Cochabamba and a New Guitar

Today marks the 10th of March, 2017. Flight to Cochabamba, Bolivia is ahead. A BoA flight again. Number 13 on my world round trip. René, we studied together in Sweden, was so kind to pick me up from the airport. We hang out around the city and went for lunch, dinner and some beers at night. Great local Bolivian spirit came up!

I’m starting to wonder if the US or Germany influences the world more 😉

We rather stayed with local beer. 🙂

The next day I could follow my recently most loved activity again: Walking. Up to Cristo de la Concordia. Great view at Cochabamba. After I had come back, I was little hungry and thought about getting some fruits. A lady on the street sold three bananas for 1 BOS (ring, ring: 13 €-Cents).

Rene and I wanted to do some horse riding. Not my specialty yet, but I thought, I will definitely find some joy in trying something new. So we drove the 20 km to a place called La Poncho, which took us one 65 minutes on René’s new car. You know best how long you need in your hometown to make 20 km just to get out of the city. Traffic is just crazy here. Well, after we had arrived, we figured that they no longer offer horse riding. Only if you book a room at their hotel. Nice business model, ladies and gentleman. René did some negotiations with the guy behind the front desk and got some information about a good place to do horse riding instead. Life in South Amarica is pretty flexible. We never went horse riding. But the place was quite nice:

Instead, we went back to the city to get some dinner at a nice Mexican place. A big portion of nachos, one fresh peach juice and one Corona for US$ 7,60. I asked René, if they have like a classified online platforms, kinda eBay “Kleinanzeigen”. René figured quickly the page I asked him, if they have an ukulele since it’s small and easy to handle while traveling. I strive to play the guitar again, after more of two month absence. Unfortunately, they had no used Ukulele to offer in this town online. However, René could spot some guitars. “There is one just posted for 300 BOS.” I answered, “Cool, how can we contact them?” “There’s a phone number.” Rene called the sellers and we drove to their place. A young couple is selling this blue Bolivian made instrument. They are about to get a baby and need some money. I tuned the guitar and inspected it well. The sound was quite good however some parts we’re glued already and the strings were in bad shape. The negotiations may start. The two sellers were good negotiators and to be honest they really needed the money. After all, we were not too successful in pushing down the price since the language barrier makes it difficult to apply some technical skills for me. However, René was of great help by translating and finally we agreed on 270 BOS which is like 37 US-$. The amount is fairly ok, I guess. The only question is: How to transport it at the airplanes on my upcoming flights? No bag to protect the instrument …thus only hand luggage will be possible. We’ll see how that works out…

The next day, René and I went to Lake Corani. This provided the opportunity to see the countryside of Bolivia. Before, I was only around inside cities. And yes, people out there are poor, even poorer than in the cities. The landscape is very beautiful though. Reminds me a little bit about the Alps. We went on a very small country road which was not too easy to drive with René’s SUV. Great views payed of the kinda dangerous and long ride to get there. Why dangerous? Traffic rules are not obeyed or very crazy. For example, at a crossing with no signs, the car which approaches the middle of the crossing first has priority. Think about…

Occupied house in the countryside:

Whole sale market:

Find the donkey:

One lorry overtakes another… again, at a spot where I would not have done so with my previous car. Loco. Gladly we survived the trip, thanks to René for driving the Swedish secure way. Haha.

Some road impressions of that day:

Not moving. Well done, mate 😉

How do you spell “T-R-A-I-L-E-R”? 😉

One more of these strage taxis with a messed up stearing wheel – going straight ahead on the road:

Finally, we had dinner at the second best ranked restaurant (according to TripAdvisor) in Cochabamba. Called “Paprika”. Yes, good food for good price. Thanks, buddy, for the awesome days!

The upcoming story on my blog is sad. One of the experiences you would rather want to skip. But, bad things are happening and cannot always be skipped or avoided. As a reminder and maybe a lesson, I invite you to read the next unbelieveable story of this trip: Death Road, Bolivia

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