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Old 10-26-2012, 08:56 AM   #13
xs400 OP
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Oddometer: 225
Notes on hotels and stuff

Many of the hotels we stayed in were what I'd call rustic. All the places we stayed were clean and had soap and shampoo, but a few places where we stayed had limited amenities. We were, of course, out in the middle of nowher so I did not not expect to stay at the Hilton. In town like La Higuera and Uyuni, there are no 5 star hotels, or even 3 star hotels. When we were in bigger cities, the hotels were better equipped. Most places I stayed had wi-fi, but I only got dial-up download speeds. It was OK for email and reading the news, but not for video. A few places I stayed I could use Skype to call my wife at home - but you can't count on that in most places.

Let me tell you about the place we stayed in Uyuni. My room in Uyuni was spartan with no TV or internet but it had a bathroom. There was an electric heater on the wall for when it got cold at night. The bathroom shower in Uyuni was the same as in all my hotels. The bathroom sink only had a faucet for cold water.

The showers in all the hotels I stayed in use an electrically heated shower head for taking a shower. The temperature of the water is controlled by the water flow rate, fast water equals colder water temps. You can see in the pic below the 2 wires going into the shower head. There was usually a circuit breaker in the bathroom connected to the shower head. Now here's where it gets really interesting, the shower head has an electrical coil in it to heat the water. If you reach up to the shower head while the shower is running, you get an electrical shock. Not only that, I found that most of the showers have plastic knobs on the single faucet in the shower. However, in one instance the shower faucet had a metal knob covered in electrical tape. In this case, when I went to adjust the water by turning the faucet, I once again got an electrical shock!! I was the grounding wire for the shower. So I learned early on to be careful and not touch the shower head so I would not get shocked while taking a shower. I also learned how to turn the water on and off in the shower so as to not get shocked. These are important things to know while traveling in Bolivia.

One more thing about the showers, the drains in the showers all ran slow. By the time I was finished taking a shower, I was always standing in 1/2 to 1 inch of water.

My hotel room in Uyuni.

Shower in Uyuni - note the electrical wire going into the shower head!! And only one faucet.
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"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own." - No.6; The Prisoner
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