Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Coroico Bolivia - 10 Things to bring from home.
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Coroico Bolivia - 10 Things to bring from home.

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ISSUE:  065
DATE:  April 03, 2002
TITLE:  Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Coroico Bolivia - 10 Things to bring from home.
TIP:  10 Things to bring from home:
LOCATION:  Coroico, Bolivia


Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Coroico Bolivia - 10 Things to bring from home.
Issue 65 Hobotraveler.com - April 3, 2002
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 4


Hobotraveler.com is up halfway.
Will be fully functional by the end of the week.
Submit your hostel or hotel.


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
~   Hoboguide.com (Go this way) - Worlds Most Dangerous Road
~   TODAY’S TIP - 10 Things to bring from home.
~   EXTREME HOBO TRAVEL - Dennis & Scott Bike Around World
~   TODAY’S TIP FROM THE - “Peanut Gallery”


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)



Went to an enchanting little town about three hours
east of La Paz this week. Had to return early before the hotel
prices doubled for the Easter weekend. Can you believe that?
They would raise the price from 3 dollars USA to
6 dollars. Outrageous. hehehe I will tell about that adventure
in the next section.

I am back in La Paz and I am freezing. It has rained the last couple of
days and that make the temperature drop quickly here.

Sunday was Easter or Pasqua in Spanish. Happy Easter everyone.
It rained all day, and was quite miserable. A Norwegian girl organized
a breakfast for everyone and was nice. I am not sure why she organized
the breakfast There was no reference to the holiday or its significance.
It did make life easier because most of the stores were closed.

Norwegian women that is self appointed music and film critic.
USA girl that wants that wants a communist revolution.
2 Argentina lawyers out traveling... Curious (The were not together)
Luxembourg guy that works on the train.
Korean Guy that is gives massages and taking photos.
Lots of Switzerland people.. All have Swiss knives.
Germans... They are cooking a lot. (Wanted to borrow oregano)
Israel people in a group. Talking loud.
Canada girl reading a book on Tao Physics.
Ireland guy with Dreads. Says he’s traveled 9 years.
(Says work does not interest him.)
Belgium guy playing a flute.
French Girl... Looking very hmmm.....
Tall guy from unknown country playing a guitar.
Girl and Guy couples that are there, but not responding to inquiries.
A hobo... Looking around

The three dominant languages were... English, Spanish, German

Lot of robberies here in Bolivia. Two girl had large backpacks
stolen, a couple of small ones snatched, and a slashing of another.
Another girl had her money belt stolen by a Gringo.
This city although interesting and fun, is competing with San
Jose, Costa Rica for the most dangerous for theft.

The people here are very peaceful and stay to themselves. I am not
sure if they are timid or do not like westerners. I think because of the

high percentage of Indians they are more timid. The nice thing is the
number of beggars in the streets is lot less than Peru. I was thinking
to myself if I had met a beggar here? And I have, but for the most part
they do not follow you around here.

It is suppose to be poorer than Ecuador and Peru, but I am not sure.
I think the level of poverty is about equal for all the South American
countries. There is always a certain percentage of poor people in the
world. That is normal, and expected, but the percentage does rise
when the people try to live on top of mountains or in the middle of the

I am never sure how to think about this poverty issue. I am sure
the governments make it look bad, so the western countries will
send lots of free money. But I can not get a handle on who is poor
exactly. I can tell you these older Indian women are way too fat,
and need to go on diets. I suppose it is hard to not eat, or snack
when you sit on the side of the street selling food, and candy all

I am happy to say that the exercise trend has made it way down
to South America. It is becoming very trendy to go the gym
and do Aerobics. These places are everywhere.

La Paz is like living in a bowl. At the bottom of the bowl
are large streets and then people climb the sides and live on the
edges. So there is never a time when you are walking on
flat ground. You are either going up, or you are going down.
I am getting lots of exercise.

The Plaza Murillo is down the hill from my Hotel. It
is full of pigeons and the children can buy corn to feed them.
I tried to take some pictures of them. Here is a link.


If you always wanted to go to Argentina.
Do it in the next 3 months.
It is half the price because of the Peso devaluation.
Do it before they adjust.

La Vida Buena
Beso y Abrazos

Andy the hobo

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Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
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~   Hoboguide.com GO THIS WAY !


Worlds most dangerous road!
As stated by the .... blah blah blah etc.

The second most dangerous road in the world!
The first is in Bangladesh.... blah blah blah etc.

This is the advertisement for the mountain bike
tours that ends up in Coroico and the noise heard from
all the travelers mouths.

Coroico, Bolivia is a beautiful little town nestled in the side of
about 3 hours east of La Paz. A small square with a church
like every other town in South America, but a little different.
It is an adventure to get there, and when you do the hotels
all have swimming pools.


