“Never ask the driver the distance, ask how long it takes to get there,” says my fellow traveller Franziska who has spent a lot of time in Latin America and speaks fluent Spanish. We understand what she’s talking about after our return from ‘an excursionto’ to a beautiful natural resort.
What started out as a short 2-3 hour outing ended-up as a 6 hour long trip. Although the driver knew the way, we had to make some major detours due to blocked roads from the massive amount of rain the previous night.
We managed to get through a lot of difficult spots but ended-up being stuck in the mud – luckily not too far from the resort. The group could enjoy the natural surroundings by walking to Lomas de Arena, a massive sand dune in viewing distance from Santa Cruz.
It took three hours and joint efforts from the driver and some park rangers to get the 4x4 minibus out of the mud. On our return we were more impressed by the traffic and the long lines of oil trucks parked by the side of the main road to Santa Cruz.
Transportation is essential for the city which is the economic centre of Bolivia. Oil, trade, agriculture and production are the major industries. The Interoceanic Highway connecting the Atlantic in Brazil and the Pacific goes through the city of Santa Cruz.
We now have a better understanding of what it means to visit an Oikocredit partner a few hours away from the Oikocredit office under those circumstances. We are happy that our hosts insisted to take us by plane to Cochabamba and La Paz. The local transport will be interesting enough.
Wish us safe travels and look out for the coming stories from ‘the road’.