The last stretch of our 48hr journey, a fun and chilled 2.5hr trufi (shared taxi) ride to Samaipata put us in the right mood for the place itself. Sat in the back of a minivan with a couple and their toddler, two other girls and two boys. When the vehicle stopped at any point along the way there would be a swarm of people to mob us and try and sell us tamales, fruit, sweets, meat, etc and all of them for a few ‘Bolivianitos’ (the local’s romantic way of saying it’s just a few “little Bolivianos”). It felt as much like travelling as any of the trip yet, and Samaipata felt as much ‘off the beaten track’ as any of the places we’ve been.
Samaipata is apparently becoming popular with Bolvians as a holiday destination. However, it is extremely quiet when we arrive. It’s as much like South America as I’d imagined (more than Peru was) and a bit like a town from a wild west film. We both love it from the second we step foot outside the car.
Places open when they want to and close when they feel like it. If you ask what time they close you’re normally answered with a shrug accompanied with “la noche”.
Like any decent holiday destination they have an amusement arcade (a room with 5 Sony Playstations). There’s a random room on a street near the market which has a pool table and table football which we have no idea who owns or who is allowed to use, although it has people playing pool most days. There’s a saltenaria (saltenas are like South American pasties), that didn’t have any saltenas for sale whenever we asked.
There are Inka ruins and plenty of treks surrounding the town and we’re off to the rain forest in a few days for one night.
There’s one bus everyday out of town to Sucre (12hrs, B/60-80).
There’s the usual amount of friendly dogs milling around and the place is small enough that you begin to recognise most of them after a short while.
All in all this could be one of our favourite places yet. One of the restaurant owners here told us there are 26 nationalities in this tiny town and we can see why. People come out here to visit and never leave. Unfortunately our stay here will come to an end soon, but we’ll both have extremely fond memories of this place and who knows, maybe we’ll be here again…