Santa Cruz – Jungle Vibe

With an enthusium teenage cheerleaders would be jealous off, I lept out of the Andes and into Bolivia’s largest city – Santa Cruz. My mission was to repair my camera (fill of dust from the Salar) and take it easy.
Really long snake skin - note smaller snake coiled at mans feet
Really long snake skin – note smaller snake coiled at mans feet

With endlesss mountains on one side and endless jungle on the other – Santa Cruz has developed very differently from its Andean sister city’s with many people considering it to have a Brazilian vibe.  During carnival, a few Swedish travelers I meet spent 4 days covered in paint which (new colours added each day) is pelted at anyone brave enough to take to the lively streets – which is pretty much everyone.

Having accessable natural resources (lots of natural gas), Santa Cruz has attracted a lot of Bolivia’s Andean population because of work opportunitis and has become the countries economic center. There is vague, perhaps powerful, talk of the Santa Cruz district breaking away from Bolivia and becoming its own country. Blood would run for that to happen…

Joining a cool bunch of people from Joganda hostel, I spent a day at the large sanddunes of “Lomas de Arena”.  This is basically a huge amount of sand without the presence of the ocean. Ideal for getting over a nasty hangover.

Back of a truck travel
Back of a truck travel into the sanddunes
The Sanddune challenge

The Sanddune challenge

Santa Cruz turned out to be a bad city for theft. I was lucky enough to avoid any problems but amougst the various stories a French backpacker called Bruno was not so lucky. Walking one Sunday afternoon he passed two guys talking on the street. One of the guys turned and pointed a gun at Bruno’s feet. Bruno quickly stopped, raised his hands (and probably swore in French) – the gun was then raised to his head – the other guy quickly worked through Bruno’s pockets. Moments later, the two got into a waiting, already running, car and were gone – they were appromiately 40 Boliviano’s (US$8.00) richer. A few other people from my hostel were robbed at gunpoint while I was in Santa Cruz…