Having wandered around South America over 5 countries so far we realised we were missing so many epic places right on our doorstep! Bolivia is truly one of the most amazing countries to visit and has so much to offer.
We headed to Santa Cruz for a few days and first night there was the last night of their famous ExpoCruz which is basically a month of the biggest showroom in the whole of South America! We spent 3 hrs there and could have bought a motorbike, cookie machine, goat, organic cereal, a car, a kitchen, a horse, a smartphone/tablet, a popcorn maker, a tractor, a herd of cattle, a toastie maker, a ride on lawnmower, a dota 2/WOW/harry potter figurine, a holiday to anywhere…….the list would go on for the rest of this blog! It was mad and heaving with people watching dance shows, product demos, videos etc and generally just enjoying the party atmosphere of this massive event. (We bought a phone charger and some yuca crisps……and somehow not a horse!).
We’d had a bit of time to look round the city and saw the beautiful Plaza 24th September and the urban park and the alter where the pope visited Bolivia with an audience of 1000’s people filling the streets to hear and see him. (Although some of that trip involved looking for Pokemon and pokestops…..) and having saltenas and smoothies for lunch. Yum!
The other thing Santa Cruz offers is Aqualand, a water park and in 34 degree heat that is a real pull. We weren’t quite sure what to expect from a Bolivian water park as centreparcs is our usual water park haunt……but off we went at 10am like good brits to avoid the midday sun! We got in there and the first thing I did was fish a frog out the lazy river…..he didn’t look like he was enjoying the park much. As we weren’t locals we weren’t sure of the fundamental water park knowledge so we didn’t get an inflatable ring until well after midday……this meant that due to there being little or no health and safety awareness (or staff) that we managed to go down the huge slide designed for rubber rings without one…..not easy…….we braved the other two slides, one is pitch black for what felt like half my life, and the other was a bottom shredding experience as apparently the locals cram in their rubber rings down that one too! (In perspective it’s a normal small human size water slide!). The other options were a wave pool so powerful that I nearly drowned trying to get myself and my rubber ring to safety, and two ‘death slides’ named by us. One of which was a vertical drop for about 12m into a tiny splash of water which made grown men scream as they descended! But all in all we managed to spend a full 7hrs there without getting injured, dehydrated or burnt! So a win for the tourists!
Then we got up at 4am to pick my lil sis up from Santa Cruz airport and all headed off to Cochabamba for a massive food fest!!