Tarija, Bolivia 31st Jan - 3rd Feb

Trip Start Dec 13, 2012
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Trip End Apr 02, 2014


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Flag of Bolivia  , Tarija,
Friday, January 31, 2014

Introduction

We really wanted to visit Tarija even though its a bit off the main tourist route. It's Bolivias wine country and they don't export their wine to many countries, only USA and China. We thought it was a good opportunity to go and have a little taste. 

The town of Tarija seemed to be much more built up and beautiful than the last few places we had been, very nice squares and parks and very clean. It was nice to spend some time here. 


Highlights


The bus ride there was crazy. We left at about 9pm and were due to get there at about 7am. We got settled in for the night and had our sleeping pill to help us sleep through the night....then we got awoken at about 12pm by the bus stopping and everyone got asked to get off. It was pitch black and it was also raining. 

We realised it has stopped due to a land slide. Most of the journey was a road that has been carved in to a cliffside with no metal bearings to keep the cliffside up. So when the rain comes, the landslides are a common thing to happen. The men on the bus all set to work digging up the mud and chucking it off the edge of the cliff...they were prepared with shovels...crazy!! The bus then pushed its way past the remaining mud & rock and we all jumped back on and continued our journey. 

We fell straight back to sleep thanks to the sleeping pills, & the next thing we knew, we woke up at about 6.30am and it was bright... but we were not moving. We were at another landslide...this one was MASSIVE. There was no way this could be cleared so the drivers had just decided to park up and wait until the morning to re-assess the situation. 

The whole bus started to wake up and there were other cars qued up behind us too. After about an hour or so of sitting around the drivers gave up and were starting to turn the bus around when we saw other people on the other side of the landslide. It turns out there was a bus on the other side of the landslide from the same company we were with. 

So... ALL we had to do was get our bags out of the bus, climb over the rubble on the cliff side, and swap busses with the other passengers...then turn around on the narrow road and we were off again. Completely dangerous, and completely crazy....but hey this is Bolivia, anything goes here!!

We finally made it to our hotel that afternoon. What an adventure....lucky we made it! Its really not a good idea to travel anywhere in rainy season, its so dangerous and this is not the first time we have been stuck from a landslide now. NO more rainy seasons!

Wine Tour
 
Through our bus adventure we made some friends from Berlin and we did the wine tour with them. It was a full day tour. The first winery we visited was the most famous wine from Bolivia, Kohlberg. It was very nice wine and in a beautiful setting. 

There are only 36 wineries in this area, 6 are industrial and only 1 exports. The whole area of Tupiza wines covers the same area as ONE vineyards in the famous Argentinian area of Mendoza. Wow...

We had a big day of drinks - although after the first winery the standard seemed to go downhill quite a bit...thankfully booze was involved so we didnt care too much. We started looking around strange places like sangria factories and sugary girly drinks processes. We did see a sparkling wine section and see how they put the sparkle in the wine all manually which was quite interesting - although it didn't really taste that nice.

We had a lovely lunch included in one of the vineyards in a beautiful setting, very tasty. They had a BBQ area with about 5 pigs roasting on it. The wine tasting at this winery was a bit strange though, everyone stood in a line, the man filled up a glass with wine and we passed the same cup along to the end of the line, each taking a sip - strange - although we did get to taste a lot more different wines this way.

In the afternoon of the tour we went to see some scenic points, a river, a dam and some other bits, but by then we had too many drinks to take in what they were telling us in Spanish ;-) We just drank our take away drinks and enjoyed the scenery!


Food & Drink


International McDonalds Meal: No McDonalds, but we did have a Max Ronalds ;-)

Local Beer: Pacena


Accommodation

$18 a night for a room with private bathroom and WIFI - No brekkie included
 

Expenses

                
Meals: $2- $3

                Water: $1 for a litre

                Alcohol:  $2 for a bottle of wine, $1 for a beer


Average Daily Spend per person: $27

Transport there for both of us: $27

Total Spend for both of us inc. Transport: $190

 
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