A friend and me were sitting outside a mental hospital one
time as we checked a friend into the hospital. He asked
me how things happen like this? A friend had tried to hurt herself.
Not a pleasant thing, but my comment was...
“We live our lives on a small precipice,
never knowing when we will fall off”.
I know I can fall off, and I have a few times, but my friend
truly believes that he never will.
It is easy to forget the fragile nature of life, but in Bolivia
there is a road leading to a small village called Coroico that
will help you remember.

I like to dream, and try to imagine myself living here in Bolivia two
hundred years ago and can experience the changes that took place.
Riding my horse through the mountains looking for Indians with their
hoards of silver and gold. The mountain streams would provide water
and trout to eat and there are animals to hunt. But then slowly over
paths or routes would be established to various grouping of homes
and families so that people could trade for products to make
life easier. Slowly over time the path become wider, and people
decide to bring wagons and carts. With the invention of the
car the road adapts, and they improve the path until it is a road.

The road to Coroico is still a path.

On a path you walk along and when you encounter another
person you step to the side and let the other pass. This
is the small gravel road to Coroico. It about 2 hours of one
lane traffic, and small places where the road is wide enough
for two cars to pass. A path is usually the minimal needed
and no more, just like the road to Coroico.
Cut out of the side of the mountain.

I had two choices of transportation for my trip to Coroico.
A small “Combi’ which is really just a normal van with lots
of seats. Many of you would think of it as a Volkswagen Bus.
Or the other choice was the Micro-Bus. It is like a full size bus
but cut in half, not quite as large, and the bags are usually
stored on top, or inside the bus and not in the compartment below.
I chose the Micro-bus because they are more comfortable
and smells better with more air free of body heat.

We get the inside of the bus loaded with people.
We get the top loaded with cargo, and baggage.
A boy hangs out the door, and screams,
“Coroico, Coroico”,
And other things I cannot understand. But slowly and
methodically we leave the city and enter the mountains.
La Paz is already 3500 meter high, but amazingly we
will climb into the clouds even higher. Above the tree
line, and into a wet, and blinding cloud. The first part
of the journey is climbing and then an ascent to Coroico
that is located at an altitude of 1700 meter and turns more

I am not impressed at first. Two lane blacktop road.
Concrete drainage for water, and it is slowly weaving
its way through black rock mountains, and snow capped
peaks, with small river bouncing out of the sides. Beautiful
and I am feeling like a tourist. Getting my camera ready, I stick
my face against the window, or try to point my camera.
People exchange seats so they can be on
the side of the bus that has the better view. A few Indians,
a few Mestizos, a few who knows what, me and two
Japanese people. We are on the road to Coroico.

Taking pictures is timing. Going around the curves. Waiting
for the place where the view opens up, and there is nothing
in the way. Click. Hopefully not taking a picture of the side
of a truck or the mountain. The perfect place for high speed
film and a great camera. Or to stop and take a picture.
I have none of the above. I have a Micro-bus that is determined
to get to Coroico, and only stops at Military checkpoints and
to pick up passengers. My digital camera is cheap to use.
So I proceed to click and click and try my best to
capture the moment.

What starts out as tourist trip, and I soon learn the reality.
This is the only way to travel to Coroico, and is necessary.
This trip although very dangerous is accepted.

“The people of Coroico live on a precipice”.
This trip is how people travel home,
Go to see their family.
Return after selling products at the market.
There are people that need to take this road.
It is the only way.
Plus a few crazy tourist. ( La Vida Loca )


They say 200 people a year lose their lives on this road.
That over 600 cars go over the edge. That is about 2 per
day. This is all gossip, and I do not think they keep good
records, and if they did no one would be allow to use the
road. But necessity and tourism have a way of making people
ignore the consequences.

I do not like the odds, and my eyes are open, but I will not
tell my family and friend what I did until I am home safe.
Of course it is easy to do. Everyone else is doing it.
They all made it...?

I forgot to tell you.
My friend Chris from England told me when I ran into him
again in Colombia that a mutual acquaintance died in a bus
accident on this road. Of course he told me that a long time ago.
And I really did not know the girl that well.

We climb the mountain, the driver shifts gears, and the motor
races, and whines, and the scenery changes, Swinging back and forth
we climb. I am starting to wonder how much weight is on the
top of the bus, and just where is the center of gravity.
I would not like all the weight to shift and us to go over the edge.

The road getting smaller is not a sudden thing. It starts
out quite wide, and the mountain make the decision.
The sides become steeper and steeper, and the work
that it take to cut path out of the side is more difficult. The
mountain fights the road, and wants to reclaim it. It is just
a small cut into the side. A few rocks dropped from above or
a good landslide and no more road.


I am looking around for the Road Runner, thinking this
is where the idea for that cartoon must have came from.
But it is just the driver beeping the horn as we go around
curves hoping to warn any oncoming cars that we are trying to
go around the same curve.

