July 6, 2006
I decided to break up my trip a bit and stay in Santa Cruz for a day. I was here a few months ago, so Veronica asked if I knew of any good restaurants. In fact, Craig and I ate at a vegetarian place, and since Veronica is a vegetarian, it was perfect.
She was very happy to get a good vegetarian meal, something she hadn't gotten yet in Bolivia. I found out that it's very difficult being a vegetarian in Bolivia. If you ask for a meal without meat, usually you end up with a tomato and some lettuce. Most people here think you must be on a major diet if you don't eat meat. Others are even less understanding. Last night, Veronica ordered a hamburger with more corn instead of meat and was called picky (actually, an offensive word in Spanish that roughly translates to "picky"). Apparently, Ecuador isn't this way at all. It's strange that most travelers view Bolivia and Ecuador as basically the same, yet Veronica constantly points out the differences between the two countries.
I was walking through the bus station this afternoon when I heard someone with an English accent shout "Dan, Dan, Dan" in a "tisk, tisk, tisk" manner. It was none other than John Rock, who I hadn't seen since Antarctica back in February. Since the cruise, he had done a lot more trekking in Patagonia and made his way back north in May. His last stop was Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, where he had the same guide as I had. We didn't have too much time to catch up because he was on his way out of town, but maybe we'll meet up in La Paz in a week or so.