Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shopping in Santa Cruz Bolivia

The Food Market in Santa Cruz After we spent the week in Mante Blanco staying with the kids and going on a few more hikes up the mountains we headed back to Santa Cruz. Now if you read my previous posts you know that Santa Cruz is falling apart from the inside out. Now I am not talking about the people, the people there are as friendly as can be, but the area looks like a recent war zone.

Well right smack dab in the center of the city is a four star hotel, no joke! There is a small entrance that looks just like a store, and then you step inside to luxury suites and a tiny oasis with a pool. It’s almost illogical but we didn’t complain, and when all was said and done it cost us about 14$ a night in the U.S. dollar to stay, that just seems unfair!

We ended up spending the next two days shopping around the city and eating at some of the more unique restaurants in the area. We ate at a Chinese restaurant in a Spanish country, how much more interesting of a choice could we choose? We had our large fill of Saltenas, something that every man, women and child should have the opportunity to taste at least once in their lifetime and we made our way around to some of the more popular Spanish restaurants in the area.

When we went shopping we would walk along the street and scan over mats that people had laid on the pavement. The owners would come out, lay down their blankets and place whatever merchandise they were selling on top. Then as you walk along you would point at something and barter with them, it’s a really neat experience and my wife found all sorts of trinkets to take home.

The cultural difference here really isn’t so bad. The way things are done is a little out of the norm, but we never encountered a time where we were out of our comfort zone. We plan to head back to states in a few days, but for now we are just gonna rest in our four star hotel.