Keeping Cool in Santa Cruz

DSC04669plaza.JPG

This blog entry about the events of Monday, January 26, 2004 was originally posted on January 27, 2004.

DAY 100: My night bus from Sucre drove along a bumpy dirt road through the night, under the desert moonlight that made the shapes of cacti look like ghosts in the desert.  As the darkness of morning turned into dawn, the ambient light revealed a change of scenery — we had made it out of the desert and into the lush, tropical green landscape of the jungle.  The bus made it to the Santa Cruz terminal one hour ahead of schedule on a sunny morning of what would be a scorcher of a day.

A taxi took me to the Alojamiento Santa Barbara, a hostel four blocks from the main plaza (picture above).  I arrived at the same time as a big Hungarian guy who had just flown in from Mexico City.  Later I found out he was Zolly, an animator and Greenpeace activist — we decided to share a room before I knew anything about him.  We got the room with two beds and then head out to a nearby cafe for breakfast.


SANTA CRUZ, LIKE IQUITOS, PERU, is different from the other mountain cities in its country.  On the eastern end of Bolivia, Santa Cruz lies in the Oriente, with its jungle-like conditions that seems a bit more like the Caribbean or Southeast Asia.  Along with the jungle-like vegetation comes the hot, balmy climate, this day more than normal — the cover story of the local newspaper was about its 41 degree celsius highs.

Zolly and I went back to the hostel, our temporary home and that of others, including young Argentines and Japanese backpackers who were just sitting around the courtyard.

“Usually I think the people who stay in the hostel are lazy, but it’s so hot, I am going to be lazy,” Zolly said.  He took a nap while I went off to an air-conditioned internet cafe to catch up on Blog duties.


WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE EARLY AFTERNOON came sweltering humidity and temperature.  It was the kind of weather where no one was in the sun, where people tried desperately to get under any kind of shade or shadow.  As the sunblock melted and dripped off my skin, I went around for a walk anyway, through the main Plaza 24 de Septiembre and its nearby colonial architecture of the Convento San Francisco, to the more modern Parque El Arenal with its phone booths in the shapes of tropical animals.  The heat really got to me and I found refuge in a cafe with a nice chocolate milkshake.


SOME OF THE SEAMS IN MY BOOTS had torn from their soles and rather than buy new shoes, I went to go have them repaired for a fraction of the cost.  I went off to a shoe repair shop on a street where there were dozens of shoe repair shops — I figured it was the Shoe Repair District.  While waiting for the repairs, my sandals and I went to the Museo de Arte Sagrado, inside the cathedral.  The religious museum had displays of vestments and paintings and artifacts made out of silver from the mines of Potosi — but the most impressive thing there was the air conditioning.

The afternoon sun was still coming down on my head and I figured it was about time I got a trim from what Blogreaders markytand Christy referred to as my “Hobbit hair.”  I went to an old-fashioned barber who cut down my locks with non-electric manual tools, taking off the unnecessary warmth — and weight — off the top of my head.

I picked up my boots and met Zolly at the hostel.  I helped him search for a cheap MP3 player in the electronics stores — there were no good ones — and then went off to the Victory Bar for ice cold beers, food and conversations ranging from different animation software packages to perilous bus journeys.  While most of my stories were of mechanical failure, they were pale in comparison to Zolly’s — his bus in Mexico was actually pulled over by banditos, and they all ended up in the automatic gun crossfire between cops and robbers.  Some bad guys ended up as corpses on the side of the road.


THE NIGHTS IN SANTA CRUZ were almost as bad as the days — hot and sticky.  Without an air conditioner or even a fan, we just kept the door open to let any sort of air in the room.  Aside from the bites and buzzings-in-my-ear of mosquitos, we couldn’t sleep because of the loud Spanish and Argentines out in the courtyard drinking and chatting it up with their loud radio playing.  I mean, granted, I was one of these kids in Sucre, but at least we had the courtesy to confined ourselves in a closed room — these guys were yelling across the courtyard rather than sit next to each other.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Japanese guys started playing a makeshift digeridoo that they had made that afternoon.  Nothing says “No Sleep” than the sounds of a guy learning the digeridoo.

Zolly got so fed up that he got out of bed to yell at the youths to quiet them down.  He was only met with mocks later on that made fun of his use of the word “fucking” in his Eastern European accent.

Although I felt bad for the Hungarian, I just stayed in bed and tried to relax myself to sleep, knowing that keeping my cool in Santa Cruz doesn’t necessarily mean getting a haircut or an ice cold beverage.






Next entry: Money Matters in the Mountains

Previous entry: Suckers in Sucre




Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “Keeping Cool in Santa Cruz”

  • ALL:  Hey, I’m about to embark on an unpredictable train journey into Brazil… possibly in a box car, like a hobo…  I could be NIZ for a couple of days!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/27  at  11:22 PM


  • nice haircut!  i didn’t know tucann sam was a phone booth too?  i guess fruit loops is selling to well..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/27  at  11:22 PM


  • i mean “not selling to well”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/27  at  11:24 PM


  • First of the non-fam!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/27  at  11:46 PM


  • Wow, you look much better with the haircut.

    Thinking of you. 

    Oh yeah- Where’s my postcard, dude?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  12:13 AM


  • Nice haircut. Have fun on the train. (ick)
    Remember:  Alo! Eu quero uma cerveja. Obrigado.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  01:25 AM


  • you may be complaining about the heat there, but you should appreciate it. i doubt you want to be back here with all the snow and cold. and you should have shaved all your hair off, that would have been cooler. =)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  01:26 AM


  • From Hobbit to Hobo, The Trinidad Show continues!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  03:08 AM


  • Erik:  I’ll be in Asia for ONLY 6 weeks. As this will be my third time off of North America, I haven’t YET reached the epic proportions of multi-month trips.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  03:13 AM


  • You most definitely look like a Hobbit with all that hair…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  03:14 AM


  • I just realized that this is the 100th episode of The Trinidad Show!!!!

