(Seriously, I still dont know what a Jesuit is).
16.07.2016 - 19.07.2016
After a couple of days recovering in Sucre, I made a decision and jumped on my next night bus; destination: Santa Cruz de la Sierra. With zero plans (surprise, surprise!) or knowledge of the city, I was pleased when I bumped into Celesta, a girl from my first hostel in Sucre, on arrival at the bus terminal. Together we tracked down some accommodation, another one of these mysterious French-filled hospedajes!
Arriving on a Sunday did not give the best first impression of this city, with everything shut up and seemingly run-down. However, the central plaza was again, beautiful, full of trees, overlooked by the cathedral, and ideal for people-watching. Despite being the second largest city in Bolvia, there didn´t seem to be much on offer by way of exploring. We found the one park, and ate a lot of ice cream! We quickly made plans to head onwards, north, towards the Jesuit town of Concepcion.
After a four hour drive in a kombi (minivan), we were dropped off in the dusty town of Concepcion, not really knowing what to expect. It was bigger than we both expected, though unsurprisingly rather deserted. We explored the town, easily do-able in one afternoon, as all the points of interest were centered around the church in the....central plaza! I´m not sure if you can tell from the photos below, but it felt like this part of the coutry was stuck in an era long since passed. All of the buildings looked similar, as below, there were rails for horses, and we saw several buggys. German-looking men strolled around in straw hats and overalls, not quite chewing on grass. I half expected there to be a cowboy shoot-out, or a spontaneous barn dance, at any given moment.
A unexpected addition to this unassuming town was a beautiful lake, just a couple km walk out of town. It was extremely hot (and did I mention dusty?!) so it was lovely to sit by the water and paddle.
So, having explored all there was to explore in this quaint old town, the next day we climbed back on a bus, half-decided to visit the previous town of San Javier. Once we had disembarked in San Javier however, we realised it had no more to offer than Concepcion, so simply had lunch, and waited for the next bus to come along. We had already decided to head north, to the jungle town of Trinidad. Getting there though, proved to be a little more complicated than we had been informed. Our journey ended up as 4 different buses/kombis/cars to San Ramon, San Pablo, Guarayo, and finally arriving in Trinidad after midnight. We stumbled across the road from the ´bus stop´into the first hotel we saw and crashed into bed.