Friday, October 21, 2005

Locked in and Shut Down

Eduardo off to talk to the bloody blockaders - they were very helpful and told us the best way to get out of here was to walk for 15ks - can't quite see myself doing that with 20kg on my back.

Day five of this bloody stupid Bolivian Blockade. The novelty factor has really worn off and thanks to the angry self righteous mobs that go around the town waving sticks and throwing stones now ALL the businesses have to close all day meaning that there is nothing to do and it's even a challenge to find something to eat. It's like being in a war or something to see if any illicit businesses are open you have to tap on the door and see if they will let you inwhen no-one is looking. Even this internet cafe has it's lights turned off, it's almost exciting if not for the fact that it is SO BLOODY BORING.

But then there is the positive side:

1: Not many people can say they have been out to dinner and just about to tuck into a dish of lasagne only to have an angry mob assemble outside who are banging on the windows. Then be locked into the restaurant for their safety. Hours later when you wish to leave the owners un-barricade the door and peer out into the dark street to check the coast is clear before we scuttled out into the street.

2: The town is acting like a catchment area for a whole lot of people we have befriended on the road in other places. Because we are not all moving on after a day or two more and more people wanting to cross the border to Argentina are arriving in this god forsaken town so it's been nice to see some of our pals from the animal park and other adventures so we can all sit arond the pool and whinge together.

Out in the wild west territory looking for 'injuns

3: Just about the only thing that IS allowed is horseriding. For a mere 2 bucks an hour me, Eduardo and four others saddled up and went riding for five hours in this most beautiful of landscapes. The horses were happy and healthy and keen to gallop. At first I was worried, it seemed a bad omen to be given a riding hat that had the words "speedy" printed on it and a horse whose name was "Maximo" - I had visions of bolting uncontrollably through the wilderness before coming off on top of a spiky cactus but it was all good. Maximo only went to the maximo when I wanted him to and even was good enough to stop when I wanted him to, quite a rare quality in a Sth American horse. All in all it gave me time to enjoy the big red rocks, deep canyons and huge cactus that make up this very wild west area - just wish I could have worn a great big cowboy hat.

Me and Maximo - I unfortunately didn¡t get to wear a big cowboy hat, just a red crash helmet that said "speedy".


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