were walking around for the next two hours or so visiting places called "The Cathedral" and "The Temple" which were cave-like formations of rocks in which in ancient times rituals took place. It started raining and we had to climb back on the slippery rocks and hold on the wet wood which was placed at some spots which were impossible to climb without a little help. We all agreed that we could have easily get hurt or even died if one of us would have slipped, cause he would have fallen on the rest, but fortunately nothing happened. Going back to our hostel we all just wanted to shower and take a nap, but our guide had another event planned for the evening: He had organized a little bonfire and some of the students from a local school came and danced and sang their natice songs. It was really cool. Later on we had a guitar which was passed on between the three people in our group who knew how to play it and we sang Danish, French, Spanish and
English songs (I was the only German and God has not blessed me with a nice voice, so I decided to spare the others). At 10 most of us were so tired we went back to the hostel and slept surprisingly well in our dirty, uncomfortable beds.
The next morning we went to see a canyon and it was just beautiful. We were all happy, taking pictures and stuff and then we found out we were going the 300m down the canyon, because it was even more beautiful down there. We were all excited, but walking down those steps (which was dangerous as there was no railing or anything!) some of us wondered if we had to go all the way back... Well, we decided to get down first before further worrying. Down was a little lake with marvellous waterfalls and the walls were covered in moss. It was like a little paradise. Some of our group were bathing, I was happy just to put my feet in the water. After lunch our biggest nightmare came true: We did have to walk 300m up! One of the girls almost got a sun stroke and we all had to take
breaks every few steps, because it was so hot. The guide then took us to a lookout point, but nooone was able to enjoy it, because we all felt like dying. However, from that point on, the route got easier and we got our energy and good humor back. We walked around for a while until we got back to "civilization". We packed our stuff and got to the bus, happy we had taken that trip and survived. On our way back we were all pretty quiet and sleeping most of the time as the two days were really exhausting.
Back in Cochabamba there was just one thing to do: get into a taxi, go home and sleep! But that wasn't that easy. Four of us decided to take a taxi together and called a company, but they told us they're not sending taxis out there, cause it's too dangerous. It was 8.30pm and the streets were still filled with people, so...really?! One volunteer called the taxi company she was usually using and they told her to wait 20 minutes. In the meantime one taxi of that first company drove by...REALLY?! Assholes. The second taxi didn't show up and
it was getting late. We then decided to do what you should never do in Cochabamba. Flag down a random taxi from the street. We all got in with the Canadian girl having her swiss knife ready in case he wanted to kidnap or hurt us. We went to the house of one volunteer and then got radio taxis from there to our homes. It took like an extra hour to get home for me. At home I had to tell about my trip and the reason my bag smelled so bad.That's how I learned the word "huevo".
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