This was my first warning.

There were lots of sign saying there was curves ahead. I have
no idea why, and thought most drivers would just ignore them.
Why pay attention to curve signs, when the whole road is all curves.
But then I seen this sign.
“Stay to the left”.
We will drive on the left side of the road for safety.
Of course it is in Spanish and there are some other announcements
on a larger sign, I do not have time to read it, and because of the fog,
or not really fog, but a cloud we are driving inside of I cannot read
But I am sure it said something like....
Beware.. your are entering a dangerous stretch of road.
Falling rocks, water falls, and oncoming traffic.
If you do not believe in God, and think there is no heaven
Turn back now.
If you proceed..
Please cross yourself, and say two hail Mary’s.

OK. I embellished a little. But as you round a curve on a gravel
road, and you cannot see more than 5 yards in front of the van.
Plus all the trees have suddenly started to grow fur because
the cannot remember if they are trees, ferns, or moss. It seem
like it should rain, but you are inside a cloud, then you see this sign
Well. my imagination goes astray... Good for my girlfriends, but
not for people alone riding in a bus with some crazy Bolivian driver
the edge of a cliff.

Trapped. I cannot turn back. Everyone in the van stops talking.
The normal chatter has stopped. We are all looking out the window.
Or at least trying to look out the wind. I am on the left side of the
bus and I can see this edge of gravel moving below me, and then it
just drops. I have no idea how far, because there is no visibility
this cloud. But I remember we have been going up the side of the
mountain now for the last half hour, and my logic says...
We are very high.. We have to be, we have been going up and up.
We start to go down, down... toward Coroico.

Maybe I should have e-mailed my friends before I left.
Just a passing thought.
I hope I do not see any bright lights, and I hope the
only thing white I see is this cloud. Everyone always wants to fly in
clouds and see over the rainbow. I am more concerned in seeing where
I am, and wondering if the driver can see the oncoming cars.

I take a few pictures, but how will I explain this feeling, and capture
that Kodak moment....Maybe I should just pretend it did not happen
and all them thoughts are not real.

Like a roller coaster that goes for the side, and you have to trust
that it will not go over the side. We have to trust the driver. The
brakes, the tires, and the mud, and the other cars. I am tired
of listing the things, but only three more. We must trust there is not a
or a falling rocks, the river washes away the road.
Trust.... Not a thing I have much of in the Latino world.
I only believe what I see, and Mañana never comes,
and everything is negotiable.

I will guarantee a roller coaster is much safer.

We make the journey slowly with few comments from the other
passengers. The bus passes under a few small waterfalls. Drives
through a few rivers and passes large trucks rapidly, darting around
them and sneaking in before the road ends. We pass a stone
marker where an Israel girls bike went off the side.
Miscellaneous crosses.


We arrive in Coroico and depart the bus. Thank the driver
and say good-byes. Standing in the middle of the street, looking
around at the small town square. A church on my right, and
various bus stations, shops, and restaurants. The cobblestone
streets are at a tilt because the village is built on the side of a

Asking a few Gringos trying to leave town on recommendations
for a nice hotel. The point me towards a few, and I wonder towards
one that seem inviting. It is warmer at this altitude. Approximately
1700 meters and there is a trend in this place to offer swimming
pools with your room. Not normal, and out of place. But I am happy
and looking forward to laying around and enjoying the view next
to the pool.

I pay three dollars a night US for a room and find the quality of the
at least 4 to 5 levels higher than La Paz, and it appears like I
stumbled into a resort by accident. There is a slow pace about the
town, and nothing seems very important. There are about 5 levels
to the small hotel, and each gives a view of the mountains that is
spectacular. It is impossible to escape the view, everytime I look over
my shoulder I have to adjust my eyes, because I can see for about
50 miles into the convoluted cascades of mountains and valleys.

My friends ask for my description of Coroico?
“It a great place to bring you new girlfriend or boyfriend”.
Nothing to do...in a romantic sort of way.
A great place to do nothing.

Rising early to leave Coroico I walk to the bus station.
There is a crowd forming around the three small bus offices.
People walking from one to the other checking for a seat on the
first bus, or Combi. It has rained the night before, and the road has
been washed away in places, and there are work crews dumping
loads of gravel and dirt to reinforce the road. It is first come, first
for the bus, but there are no buses. They say 11:00, 12:00, or
earlier, or later, or really they just have no idea when the first will
The sign said the first was at 8:30.


The first has arrived says a stranger.
Like the pony express rider coming in with the mail, there
arrives a small van. Packed full of passengers and bags and
cargo tied securely to the top it stops in front and everyone runs
to greet the van. Everyone is happy that they made the trip safely.
They quickly unload the van, and prepare it for
the return trip to La Paz.

