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Day 89: Oruro Carnaval, Bolivia

Oruro Carnaval, Bolivia 2018 Costomes - Vagabond Journals

As a traveller, you get to experience the most amazing things that many other people don’t get to see. Our journey of the last six months has taken us through South America, and we absolutely love it so far. Except… Bolivia. Man, so many people said it’s such a nice country, but we had a very different experience. Besides Tupiza. One thing we really wanted to experience in Bolivia, was the Carnival in Oruro. All guidebooks and even locals told us that the Oruro Carnival is the best. We only found out about it 2 weeks before travelling to Bolivia. According to everything we read, it gets busy, and accommodation gets booked out months in advance. But determined to go, we frantically searched the internet and social media for a bed, or a place to stay. We were used to sleeping in dorms by this time, so no biggy. Many places and even home-owners offered beds in their houses or a mattress on the floor in a bigger room, I guess a hall or something. So eventually I found a guy offering a bed, at a pretty penny. And I mean, a ridiculous amount of money for Bolivia. But we took it because we really wanted to do this. So we took a bus to Oruro from Sucre. We arrived at 5 am in a very ice-cold Oruro. The bus, though, didn’t even stop at the bus terminal, it just dropped us off in some random gas station next to the highway and we needed to take a taxi into town to our accommodation. Strike 1. Fortunately, I had a Bolivian sim card, and I could WhatsApp the host for the address to give to the taxi. The taxi dropped us off on a street corner, the given address. There were construction sites around us, and closed shops. It didn’t look like a neighbourhood at all - just an industrial area. Strike 2.

View from the top Oruro Carnaval 2018 - Vagabond Journals

Messaged the host. He was waiting outside one of the construction sites. Shit. Our “room”, which we knew we would probably be sharing with some other people, was a room, but it was not even complete! It had plastic sheeting for a window, no plastering on the walls, no ceiling, oh and did we mention it was on the 2nd floor of a still-in-construction building? No insulation either and it was freezing cold. It was literally a mattress on the floor, made of straw or something extremely hard and heavy, and we shared the 3x3 room with another couple - sleeping at this hour, obviously.

Accommodation in Oruro - Vagabond Journals