Bolivia Travel Stories, Page 2



Some emails I receive are too much fun, I received an email after I sent out my newsletter with some good and negative remarks in the email. It was interesting to see how people view themselves or more interesting me, because I am me, the I notice more how they view me.

I am going to have fun with the email, I will try my best to keep the sarcasm to a minimum.

What is great is readers, I learn a lot from people that write me, however I probably could live happier without a few of them, however most are in someways interesting.

Life is good, then it gets funny, I am going to show the correspondence in my next newsletter and try to ask my readership for opinions.

I think I make some comments and then he labeled narrow-minded and judgmental. So labels can be fun and labels can be interesting, however I suppose I should refrain or practice patience and restraint. It is interesting how many people believe I am suppose to be open minded and that I have a responsibility to be respectful of my readers. I think of this as my diary number one and think of you number two, therefore unfair to myself to edit my thought, and it is only fair that you do not have to read, you have a choice, it I hope is very easy to stop, however some of you feel a need.

1. Laugh at yourself.
2. Remember rule one.

A traveler carries a towel.
A traveler needs a reading light because they read books, they are not big sightseers.
A traveler leaves with one bag and returns with one bag, and does not send one home.
A traveler knows the name of 3 cheap guidebooks.
A traveler uses the internet daily.
A traveler works only temporary jobs.
A traveler ask what day it is, and a tourist wants to know the time.
A traveler refuses to take the same path home.
A traveler buys a one way ticket.
A traveler doe not have a mobile phone, a tourist does.
A traveler does not iron their clothes.
A traveler always knows the price of something before they make a purchase.
A traveler never says, "But it's so cheap." They always want it cheaper.
A traveler travels other place then the USA and Europe
A traveler walks slow a tourist walks fast..
A traveler knows better then to pay for a meal with a credit card.
A traveler will explain in U.S. dollars because they know the world uses dollars.
A traveler will know how to say hello in many languages.
A traveler has a piece of clothing from more than five countries in their bag.
A traveler normally travels and an independent or solo traveler as the girlfriend or boyfriend needs to return to the nest.
A traveler has slept with bedbugs on more than one occasion!
A traveler changes routes, itineraries, schedules and wanders the planet.
A traveler never stays in one location more than three months.
A traveler calculates the distance in terms of time, normally calculates by bus travel time.
A traveler does not turn down free.
A traveler feels no compulsion to tip because they know this is not a world custom.
A traveler knows that to go everywhere on the planet they cannot avoid getting dirty.
A traveler does not read Hobo Travel Tips or Blogger because they do not have time or the money.
A traveler does not know when they are going home.
A traveler has nothing at home, because they have no home.
A traveler does not buy souvenirs because they are not going home.
A traveler does give to beggars unless it is obvious the person cannot work.
A traveler know the best way to do laundry is to do one to three pieces in the shower daily. (Wade)
A traveler does not care about weekends.

A tourist does not carry a towel, they expect one to be in the Hotel.
A tourist does not need a reading light, because they sightsee continuously.
A tourist leaves with one bag and returns with many, and even ships one home.
A tourist cares about the weekend.
A tourist will have the bellman carry the bags, and the taxi waiting at the door.
A tourist buys a round trip ticket.
A tourist buys an around the world plane ticket.
A tourist believe the other tourist know what they are doing.
A tourist only thinks in terms of airplane travel time.
A tourist pays with a credit card.
A tourist always tips.
A tourist buys travelers checks in their home country.
A tourist wants to rent a car.
A tourist has an itinerary
A tourist pays what the taxi driver tell him or her, did not negotiate.
A tourist spend money freely because they are going back to their job.
A tourist knows they are going home.
A tourist gives money to beggars because they do not know they are making more.
A tourist does not read travel tips because they do not understand.

A tourist will focus on the types of food served, and a traveler will focus on the price.

A traveler is extremely selfish.
A traveler will figure out ways to cheat people, not big, however short change a deal.
A traveler does not feel guilty when a person gives them too much change, or does not force them to pay.
A traveler will find the loophole in the system.
A traveler does not feel the need to pay taxes, they owe the government of their country nothing.
A traveler will find a way to get on the dole, collect unemployment, or free medical, they abuse the system.
A traveler believes they know more than the guidebooks.
A traveler will wish to be anonymous, they do not want their picture taken, they are hiding something.
A traveler will not work hard, they put in the minimums.

