|Posted by Leticia Hughes on March 20, 2010 at 10:15 PM|
After spending three days in a Toyota Landcruiser traveling through Salar de Uyuni with four 20 something Irish kids, one 20 something Dutch guy and Mazza, I have come to the conclusion that the 20 something traveler is more interested in “experimentation” rather than “experience”. The typical 20 something traveler basically wants to try every kind of drug available, write themselves off every night in different bars and shag as many foreigners as possible. Now as a 30 something traveler I am more about experience… I will go to bed early so that I can see the sun rise, I am not interested in poisoning my body with drugs and I am not interested in contracting one of the many STD’s available to travelers.
Now the only problem with my theory is that my 30 something partner decided to indulge in some cactus poison with the 20 something kids while on our 4WD tour. If you are wondering what this shit does to your body, cast your mind back to the Young Guns movie where Kiefer, Emilo and Lou down some cactus poison – they basically hallucinate and are completely off their chops. So at the point where Mazza agrees to “try some”, I struggle to understand what part of my 30 something partners brain has stopped functioning. We were at altitude and he was chugging back some foul looking cactus powder in coca cola and he has no idea where it came from or what was in it. Been a typical 30 something female, I had a “moment” and called him a f**kin idiot and told him in no uncertain terms I was looking after him.
I then had the pleasure of watching the kids and my partner sit there grinning like fools for a couple of hours. Lets just say, intelligent conversation went out the window. So while the Salar de Uyuni was a magic experience in terms of seeing some of the most mind blowing scenery, at times I struggled to remain focused on what I was experiencing rather than the people I was traveling with. This is why I avoid organised tours that attract the wrong kind of people. Those who exercise and love the outdoors understand the natural high you feel from climbing a mountain cannot be replicated by taking drugs.
Now the tour was not all bad, there were certainly moments of laughter… hell when you are traveling with four Irish people it is inevitable. After our first night of staying in a salt hotel, we had a relatively early start. Like the conscientious 30 something I set my alarm and was ready for breakfast at the allocated time. No surprises the 20 something’s were all still in bed apart from the Dutch dude. The Bolivian cook brought out a large desert bowl of eggs and placed it in front of me. Now it is not unusual for the women to get served first in Sth America, so naturally I thought the bowl was mine and that Marc and Dutch dude would be served shortly. In the meantime, I scoffed down the eggs with toast and left a few mouthfuls for Mazza to enjoy while he waited for his eggs. While I sat their enjoying my full belly and coffee, still no eggs for the lads, so I did the right thing and went to the kitchen and enquired in broken Spanish where the rest of the eggs were… it turns out I had eaten the eggs that had been prepared for our group of 7!!! Oops dolly ate all the eggs!!! So you can imagine for the next two days, the egg jokes did not stop – rightfully so!!! Just call me “Tecia, Tecia the Egg Eater”.
Now for a little on Bolivia… the people have been remarkably fascinating. At first they seem cold and really not interested in smiling “gringos” (tourists), however once they get to know you or at least become a little more familiar with you, they are all smiles and “Holas”!!! I do however find it increasingly frustrating that they are not in the slightest bit interested in their photo being taken – not even with the bribery of money or purchasing their goods!! So photos of people are turning into a covert operation – today I am on a mission to capture the people of Bolivia!!! We plan to sit obscured in the square and see what we can magic up. The women look so incredible with their dark faces, bowler hats and bright coloured clothes. I will not give up on them yet!!!
At the moment we are in the city of La Paz and it has been a pleasant surprise. I generally find cities painful as they are over crowded, noisy and polluted but La Paz has character!!! While it does contain the usual city traits, the bustling markets and colourful people have made it fascinating.
Tomorrow we are heading to Lake Tititcaca and I am certainly looking forward to tranquility and lots of hiking. No drugs needed : ))
Until next time!!