Sunday, January 17, 2010

Not so marvellous moments

OK. When Ari commented on the last post how marvellous picture of travelling you will get from the blog posts, I'll give something else now. This is only from Bolivia during 5 days travelling. Enjoy !

When I arrived into La Paz airport and took the taxi, I made the mistake not to agree the price before. When Taxi driver was driven me into bus station he asked 100 bolivians. I was shocked. It's something like 14 USD for a short drive and with the same price you'll get a room for a night at 3 star hotel in La Paz!. When we were fighting for the price for awhile I didn't had any other option than to pay. I had flown whole night and I was tired and the first people I met in Bolivia is cheating and trying to get as much as possible from the gringo. That's customer service. And I really get pissed off and got the first impression of Bolivian and it's people.

When travelled by bus to Copacabana, I got loose stomach at there. Next morning when I was coming back by bus, there were only one seat left. When I sat on the seat it was totally wet. The cooling system over the seat has been leaking whole night and the seat was like a pool. My jeans were wet and I realized that locals had took the other seats and the driver didn't tell me anything, of course. Money from the gringo and he can sit wherever locals don't. I was complaining to the driver about the seat and he just throwed a blanket to me and said put that on the seat. Well, I did it and travelled to La Paz. At the same time I had loose stomach I had to just stand three hours bus drive before I got the to toilet at La Paz at Hotel.

I got a room from Hostal Astoria and when I was walking on the city and coming back to my room I noticed somebody had tried to open my lock on my bags. I noticed it because I have 3 digit lock and the code was changed. OK, I have been prepared and will be locking everything, that's not a surprise. But then when my bus was leaving to Uyuni at 9 PM, I extended the room check-out from noon to 8PM and agreed with receptionist to pay 50% extra. When checking out at 8PM, there were another guy at reception and he was saying I need to pay from 2 nights. When I was telling we agreed with other guy only for 1,5 nights he didn't agreed. Finally after longish discussion we were shouting each others and I just throw 1,6 times one night charge and walked out. I was so angry for the all the Bolivians who doesn't care anything about tourists and just try to get as much as possible without any decent service. Well, when I returned back to La Paz after Uyuni trip, guess if I returned back to same hotel :)

On the Salar de Uyuni trip the driver and the car were excellent, but he continued to Chile to take a couple of French guys who were in our car and the rest of the 4 people had to change the car for the return trip back to Uyuni. My bus was leaving at 8PM from Uyuni and when I asked from the new driver when we are at Uyuni he said "No problemos", we are there at 6PM. He was driving so slowly that all other cars were passing us and the car was broken 3 times, before we reached a half-way to Uyuni. Clock was already half pas three and when I asked again he said it takes only three hours more to Uyuni, so I thought we would be then at Uyuni latest at 7PM and it would be OK. Well, there were more problems in the car and he was driving only 20 kms/hour and the car broke again three times more. When it had got broken sixth time and it was already quarter past seven and we were not even close to Uyuni the driver finally admitted it was not possible to get to Uyuni at time. I managed to change another car, which driver was speeding and I managed to catch my bys by running onto the location, where bus was leaving. I was there at 19:59, one minute before the bus was supposed to leave. However I was left my extra baggage for storage on the local tourist agency and it was closed and there were nobody. Bus company representative called the owner of the agency and she brought the baggage to me. Bus was then leaving a little bit late because of me.

These just during 5 days stay and travelling in Bolivia.

When I was afraid of what will happen during my travel in my earlier post, it seems that Finnish saying if it has happened two times already there will be third time as well. The earthquake in Haiti in worst case has taken the lives of 200 000 thousand people. The number is as high as with tsunami on 2004. I know it can't be my fault, if fatal large scale natural catastrophes will happen every time when I'm travelling in Latin America, but maybe this was the sign to not to come here anymore after this trip...

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