Today we head out to the airport for our 1240 flight to Santa Cruz, feeling as if we're missing something, now that we are only nine instead of twelve! A quick 30 min later, we land and are immediately hit with a wall of heat and humidity.
After almost a month at higher altitudes, we are finally back to only 400m ASL here. I expected to feel a burst of energy, not having to compensate for altitude anymore; but instead the heavy atmosphere just made us all feel lethargic!
Santa Cruz is the second largest city in Bolivia after La Paz, but it is a fairly new city, and has none of the cultural aesthetic of the other cities we've seen so far. Since there's really nothing much to see, we have a bite of lunch, then retire back to our little hotel courtyard for some drinks and a relaxing game of 'shithead' (a card game-sorry mom, I didn't name it).
Later, Carlos takes us to the main drag where all the restaurants and bars are. By about 2200, I feel like we've fallen into the biggest tailgate party I've ever seen! Basically an entire stretch of road for about six blocks becomes gridlocked with cars and trucks parked all over, and coolers are produced out of trunks and truck beds, and massive stereos with light displays are pumping out everything from latin to techno to dance...you name it!! People wander from bar to bar carrying their drinks, stop and dance in the street...pretty amazing sight.
We finally tire of the noise and crowd by about 0100 and head back to the hotel.
Have a nice little sleep-in today after our night out...although I still wake up by 0700 every morning just by habit now! Was able to snooze again til about 0900. No plans today except to rest up for our overnight train trip to Puerto Suarez, taking us to the border with Brazil.
Spent 4 hrs at the internet cafe, catching up the site for you! Too hot to do much else anyway....it has to be about 30 C today with lots of humidity.
At 1900 we catch our train and settle in for our 14 hour trip.