Ride 'em cowboy (and girl!)

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
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137
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Trip End Dec 18, 2011


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Where I stayed
Hostal Bolivar

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, October 17, 2011

Tupiza is a town in a setting similar to the American Wild West, although still at almost 3000m. It was the setting for the demise of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and is surrounded by amazing scenery very different to that we experienced further west on the salt flat tour.  We left at 6am to get to Tupiza which after our 5.30am departure the day before meant that we were extremely tired, not being the best morning people.  Other than being attacked by a pack of dogs at one of the towns we stopped in it was a normal 8 hour bus journey!  

After sorting out a room, and putting our laundry in (all the exciting stuff) we booked a tour for the next day.  We went for the triathlon – jeep, walking and horses.  We really wanted to try out the horses but didn't think we could face a full day…we still remember the pain of the camels in India.  In the evening we went out for dinner with a French girl that we had met on the bus.  As much as we like the company, she was one of those single travellers who leeches themselves on to people, to then be bossy and take over the conversation.  She was nice enough though and we were tired so just let her talk!

The next day we had a decent starting time of 9am and were even able to get in breakfast beforehand.  First we went north and visited La Poronga, which in the local slang means 'penis’.  I guess it’s a pretty apt name being a massive phallic shaped rock.  The scenery was stunning – jagged red rocks and mountains that went on for miles.  After this we headed south and walked to La Torre (the tower), which to be honest was a more honest representation of La Poronga than the rock with that name!  We drove to a beautiful setting for some lunch (Toroyoj) and then started out horse riding. Kevin has never been horse riding before and I fell off a pony called Dinky when I was younger so we were both a bit nervous (I even requested a riding helmet instead of the sombrero they usually provide).  There was no need to worry.  The horses were on auto-pilot and walked very slowly.  All we had to do was sit there, look at the scenery and hold the reigns so it looked like we were doing something!  On our 3 hour ride we visited Puerta del Diablo,Valle de los Machos and Canon del Inca.  At the Canon we took a short break and went scrambling into the canyon.  We couldn't get very far though as we got to a rock fall that had blocked the path. 

When we arrived back in town we went to the bus station to book our tickets to the Bolivia/Argentina border the next day.  We were informed that there were no buses, taxis or combos going anywhere because there was a national election.  It turns out that as voting is compulsory in Bolivia to ensure people actually go they are not allowed to work.  They also can’t drink alcohol the night before so we couldn’t have any beer with dinner that night! Very irritating as with only 6 weeks left (!) we are on a pretty tight schedule.  I would like to say we used our spare day wisely, but we didn’t. We did nothing at all, only making it out for food at 1pm! 
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