    Congratulations Erik! You didn’t get canceled during sweeps!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  03:16 AM


  • Happy 100th Day!!
    May there be many more.

    Posted by Alyson  on  01/28  at  08:21 AM


  • ERIK: happy 100. nice haircut. boxcars rule!
    MARKYT: no matter what you say, fruit loops WILL ALWAYS sell.

    Posted by Paul  on  01/28  at  12:35 PM


  • Happy 100th Erik! To the continue growing success of The GlobalTrip, Cheers!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  12:53 PM


  • woohoo…100 days! I can’t believe i made it this far into the blog. I’d like to thank my family, my dentist, and of course my 15” powerbook for sticking by me thru the thick and thin…

    blog you in a few days!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  01:15 PM


  • SOCALGIRL:  I sent postcards from the Galapagos AND Titicaca… nothing yet?  Methinks its time to blame the LA post office…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  01:41 PM


  • ATTENTION FELLOW TRAVELERS:  Wow, this is scary…  your passport info is on-line!

    http://www.humnri.com/enter/passport/

    SAM:  Thanks for sharing! wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  01:47 PM


  • You’re hunting are air conditioning while I had to shovel my car out of 6 inches of snow yesterday!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  01:55 PM


  • Please, please, don’t be jealous… warm is nice, but 100’s (F) in the humidity of a city is NOT.  Imagine the hottest day in NYC without A/C… that’s where I am right now…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  01:57 PM


  • hottest day in NYC w/o AC was Blackout 2003…..ahhh….Day 100 is in memory of Blackout 2003 NYC….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  02:02 PM


  • TD0T:  Six weeks?  Shhhh… you’re making the Americans jealous… wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  02:25 PM


  • ALL: Thanks for the centennial praise!  “The First 100 Days”... sounds like the cover story in Time or Newsweek…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  02:48 PM


  • Wow, 100 days!!!!

    p.s. we’re having a heatwave over here, it’s gonna be in the upper 20s/low 30s for the next few days..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  02:51 PM


  • It gets hotter by the day here… I think my day number is actually the day’s temperature high…  and there’s no A/C!  Send some of that snow down here!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  03:01 PM


  • Imagine the coldest day in NYC, with windchill…now double that and take away any heat that comes out of the crappy radiator in my apt…I am very jealous of yo and your warmth!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  03:27 PM


  • DTELLA:  This porridge is too cold, this porridge is too hot… where is the one that is JUST RIGHT?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  03:31 PM


  • JENN:  Hey, what are you guys complaining about… I just got email from Mountain Creek Snow Resort and they say it’s never been better up there! wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  05:10 PM


  • Erik - finally powder at the Creek and I can’t snowboard this season!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  05:50 PM


  • Hey Erik,

    Guess what was in yesterday’s mail?  Never got the card from Galapagos , I did get the one from Titicaca.  Mucho gracias.  It will be a permanente work of art on my refrig.

    I love the heat and would take it any day over snow.  But the humidity can make you crazzzzzy.

    p.s. the husband is jealous of you.  (he’ll get over it!)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  06:54 PM


  • hey! you are in my city =) maybe I’ll see you around here somewhere hehe
    I agree… it’s so hot here, I hate summer!

    BTW, loving your blog, I love to read about people traveling across my country! bye bye!

    Posted by Paola  on  01/28  at  07:54 PM


  • Fuzz-E! Happy 100th Day & BLOG. Congrats!

    The highlight of my day was when I went to the mailroom and found an awesome, hand-crafted postcard from Lake Titicaca! I yelped like an idiot. Then began bragging and waving it around like I’d won the lottery. Anyway, it’s my first and only SA postcard and everyone here is certainly jealous. If they like, they can visit it—proudly displayed on my office door.

    And thanks for the shout-out. I feel like a celebrity. As much as I liked the hobbit hair, it’s good to see you “fuzzy” again.

    BTW:  I just got my Mom reading your site… another member to the Fellowship.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  09:35 PM


  • PAOLA:  Hola!  It’s a shame you didn’t post a comment sooner… we could have met up!  I’m longer in Santa Cruz… I’ve already started my approach to Rio with stops in The Pantanal and Iguazu…  hopefully sometime in the future!

    Glad you like the blog, and welcome to The Fellowship…  pass the word around!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/30  at  11:22 PM


  • SOCALGIRL:  If you’re like the guy whose Galapagos postcard I have to deliver, it may take a while for you to get it… I plan on hand delivering my guy’s card when I get back to the states in 2005… It’ll be like Tom Hanks in “Castaway.”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/30  at  11:24 PM


  • CHRISTY:  Yeah, how the hobbits could stand the heat of Mt. Doom with all that hair I don’t know… I really had to get it cut…

    Who else at PH is following along, jealous of the postcards?  Where’s Kev and GIL!?... and do I dare say, Vlad?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/30  at  11:30 PM


  • CHRISTY’S MOM:  Hello there and welcome to the Fellowship of The Blog!  Pass the word around and travel vicariously!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/30  at  11:31 PM


back to top of page


SHARE THIS TRAVEL DISPATCH:


Follow The Global Trip on Twitter
Follow The Global Trip in Instagram
Become a TGT Fan on Facebook
Subscribe to the RSS Feed



This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.


Next entry:
Money Matters in the Mountains

Previous entry:
Suckers in Sucre




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




Spelling or grammar error? A picture not loading properly? Help keep this blog as good as it can be by reporting bugs.

The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad.
TheGlobalTrip.com v.3.6 is powered by Expression Engine v2.8.1