Upon leaving Cochabamba I had to cross once again the mountain pass where I had encountered the sleet and snow a few days before. Of course this made me nervous. The fact that it was raining added to my worries. I figured that in the mountain pass it would be snowing. Anyhow, I departed Cochabamba and approached the mountain only to discover that it was warm enough that all I had was rain.
I saw people herding their sheep or llamas high in the mountains. The air temperature was cold which made me wonder how the native people of the area handle this kind of weather. On days like this, with cold rain and heavy fog, I would think that staying indoors by a nice cozy fire would be great. People in this part of the world do not have cozy homes. Most houses are mud huts with grass roofs, which most likely leak water. Another sight that just gave me the chills was to see the young children playing and woman washing their laundry knee-deep in the cold streams.
Once I crossed the mountain pass, the weather started to clear a bit and the air temperature warmed up. I arrived in the City of Oruro, the capital of the State of Oruro. It was market day and also the eve of the Bolivian national election. The atmosphere in town was very political. The streets were full of people. The main political issue was a constitutional change that President Evo Morales was pushing.
My plan was to stay in Oruro one night only; however, I was informed that because of the national elections the next day it would not be wise to travel. All businesses were required to close and I would not be able to find fuel, food, or lodging anywhere. With that information, I decided to stay and extra day. I also decided to fuel up right away. That way I would not have to waste any time searching for fuel the day I was to leave. It took over two hours to find fuel. Some stations were completely out and others had closed for the day already. When I did find a station with fuel the wait lines were long.
Election graffiti could be seen everywhere. “Si or No to Evo”
In the end the "Si"s won.