Siesta, Fiesta and Protesta!

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End Aug 27, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, August 2, 2010

Arriving in Sucre was like arriving in another country, the city is one of beauty and greater wealth with colonial buildings lining the central streets. You can even notice a distinct difference in the Sucre locals, much less of the old traditional ways can be seen. With nothing really to do in Sucre, we set about relaxing in the much warmer climate before moving on to Potosi. After taking a taxi to the bus station we were told that no buses were leaving for Potosi due to the local miners creating a blockade, therefore we had to stick around in Sucre for an additional two days. Our time wasn't wasted though, we started preparing for our homecoming, CV prep and registering on jobsites was a positive yet depressing step to take!

Even after returning to the bus station two days later, the blockade was still in full force and showing no sign of relenting, we took the decision to abandon our plans to visit Potosi and Uyuni and instead booked a bus to Tarija, which was the only route we could take in a southerly direction. The notion that Bolivians are only happy when they siesta, fiesta o protesta (sleep, party or protest) seems incredibly true. We arrived in Tarija after yet another cold and uncomfortable overnight Bolivian bus journey, being my birthday we opted to stay in a slightly nicer hostal (20pn instead of 9) and enjoy a little much needed luxury, having a decent shower makes a huge difference. The day was spent eating some great food and relaxing, exactly what a birthday should be!

From Tarija we then moved on to Villazon to catch a connection bus to Tarija (our intended destination), the journey was a spectacular one, more mountain roads providing fantastic views. At one point our driver tried his best to kill us, whilst driving he stood up and turned around therefore having zero control of the pedals or steering wheel, all in an attempt to switch on the bus radio. At one point we were heading off the cliff until we shouted 'WHOA WHOA WHOA’, the driver turned around just in time to steer us around the corner, we were literally two seconds away from becoming a very poor impression of a plane – we were scared out of our skins!

After changing buses at Villazon, we headed 2.5 hours north to Tupiza, Nicola was very excited about this location as we were heading horse riding. At an altitude of 2,950m, Tupiza is a small town with little in the way of charm and beauty, the main attraction is the stunning surrounding countryside. With cactus, huge red rock formations, mountains and canyons, you get the feeling you’re in the American Wild West and expect to see cowboys and pistol duels at dawn. The day of horse riding was (to my surprise) great fun, having zero experience I found it quite difficult to keep in rhythm with the horse as we trotted and cantered through the countryside. Nicola on the other hand made it look really easy and seemed somewhat regal with her poise and command of the horse, I was very impressed. Aching after the horse riding, the following day we sadly left Bolivia after three colossal fun packed weeks, what an amazing place.

Next up is Puerto Iguazu, Argentina, to see the mammoth Iguazu Falls.

Hasta Luego

Darryl and Nicola
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