Sunday, 29 April 2012

One Night in Santa Cruz

I arrived in Santa Cruz and got settled into my hotel only a few hours after leaving Sucre.

Santa Cruz is at sea level so it was sooo hot compared to the temperature I had been used to in Bolivia, but it acted as good prep for Brazil!

Santa Cruz itself and the people who live there consider themselves more Brazilian than Bolivian as the city is more cosmopolitan, it's close proximity to Brazil and because of it's vibe. This means that there was visibly less poverty here and there was a high percentage of what seemed to be richer, upper to middle classes dressed in western clothes rather than the traditional dress which was worn throughout the rest of Bolivia.

The city had a vintage feel about it with lots of 20s esc architecture mostly centred around the large main plaza. There is a really relaxed attitude here too, with people enjoying the setting and just relaxing in the plaza and watching the world go by. There are even chess boards built into the park tables, and every single one was being used with the majority having a little crowd of locals watching and giving tips and game strategy advice to the players.

As much as I liked Santa Cruz, I was quickly reminded that I was infact in Bolivia when I stumbled across some sort of protest outside a justice office. The angry mob outside where chanting, shouting, banging, beating and using all sorts of force to get down the doors of the office in the hope of getting the policemen at the entrance to let them in. I carried on watching for a while to see the outcome but made a quick exit when they started to let off fireworks at eye level into the mob and at the crowds in the main plaza!

After that, I did a bit of shopping - I wanted some new clothes for Brazil and everything was so cheap it would have been rude not to! I then went for an early dinner before heading back to my guest house to relax before leaving for the airport the next day. My flight from Santa Cruz to Sao Paulo was at 11am and I needed to leave early to beat the morning traffic getting out of the city.