The Free-Standing Jacket

Journal:  December 6, 2011    Uyuni, Bolivia

As light begins to seep into our room from a courtyard window, I can make out my motorcycle jacket in the corner of the room – just standing there.  Yes, standing.  It’s thoroughly coated with salt from yesterday’s drive across the Uyuni Salt Flats and is so crusty and stiff that it now holds my form even as I am lying on the opposite side of the room. A trip to a laundry will definitely be on the agenda for the day. We’ve spent the last three days tackling the challenging roads, and lack of roads, that we have faced here in Bolivia.  Driver, passenger and bike all require at least a day off from traveling. We wander through the local market stalls looking for breakfast and sample saltenas from two different vendors as well as a potato pancake stuffed with meat and eggs. While I catch up with family and friends at an internet café, Miles and our German companion, Stefan, do a thorough maintenance on their bikes, chipping away the salt that accumulated yesterday and preparing the bikes for what could be some more rough riding over the next few days. Uyuni is a much more touristy spot than anywhere else we’ve been in the last couple of months.  But the desire to please the foreign crowds has resulted in a wide assortment of restaurants – not just the usual chicken and potatoes. As I read the menus of various restaurants, my mouth is watering. Against their better judgment, Miles and Stefan concede to me and agree to an Italian dinner, recognizing that Bolivians aren’t really known for their expertise with pasta. We settle on the most reasonably priced location that has some variety.  After ordering, I wait two hours before enjoying my Roquefort Ravioli.  Not having had pasta or even cheese since leaving home, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Miles and Stefan are not so lucky.  We suspect that their meals have been given to another table by mistake and they wait almost another hour before being served.

They are not impressed….

Total bill: B147 . . .

and we are still hungry….

We promptly head away from the tourist area and find a local ‘Pollo Asado’ place where we each enjoy a complete chicken dinner.

Total bill: B34 . . .

and we all feel very satisfied.

So much for my need for a change of pace.

Tracey

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