STORIES told by Travelers
How I was cheated
Taxi stories
Girl stories
Best place for this or that.
Beggar stories
Worst hotel stories
How cheap I have lived in this or that place.
Which countries spit the most.
Toilet Stories

What is a Real Traveler? This is a myth, legend, however fun to postulate and antagonize.
A real traveler goes to places on there own and lives in place where there is no tourist.
A real traveler avoids any hotel, restaurant, train, or method of the lemmings.
A real traveler will be the first one to a new place, and the first one to leave a NEW place.

A traveler has no plans for going home, therefore he or she will constantly dwell on ways to keep traveling, they will sacrifice most conveniences in exchange for one more day traveling. They will calculate how much everything cost in terms of how much to live one more day on the road.

Wade of Song of the Open Road has posted a true traveler explanation.



I suppose this is not Paparazzi however when I am really trying to capture a photo I feel this Paparazzi instinct. A great photographer must work very hard to capture the perfect photo. Note I am not a great photographer, I am just a Hobo that takes too many photos.

Light or the sun needs to be correct.
Timing is everything.

I have been trying to photograph a bag of Coca leaves on top of a Taxi. They are moving very fast, so finally I stood at a stop sign, now people do not stop in Bolivia very good, however they did slow down enough to capture this photo.

This is a photo of Coca leaves used to make Cocaine.
Note this has the destination and the date.
The reverse the date from the way that is normal for the USA.

16-4-05 not 4-16-05
4 month
16 date in the month.
05 year

Very organized these Coca leave producers, or some are, this type of vehicle passes by the hostal at the rate of ever 5-10 car interview every day except Sunday. That is a lot of cars loaded with Coca leaves.

What is Paparazzi?


Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Rurrenabaque Bolivia TRAVEL PANTS
After a few years…
171 April 17, 2005
TIP: TRAVEL PANTS After a few years…
LOCATION: Rurrenabaque Bolivia
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 8Write Andy a


When I was in Rurrenabaque a silver filling fell out and I could feel this hole in the top upper back of my mouth. The edges were sharp and it felt brittle, like maybe part of my tooth could break off if I did not repair this quickly.

What to do, first thought, aagh I am in Bolivia, are they ok to fix my tooth, now I see a lot of silver fillings in South America and sometimes it is possible to believe they want silver to show on their teeth. So obviously the dentist here have experience. However, the quality of services and products in developing countries is normally very underdeveloped.

So how to find a dentist? There are streets full of dentist, so I know I can find a dentist street. I was thinking maybe I should take a taxi to the rich part of town, however the rich are normally a little more on the exploitive side, and I really do not need exploited for my teeth, maybe they break the tooth off to get the big bucks.

In the end I asked the owners of my Hostel for a recommendation and he instantly recommended this lady dentist, I was happy because I prefer a lady dentist, because women are normally more serious and more capable in the underdeveloped countries because the men are lazy and drink too much, thinking they do not need to work or concentrate because they are men.

So step one, get a recommendation.

Step Two, I got him to tell me that approximately what he thought it would cost, he said,
“100-120 Bolivianos.”

I am a foreigner the price can go crazy if I do not have a guideline, this is an ok price and somewhere between 10 and 15 dollars U.S.

Go and walk in, strangely you can just go walk into the clinic, I walked in during the afternoon however I would have rather done this in the morning when the person was less tired.

The woman inspected my tooth, started to give me and injection for pain, and I said,
“How much?”

She said,
“80 Bolivianos.”

Ok, the price is ok, and I know before she started how much it was maybe going to cost, I expect price rises in underdeveloped countries of around 50 percent.

She drilled on my tooth, trying to explain in Spanish what she was doing, I knew most of the words, and however she did not go slow, or alter her speech in any manner, so understanding was difficult.

I think this is what happened, on the first appointment she clean out some microbes or a cavity that was below the silver filling and more or less caused the filling to pop out. She then packed some form of medicine into the cavity of the tooth and this was to kill or soak the tooth to kill any other bacteria’s.

