Beautiful Bolivian beginnings (Drive Day 186: Jan 1, 2004)

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It’s hard not to be optimistic on New Year’s Day in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It’s just too balmy — 66 degrees — and bountiful. Girls in their holiday best hats dot the plaza, with its palm-lined buildings and bustling market.

0101bI expect the vast potato selection and obligatory squeals of pigs but not the cornucopia of fruits and lettuces.


Circle back to the 66 degrees though and it’s understandable; Cochabamba has one of those always spring-like climates that draw expats like Margit’s husband Don and her Brazilian son-in-law Claudio. Who sorts through fresh shrimp and beans to prepare his country’s New Year tradition: fejoida. It seems discordantly exotic, until I remember that Brazil is one of the five country that borders Bolivia.


Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

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