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Finally arrived in Bolivia

Tupiza

sunny 23 °C
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Together with an English guy who I met in Mendoza, in Córdoba and again in Salta and who was going the same way up into Bolivia as I, I started my journey into this next country. Every other traveller who had been to Bolivia had told me how amazing it was. On the other hand, I had heard that it is much more difficult to travel there, it is not as safe and everyone seems to get food poisoning at least once in Bolivia. So I was very excited to get into the country and see what it is really like.

Getting into Bolivia was already difficult. First, the bus we had bought a ticket for the night before arrived without any free seats. It was possible to get on though, if you agreed to stand during the 2-hour bus ride. We decided to board the bus and were lucky enough to be able to sit on the stairs which was not too bad. Then, an hour after we left Humahuaca, the bus suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. Looking out of the front window, I could see what had happened. A large group of indigenous people had created a road block. The protest was about their right to have a say in what is happening to their land. After a while, many people decided to leave the bus and walk into the next village (this meant finally free seats for us!). The rest was getting on and off the bus, waiting for something to happen. Nobody had any idea how long we might get stuck there - 1 hour, 5 hours?? After 1 ½ hours then finally the police arrived and we could proceed with our trip.
When we got to the border in La Quiaca, the road block had caused everybody to arrive at the same time, so that there was a long queue with 2 bus loads of people in front of us. This meant another wait of 2 hours until we finally got our exit stamps. Luckily, the entry procedures into Bolivia were very quick, so that we could finally enter Bolivia around 13:45.
In the queue on the Argentinean side of the border, we had met a French girl who had lived in Potosí for 2 years and now, 2 years later, was back for a visit to Bolivia. The 3 of us set off together to find a cash machine, something to eat and the bus terminal. Paying for my first Bolivian lunch, I could not believe how cheap it was. €1.50 for a piece of roast chicken with chips, noodles and rice!
My first Bolivian bus was not too bad. I had sufficient space and the seat was quite comfortable. The road was bad in parts and we kept driving very close to the edge of the mountains, but we got to Tupiza just fine. After checking into the hotel (there are not many real hostels in Bolivia), we booked a jeep and horse riding tour for the next day and then went out to eat some Bolivian food and try some Bolivian beer. Both cheap and really good!

The next day, the jeep tour took us through all the surrounding area. We saw amazing rock formations and very beautiful landscapes.
Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour


After a walk to some more impressive rocks and a really nice and big lunch, we started the horse riding. We felt like in a Western, riding our horses through Wild West-style landscapes in the heat of the afternoon. The views were amazing and we were a bit disappointed when the horse riding only lasted 2 hours instead of the promised 3. However, it was probably good this way, since our legs and knees would have been even sorer otherwise.
Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

Triathlon Tour

The next day I had a look around the town. There are many indigenous people there in their traditional clothes and people sell all types of foods and all kinds of other things in the market. Tupiza was a big change from the very European Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile and it finally felt like I arrived in the ‘real’ South America.

Posted by sarahm_lux 14:01 Archived in Bolivia Tagged tupiza

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