I had six days in Cochabamba most of which I spent getting to know the hostel quite well as I stayed in bed and occasionally moved to the outdoor lounges for some sun. We did venture out to take the cable car up to the Jesus statue, something that seems to be in every big South American city and offers a great viewpoint. It felt good to be out and seeing something different and Cochabamba itself offered a bustling city vibe without being too busy.
Having almost recovered I took the night bus to Sucre where I spent about 5 days and separated from Eliza who headed for her Salt Flats tour before a flight out of Bolivia on the 2nd. Bolivia is known for its easier ‘version’ of Spanish and thus many people travel there for Spanish lessons. My hostel, Celtic Cross, offered free accommodation in exchange for three hours of Spanish a day and I took this up for a few days to attempt to improve my abilities. Peru was quite touristy and therefore those that we needed to speak to generally spoke English, limiting my practice and decreasing my new skills. The lessons were beneficial and made a difference having them in person rather than online, though my mind was still a bit fuzzy as I continued my recovery and things took a bit longer to sink in than they should have.
I really enjoyed Sucre, both as a town and my experience there. My hostel was very social and I made a few friends but got to know almost everyone there as we all sat and played cards in the afternoon, sharing drinks and food and going out in the evenings. Needless to say my recovery came to a halt and I found myself getting worse again from pushing myself a bit too hard but without regrets as I was finally able to enjoy myself after so much time dedicated to resting.
The town itself is known as the white city – ciudad blanco – with narrow roads surrounded by classy white buildings and houses, and of course, beautiful dogs taking ownership of the whole area. The central market provided me with fresh fruit and vegetables for my meals and stale bread to accompany it, something I’ve found to be a constant throughout Bolivia for reasons I can’t work out.
My departure from Sucre also signifies two weeks left of my trip. Only two weeks left of solo traveling before I meet my parents in the US and drive with them from Sacramento to Vancouver, ready to start work in Whistler at the start of November. Thankfully, the fact that I’m unwell is making the end seem more bearable. I’m physically and mentally exhausted after over 8 months of traveling, particularly in countries that aren’t seen as the ‘easy’ ones to travel. But the idea that something I worked so hard for, booked flights for in September last year, and hyped up so much by having leaving parties and saying heartfelt goodbyes to family and friends (some of which didn’t think I would even survive the Africa part), is coming to an end is almost unfathomable. Of course it’s not over yet, I’m yet to call Whistler home for at least 6 months and knowing me, who knows for how much longer, but the actual travel and adventure part is coming to an end which is so hard to believe and almost scary to admit.
Two weeks to go though, so I’ll save the proper emotional piece of writing for the end.