Uyuni to Potosi by bus

Trip Start Jan 08, 2014
1
14
18
Trip End Jan 25, 2014


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Where I stayed
Hostal Toko's

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, January 20, 2014


Breakfast at 8 am.  At breakfast we met a couple who were driving north through South America back home to Montreal.  They sold their house in the country that they built themselves, the man sold his business, and they said they were ready for a life change.  They bought a 4x4 that they outfitted with safes for their valuables, special lockers and a pop-up tent to sleep in.  When they were camping in the Uyuni area two inches of snow felt on their roof.  They had a few rough moments driving through the mountains.  After a pleasant chat, we said Bon Voyage to the couple and off we went to walk to the bus "station." 

We dropped off my post cards at the post office.  When we got to the bus station office, they sent us across the street to another office where we waited - why we weren't sure.  There were a couple of other gringos in the office waiting along with us.  Once we got on the bus, we found that it was pretty full - not exactly what Astrid had been told.  After we were seated but before we started, the young Frenchman across from me yelled at the man sitting with Astrid (we both had window seats one behind the other) that someone had just made off with his daypack and he should chase him down.  With that, the thief left the bag.  Astrid reiterated that Bolivia is bad in terms of theft and we should never leave any bags unattended.  She had warned me several times before, but this definitely served to emphasize the need for vigilance.

The road from Uyuni to Potosi was very well paved and not at all scary as I had anticipated.  But the scenery was beautiful nonetheless.  There were hills of cactus, deep ravines, rocks formations, a few villages, some llamas and vicunas, some mining.  Hmmm, generally very worth watching but I found myself very tired and nodding off.  I had to try to force myself to stay awake.  I should also admit that I had been looking forward to the death-defying mountain roads with no guard rails and cliffs plunging a thousand meters below with hairpin switchback turns.  Alas, few hairpin turns and no bottomless cliffs.

On arriving in Potosi, we were ready to get off at the Potosi Central Station but then Astrid asked and we stayed on for the new station on the outskirts of town where we could book our bus trip to La Paz in two days time.  We got a taxi into the center to our hostel which may be in an old colonial building but is not at the address in the guide book that is supposed to be the old colonial building.

Once in our room and sort of settled, we headed out for some food.  As typically has happened to us, food is not always to be had at 3 or 4 pm in the afternoon.  The better restaurants don't open until later so we ended up at a tex-mex restaurant which was OK but not special.  I ordered too much and couldn't finish my french fries.  After that we walked along a pedestrian street and looked into a few shops at some of the knit goods.  Once we came back to our street, we walked down to the cathedral and then Astrid spotted a cafe so we went and had some real coffee.  It was a very nice place.  By then it was already dark and we decided to give up on the idea of coming out for dinner - postpone it until tomorrow - and then we came back to our room.

I finally got my shower after I gave up with the cold water and started washing my clothes and the sink faucet started giving hot water so then I went back to the shower and washed my hair.  Meanwhile Astrid has put the TV on and is watching Friends in English.  It is pretty funny.  I think it is almost time for bed now.


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