A few other vans follow shortly. Passengers present their tickets
to the bus managers and jockey around trying to arrange a seat
on the next bus out of town. I arrange a seat, and prepare to leave.
But in the back of my mind...
I cannot forget what the man said.
“The first has arrived!”

The phrase rings strangely in my head.
I am getting in a van that has made it.
It will be the first to return to La Paz.

I ask myself?
“Are there some that will NOT make it?”


Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.




No one wants to forget something.
Everyone ask... What do I need to take with me?
I have answered this question a few time, but my answers
get better as time passes.

When planning a long trip or vacation you need to be
prepared. This is my growing list of things that I think
should be in your backpack before you leave. You may
be able to buy these things once you arrive, but I have found
it better to buy before you leave. Most other things you can
buy easily and are not essential.

Get one that winds up. The battery ones are nice, but the batteries
will corrode and the time you really need the battery to work it will
Try to buy the type of alarm that is enclosed inside a box, and you have
to open it to use. It will not break as easy.

One gallon zip-lock bags are indispensable. I use them for so many
Bring at least 50. The uses for them are so numerous I will soon write
a tip on all the ways I use them.

You can purchase a camera in any country I visited. But it will probably
not be the camera you wanted. For a better selection and something that
fits your needs buy one at home. The disposable cameras do not work.
Make sure to buy an extra battery or two if the battery is special.
batteries are hard to find while traveling.

There are money belts for your waist. I use a passport holder that hangs

around my neck. There are a few made for your leg. They should have a
waterproof compartment that can hold your passport and plane tickets
and keep it dry. A money belt will not keep you from getting robbed.
It just makes it more difficult.

Try to find a lock that is used with a key. Do not use a combination
lock because you will not be able to see the numbers when
trying to open in the dark backpacker hotels. The best type of lock will

be about 5 inches long and able to reach between to spots
very far apart.
There is a pictures included at the end to see.

Empty medicine bottle, vitamin, or small plastic bottles.
Never carry glass unless you absolutely have too. They bottles
can be use to protect small objects like rings, or perfume bottles.
They are also great to carry spices, salt, and pepper.

I carry about 6 books. I find that I will be able to find books
to exchange fast enough with this quantify. This is very heavy
and not for everyone. If you read one to two books per week
this is the amount needed to have a constant supply until you
can trade for more. Make sure you always trade quickly.
You never know where you will see your next book in your

Buy one for the continent. I do not think the ones for the country
are not worth the money unless you are only visiting one country.
It is very difficult to buy guidebooks in the underdeveloped countries
although if you go to big hostel you can sometimes trade.

These underdeveloped countries never have control on noise. You may not
be able to sleep because of fire crackers, horns, or the loud neighbors
doing all sorts of strange things. I find them especially helpful on
where the drivers always thinks the music should be on maximum day and
night. Make sure have about 3 pairs, and store them in different
Test them before you leave.

Packing and unpacking your stuff. That is what you will do all the time.
The bread ties that are made of paper and steel that close up a
bag of bread are perfect to close up plastic bags. There are tons of
uses, to help secure things. Whether to fix the curtain in your room,
or to reseal the cheese to keep the ants out, there is always a use.

ADDENDUM: Added since sent in letter originally sent.

In a world that does not have fitted sheets.
There is an elastic device that looks like garter straps. This is used
to hold flat type sheets on a bed.

12. A thermometer to tell the temperature. In most tropical places you cannot buy this for some reason.

13. Men's underwear and socks. It is very difficult to buy in other countries. Make sure you have adequate.
Added: December 4, 2003 in Margao, India - State of Goa

14. MAP - This is a must if you are an adventure and off the beaten path is your goal They do not seem to sell good maps in the country you may wish to visit. Buy the best road map you can find of the whole country if you want to know everything. But the guidebooks are great if you just want to stay on the path. Internet maps are great for cities, but not for countries. By the time I would find a map inside the country it would be time to leave.
Added: December 27, 2003 in Hampi, India - State of Goa

Last but not least....

You can buy it anywhere, but when you need it the most
you will not have it. Carry some along. You never know what
new surprises for a hobo in that underdeveloped country.


Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.




“Dennis and myself, Scott, are riding are bicycles
around the world over the next two years. Why would
anyone ride their bicycle around the world?
This is the most popular question people ask me. There
are many answers but it mostly boils down to my belief
that one has an obligation to live the best life they
know how. For myself and Dennis, living the best life
means bicycling around the world. We hope to inspire
many people to follow their dreams.


TODAY’S TIP FROM THE “Peanut Gallery” Fun tips
Here's a little tip from me, to you, as an experienced traveler.

That’s the way it goes, first your money, and than your clothes.
Chicken one day and feathers the next.

Submitted by: Mom


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