Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Random Travel Update 41

Last locations: Santa Cruz BL, Asunción de Guarayos BL, Samaipata BL, Cochabamba BL, Torotoro BL, Yungas Road BL
Arrival Date: April 10, 2009
Departure Date: May 1, 2009

Current location: La Paz, Bolivia
Arrival Date: May 2, 2009
Departure Date: May 9, 2009

Next Locations: Tiwanaku BL, Lake Titicaca BL, Cuzco, Peru
Arrival Date: May 10, 2009
Departure Date: undetermined

First, in regards to Swine Flu: Please, stop supporting confined animal agriculture. As complicated as the media tries to make the issue, it is no mystery as to how these epidemics come about. Anyone who has ever witnessed a modern day animal processing facility will attest to the filthy, overcrowded warehouse environments that breed such disease. The contemporary method of raising pigs, cows and birds for slaughter is not only cruel and environmentally degrading; it also poses a serious threat to public health.

To learn more factory farming and the current epidemic visit: http://www.hsus.org/farm/news/ournews/qa_on_swine_flu_050209.html

CNN also ran a news story highlighting this threat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j10SQpCO9Wc.

The most effective thing that you can do as a concerned citizen is to boycott the meat industry. For tips on eating vegan visit: http://pcrm.org/health/veginfo/vsk/index.html.

We really like Bolivia. It is rugged, moderately undeveloped, colorful and cheap. Taking a bus is still an adventure here. Our first bus ride from Uyuni to Sucre included 10 hours of unpaved, unmaintained road, five river/wash crossings, countless sharp turns on narrow roads bordered by steep drops and passing vehicles, a guy who threw up two times, a three hour wait in near freezing weather at 2am for a transfer bus with no bathroom access. Following that, we learned that planes are actually quite a good deal in Bolivia, costing less than the same distance in Argentina by bus in cama or super-cama class.

The Bolivians may be some of the cutest people in the world. On Sunday we went to something called “Cholita Wrestling” which involves cholitas (the diminutive form of “chola” which refers to indigenous Bolivianas who live in cities rather than in rural indigenous villages) wrestling cholos (masculine form) in a boxing ring. Though not specifically about Bolivia, the movie “Nacho Libre” would provide you with a very good idea of the nature of the event. Or you can watch a match on youtube. The Cholitas tolerate getting beat up pretty bad before they come back to win the match. If your interest is spiked regarding all things Cholita, the Travel Channel has an episode dedicated to them.

Today we did a super-touristy thing and biked the ¨World´s Most Dangerous Road¨ proclaimed as such in 1995 by the Inter-American Development Bank in reaction to its record annual death toll of 200 to 300 passengers. A few days ago, we rented a car (Jon´s idea) and headed out from Cochabamba to the very rural town of Torotoro to explore caves, canyons and dinosaur prints. Previous to arriving in the desert college city of Cochabamba (not unlike Tucson), we spent ten days in the beautiful town of Samaipata where we spent our time taking Spanish lessons, meeting with locals, and volunteering at an animal refuge. Before that, we attended the Biennial
International Theater Festival in Santa Cruz, during which we learned acrobatics (pictures to come). And, previous to Santa Cruz, we stayed in the charming city of Sucre after the completion of our 3-day tour by jeep of The Reserva National de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa and the Salar de Uyuni; the highest, largest and most impressive salt flat in the world.

There is more to say. I think Jon plans to elaborate on each activity in his next blog post. Look out for it next week at elfanoos.blogspot.com. For about half of the Bolivia pictures, check out http://picasaweb.google.com/a.melissa.meyer/Bolivia#. Check again next week for more.



1 comment:

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