November 10, 2005
I was extremely tired after last night's bus ride, but I still thought I should try to eat something, so I went out to breakfast with Julien and Matthieu. All I ordered was bread with butter and jam, but I could barely eat any of it. I wasn't quite sure what was wrong, but I figured I just didn't have an appetite because I hadn't done anything in almost a day other than sit around and ride a bus.
Before returning to the hostel, we walked around town for awhile. It is the complete opposite of La Paz: safe, clean and nice. The town has several large public parks, theaters, colleges, and very little garbage in the streets. As we walked around, we even saw kids riding battery-powered cars, people peacefully watering large public gardens, and even people playing tennis. I can definitely relax here for a few days.
By the time we got back to the hostel, I was so tired, all I could do was sleep for several hours. However, even when I woke up, I still felt run down and a little sick to my stomach. I wasn't hungry at all and I didn't even have enough energy to stand for more than a few minutes. I just felt really out of it.
The biggest attraction in town is seeing the dinosaur tracks, and since Julien and Matthieu were planning on leaving town tomorrow, they wanted to go this afternoon. I didn't want to miss out, so I tagged along. We rode a rickety truck to the edge of town where the tracks were located. After adorning safety helmets, we were told by our guide that the area was mined for cement for about fifty years until dinosaur tracks were discovered. The strange thing was that the tracks were scattered vertically, not horizontally, across a hill. Our guide explained that over millions of years, the ground got pushed up when two tectonic plates smashed together. Most of the tracks we saw had only appeared within the last six months because the entire hill was eroding very rapidly. A few years from now, none of the tracks will likely be there. It was interesting that there were so many tracks (5000 footprints have been found) and that they came from so many different species of dinosaur (332 thus far). However, it was still hard for me to enjoy the experience when I constantly felt like passing out.
When we got back to the hostel, I took a nice long shower and felt a bit better. I started to think about what I had eaten in the last few days, and then I realized what was making me feel sick: the empanadas I ate off the street yesterday. Just picturing them in my head made me want to throw up. Still, I hadn't eaten much of anything all day, so I forced down a small pizza for supper.
On the way back from dinner, I finally found a decent computer for uploading files. I had fallen way behind on my website in the last week because, while Internet cafes are everywhere here, it had been nearly impossible to find one with computers that weren't completely worthless. After a few hours of uploading photos, I returned to the hostel and went to bed early, hoping to feel better tomorrow.