A Bump & Grind journey to Tupiza

Trip Start Jun 11, 2008
Trip End May 14, 2009

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, March 23, 2009

It was an early start this morning as we were up at 6am to get a taxi to the bus terminal.

When we arrived, we found that the original company we had booked with - Trans Chicheņo - had sold us off to Flota Villa Imperial. We still had seats 1 & 2, but instead of being a nice double decker bus, we had a single decker converted tank!
We were not impressed with Trans Chicheņo, but as the price was the same, there was nothing we could do, so we just got on with it. (Apparently, Trans Chicheņo hadn't sold enough seats, so that's why we were transferred).

As it happens, we were probably on the better bus for the roads we encountered! 95% of the 6.5 hour journey was on unmade roads and dirt tracks which I think the posh double decker would have struggled with. Also, we had to pass through 40kms of construction site.
It's funny that when Bolivian's decide to do roadwork, the first thing they do is plough a track right through the middle so that the traffic can continue to flow, then they build the road around it.....In the UK, the first thing they would do is install speed cameras, then align their pretty little traffic cones, then finally leave the whole site abandoned for 6 months until work commences! Funny that!

We actually arrived in Tupiza at 13.45....this was 15 minutes ahead of schedule!! This we could not believe and assumed they had just dumped us off at the nearest town as close to 2pm as possible! However, it was Tupiza, so we walked around to our hostel - La Torre. This is a nice hostel and we got another good deal by booking with them directly (hostelbookers are really good to use, but it's always worth trying direct as well - don't use Hostelworld, they charge a booking fee whereas hostelbookers don't). La Torre is also a third of the price of the heavily advertised Hotel Mitru (which is across the road).

Lorna's OJ experience was still allowing her plenty of time to examine the interior of the bathroom all day, but we did manage to nip out for a short walk. Tupiza is a small town/village and it is very brown - no, Lorna wasn't leaving a trail behind her, it is just a very rustic and brown town....sickos!
The place is surrounded by mountains, canyons & cacti and is very cowboy'ish. Allegedly, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid were finally killed not far from here.....allegedly!

After walking through the main square and subsequent side streets, we also took a look in the local market to grab a few bits for a late lunch.
We then tried the internet to check any emails.....the internet is so slow here. I'm sure at one stage it just started going backwards!! I was wondering that if I tried to transfer money out my account, would it actually go IN!! We ended up abandoning the internet trials after it took 8 minutes just to upload the hotmail home page!!

As it was now getting dark, we headed back to the hostel. Lorna didn't want to go out for any food tonight as she was still not feeling right, so I was allowed out on my own!!!
Don't worry, I was very well behaved and didn't go round annoying random locals on the streets. I went to a place called Ristorante Italia and treated myself to pepper steak and chips - it was good. What was more satisfying was not having a random fork keep attacking my plate and stealing my chips!!

I only had a few beers before going back to check on my wife. All was well and she was watching a bit of TV....well actually, she was watching all the TV, it would be a little stupid just watching a bit of it really!
I wonder which bit you would watch....maybe the top left, or maybe just the subtitles....either way, pretty stupid!

Anyway, that's it for today. Tomorrow we hope to go for a walk up to the mirador and then on Wednesday maybe horse riding!
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