America,  Bolivia,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Epic fail in Santa Cruz (Bolivia)

Rarely has a day been so rotten.It starts with a long wait at the airport of Sucre: because of the heavy rain in Santa Cruz, our flight is two hours late. Having a flight to Paraguay the next day, our only wish is to arrive in Santa Cruz on time and not to miss our flight to Asuncion.The landscapes seen from the plane are incredible. I have never seen so many mountains (as far as the eye can see). Unfortunately we also see a lot of dry rivers.Arriving in Santa Cruz we discover a huge city, very very big compared to La Paz or Sucre.On Saturdays, life comes to a halt in a very Catholic country. Masses are organized from morning to evening. Even in the city center it is difficult to find an open restaurant (it is also 3pm). We spot a good Japanese restaurant for the evening but arrived on the spot, the restaurant does not exist any more :(The day wouldn’t have been so rotten without this last incident around 11pm. Someone is smoking on the balcony. Disturbed by the smell, I get up to close the bay window. It’s very heavy, I put some strength and like in a nightmare, the whole bay window crumbles into pieces.How is this possible? I wait two seconds to check if it’s a nightmare or not. No, it’s reality. The receptionist knocks on the door and asks if everything is okay.There are shards of glass on the floor and I’m barefoot. While walking on it, some small shards make me bleed a little bit but fortunately it didn’t hurt anyone. The curtain in front of the window took everything in my place.I’m all trembling, I’m more afraid for myself than for the salty note that will arrive the next day. I’m still struggling to realize that I have nothing.The receptionist has the presence of mind to place us immediately in another room.The timing isn’t ideal: we are in the middle of the WE, it is impossible to reach our insurance (the 24 hour phone board only deals with medical emergencies) and we have a cab to the airport the next morning Sunday at 10am .Of course, the next day, a guy came to assess the damage, the owner of the hostel watched the camera to confirm my version of the facts (considering the damage, they really thought I had thrown something against the glass). And the amount falls: $180!After 5 minutes of negotiating in Spanish with my meager vocabulary, we manage to get down to 150$, the price is high because the glass is imported blah blah blah. I don’t think we are too much fooled, I think it’s good quality glass, otherwise it would have broken like a mirror doing a lot more damage. There must have been a defect somewhere, it’s not the first time I close a window a little too quickly. But fortunately we are in Bolivia and not Argentina, the bill would have been much more salty.Unfortunately the civil liability of our round-the-world insurance doesn’t seem to cover this kind of incidents. And even if it covered it, the deductible is 150€.That’s one more lesson for me, for us. We don’t know what can happen to us, a little caution (insurance, communicating travel details to relatives…) is necessary, especially abroad.

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