When I came back for the second time she shot me for pain again and this time cleaned or drilled some more, I was getting worried that she was drilling or grinding away the whole tooth. I went in on Friday in the afternoon and went again on Saturday morning at 10:00, the office was open and doing work. It is unusual for anyone to be working diligently on Saturday morning in South America so I was again happy, this is not normal. I do not want normal behavior I want western thinking, not South American Latino ways of doing things.

She filled my too with silver, and now I go back again at 11:30 so she can make sure the teeth are meeting ok and nothing is out of alignment.

I was very happy and the dentist appeared to be a perfectionist.

It cost 10 dollars U.S.

She grinded a little more off, I left and tested it on a chocolate donut.


This is a photo from the Airplane leaving or taking off from Rurrenabaque and returning to La Paz.

Note, they cancelled 10:00 departure again for four people and then we had to wait until 12:00 to go to the airport. Hard to imagine how little they care for our time, or maybe how abusive Amaszonas Airlines was in the handling of departures, they did not seem to mind totally moving a person with no notice to another flight.

One person from Ireland was waiting in front of the building, I asked,
“Are you on the 10:00 flight?”

He said, yes and then I proceeded to say my seat was cancelled, he went inside and asked if he was still on the 10:00 flight. They said, yes and then proceeded to say,
“Why you not get in the taxi?”

This was incredibly stupid as they do nothing to tell the people what they need to do or to help in anyway, it is a matter that you must being annoyingly persistent in asking questions until they want to get rid of you by putting you on a flight. What a system! On the other hand, what a lack of systems to manage the totally and completely disorganized flights.


I am in the internet cafe by default, often I go to the internet cafe to use up some spare time in the day, for sure I am not a busy guy.

However I am waiting across the street from the LAB Airline office 1460 Camacho in La Paz. They take lunch from 12:30 to 2:30 or 1430 hours. It is very difficult to predict when any large office will be open for sure.

LAB or Lloyd Aerea Boliviano seems to be the best choice to between La Paz Bolivia and Cusco, I am thinking of going back to Cusco so I can get Kiko started making backpacks, I needed to buy some parts here in La Paz. I will then come back to Bolivia and go to Cochabamba and Santa Cruz in search of...

Then to Paraguay to see John, note I will be very close to Rio, that will be a problem.



Maybe it is the bus from La Paz Bolivia to Rurrenabaque Bolivia
148 Miles as the crow flies.
238 Kilometers as the world thinks.
16-24 hours as a person from Los Angeles Californians thinks
... or if and when they think.
This is too long for the Brits between pubs....

They are making about 10 mile per hour, however the road for sure is a lot longer than 148 miles, as it weaves and rambles around mountains and rivers.

Maybe the question is what bus trip takes the longest to go the shortest distance on the planet? This is not a normal question, however as far as I today, now, presently know the trip between La Paz, Bolivia and Rurrenabaque by bus is tops, maybe some reader knows of worst trips by bus, please write in comments below so we can all gossip about how bad the bus trips are?


A religious organization that started in Switzerland and the Netherlands.

I have been emailing a friend in Paraguay, trying to learn how to visit with the minimal amount of problems. There was a word Chaco or something to do with a large Savannah area in Paraguay, Argentina, etc, while reading about this word I find that in Paraguay some Canadian Mennonites were invited to set up a colony in a city by the name of Filadelfia.

It appears that there are many Mennonites in this area and it would be interesting to see them and compare to the branch in the USA in and around Indiana. I have seen Amish looking people before in South America and difficult to grasp the various cultures. There is a problem in Paraguay for Israeli people I have heard because of Middle East people in the country. There is gossip that Paraguay is the most corrupt country in the world, I say this is gossip, I do not think there are ways to prove the levels of corruption, however normally a little truth is behind gossip.

I entered Ciudad Del Este when I was near there before and it has a very strange mixture of cultures at the border city. Some more gossip is this is a possible country for sale that would allow Usama Bin Laden to live in this country.

Now John says they make American pay maybe 50-65 dollars U.S. Visa fee to enter the country, following the example of Brazil. These countries are clueless when it comes to promoting tourism, I do not think they care about tourism; however, this for sure is not a way to proceed.

The big difference in Paraguay is they do not speak Spanish as much, there is a language called Guaraní.

Paraguay is not in the normal route for travelers; it is as John was saying forgotten by the Lonely Planet. Probably in reality one of the more unique places in South America culturally.

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