After a quick pit stop in Buenos Aires for a night and another three hour flight, we arrive in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Having spent two months in the cosmopolitan Brazil and Argentina, this suddenly feels a long way from home again. Sure, there’s plenty of cars, including an unusually large number of 4X4s (once you see the roads here you understand why), and the younger generation are still dressed in their jeans and hoodies, but there’s also a great swathe of people in traditional Bolivian dress who obviously live very simple lives the way they have done for centuries. The women wear pleated skirts to the knee with a knitted cardigan or cropped jacket, their hair in two braids hanging down their back. The men are in ponchos. All wear hats. It’s quite charming and it’s good to be somewhere that feels less familiar again.

Santa Cruz - Plaza de September 25

If you are looking for a typical Bolivian city though, Santa Cruz is probably the last place you would pick. Although there’s plenty of evidence of the Bolivian culture around, the people here would rather be Brazilian than Bolivian and campaign for independence from the rest of the country. To More >