Getting back to the big city

We woke up at Hotel Nobleza in Potosí, ready to face a final day of travel to get back to Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Breakfast at the hotel was simple and light, but the lady serving it was very attentive. Unfortunately none of the hotel staff could get the heater in the comedor to work, but some hot coffee did wonders.

After breakfast, we packed our bags and headed out to the new bus terminal. This time we bought tickets for the three-hour ride to Sucre with the Transtin bus company.

We say goodbye to Hotel Nobleza after a good night’s sleep following an uncertain arrival the night before.

Just to remind us that we were, in fact, riding a bus in Bolivia, at one point on the trip the driver picked up some passengers, one of whom was carrying an animal. I thought at first it might be a little goat, but as it continued making noises they began to sound more like “mews” to me. A kitten, I concluded. That made more sense anyway.

When we arrived in Sucre several hours later, though, we saw the woman and her animal up close — and sure enough, it had been a baby goat.

Turns out we weren’t quite done with animal encounters.

Originally we had hoped to arrive in Sucre early enough to have time to visit with one of Yoli’s aunts, or maybe see one site. It turned out her aunt was out of town, and anyway there wasn’t enough time to really go anywhere. So we ate lunch and freshened up. Afterward we called the taxi driver who, had brought us from the airport on Monday. He wasn’t available, but he arranged for a trusted colleague, Macario, to pick us up in another taxi.

As soon as we got in the car, Macario handed me a bag and told me it would be my job to toss bread to dogs along the way. I thought he was making a joke, but at my level of fluency, I’m often uncertain I have correctly understood words and intentions. This time, I had interpreted his words perfectly — but Macario wasn’t joking. There were many feral or street dogs along the way, and this man had a heart to help them. He said he always brought bread along to throw out the window to them, and since I was sitting shotgun, he delegated the job to me — which made for a memorable taxi ride.

Along the way, he talked with Yoli about taking English classes, something he was considering since he often picks up foreign tourists from the airport.

We got to the airport in plenty of time and had a nice short BOA flight back to the big lowland city of Santa Cruz, where most of Yoli’s family lives and where we would be spending the next two weeks.

Our missionary friend, Ken, picked us up in his truck and brought us to El Jordán, a ministry center run by our longtime friend, Corina. She was away in Canada, but had arranged for us to stay at an apartment at El Jordán during our stay.

During the adventurous first five days of our trip, we had reached elevations as high as 16,400 feet, and dragged our baggage up and down the hilly streets of Potosí and Sucre. And though we had returned to the comfort of lower, flatter and warmer Santa Cruz, we weren’t done with climbing! Our apartment was on the fourth floor, so there were sure to be lots of steps in our future.

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