Ahhh finally we arrived in Santa Cruz and managed to find a nice hostel with a pool. After our long journey from Brazil we were in need of some rnr (rest and recovery) and what a better place for it. Santa Cruz is lower in altitude than the rest of Bolivia so the weather was perfect for a few days sipping beers by the pool but I also had something else in mind.
While we were in Brazil I was researching skydive clubs in Bolivia and found one just outside of Santa Cruz after making contact with them the weekend was all set for a few jumps! The drop zone was rather small and was owned by an ex Bolivian military para trooper. Most of the fun jumpers where also ex military, all friends of the owner and I guess they couldn’t leave the fun of skydiving. The drop zone was located on a big field with a grassed runway and small packing shed, this drop zone was the first in Bolivia with only one other. Bolivia isn’t apart of any skydive association and hence has no rules or licences and this made me kinda nervous – oh and they all spoke Spanish except the pilot but after spending an hour having my licences checked and a thorough briefing through a translator (the pilot) the plane was fueled and we were in the sky!
This drop zone really reminded me of home, it was a family not a business and after the sun went down the beers flowed and the home cooked Bolivian soup filled my belly. The authentic experience you get from hanging with locals is truly priceless and if you travel a country and don’t bother meeting the people you will never know what makes the country and culture great. It’s also true that the skydiving community is one filled with awesome people who share a passion for the sky and you will never feel unwelcome.
Santa Cruz was a chilled time for us and apart from skydiving we spent the rest of our time drinking and enjoying the pool it was a much needed rest, some people are probably thinking why would you need a rest your on holiday?! Well backpacking isn’t all sunshine and roses theres alot behind the scenes people don’t see from no sleep to diarrhea for a month all while planning your next move for the cheapest price possible but its a challenge we love. So even if you hear us talk about some shocking experiences like getting robbed or spending 2.5 days on buses and trains, we love it all!