Day of Waiting and Todo Turismo

Trip Start Sep 26, 2009
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Trip End Jan 06, 2010


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Where I stayed
Todo Turismo Bus!

Flag of Bolivia  , Potosí,
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day of Waiting
After a few days acclimatising in la paz and enjoying hotel sagarnaga, it was time to move on. We checked out and left our bags at teh hotel for the day (the guy told us to leave them until whenever we wanted, as this was our home - so friendly!)
Normally a day waiting for onward travel is a bit lazy and boring but we had a great day - we decided to explore a new part of la paz - the main square that we drove through the night we arrived and the taxi driver told us all about the government buildings - we wandered up the hill, through the traffic...choking on their fumes as they spit out tons of black smoke when they go uphill, and arrived out of breathe at the square... having to sit on the steps to regain some energy...! Just as we sat down, a ton of paparrazi arrived, minutes late apparently, after a man got nto a car outside the govt building and drove off... after this, we decided it was a good place to people watch for a bit... we moved from side to side of the square, watching the ski mask clad shoe shine boys, the bowler hat women carrying their loads in the pretty shawls, the street vendors, the locals going to work or school, and bolivian tourists getting extremely excited about feeding the pigeons, throwing seeds all over themselves, and the gringos...

There are always a lot of police or guards around la paz but particularly around these buildings, and then when the paparazzi came running around the corner again, the riot police filed across the square carring their shields, guns and tear gas and lined the street we had come up...so we decided not to go back the same way! - nothing exciting happened...not sure who they were expecting...

We did a bit more wandering, visited the art gallery and then the mixture of altitude, lack of food, and my horrible cold got the better of me, so I took some ibuprofen and went to find somewhere for lunch, we ended up back in the antique place "donde ayer es hoy y impossible es possible"(where yesterday is today and the impossible is possible" - I ordered the almuerzo... the 4 course lunch (menu du jour) and al ordered 2 saltenos (kind of pasties...), we shared both and were completely stuffed on ess than a fiver! After lunch it started to hail... massive hail stones, so we chilled out in the internet cafes and other cafes drinking more mate de coca to fix our heads...! - a productive fun day of waiting!

Todo Turismo
We collected our bags and having decided to pay double for the comfort of the overnight tourist bus to Uyuni, found the office and checked in...! It looked nice, we had allocated seats (near the loo at the back...) and we set off... well, the only way I can describe the next ten hours is to imagine you are on a rollercoaster in the dark, expected to sleep nd drifting into and out of consiousness, at times I let out an uncontrollable "yelp" as I left my seat going over one of many bumps... about 70% of bolivian roads are unpaved and 7 out of the 10 hours of our journey was on the unpaved roads! The noise was unbearable...as the bags were being thrown around, and teh seats were becoming unhinged,... I dont expect the local bus could have been any less comfortable, so I think we{ll do that on the way back... watch this space!

As the sun rose, we could start to see why we seemed to be driving so fast over bumpy roads, we were driving across a desert... over rocks and ittle rivers and occasionally windy around mountains! we arrived in teh weirdest ittle town at 7am, full of touts offering their "best deal" and gringos deciding on which of the 60 companies to go for...

We bought ourselves some time from the touts and went for breakfast and eventually, out of laziness, we went with Fatima, the gold toothed tout who had been following us around all morning... salar de uyuni... 3 dias - 2 noches...! We bought our supplies and off we went...into www.loopylamb.com
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Comments

alisonphillips
alisonphillips on

Hi Gringos
Hiya
Great to read where you are and what you're up to... also very envious! What if the local bus is worse though?? Happy onward journey - hope your cold clears up soon Nic. Big hugs to you both. Alison xxx

nickiandal
nickiandal on

Re: Hi Gringos
Hiya! Thanks for your message! we took a locally type bus last night for 6 hours and it was okay... but have opted for medium bus for 11 hour journey back to la paz (reclining seats and no chickens!)... mine tour tomorrow, im scared! hope you are all well, ask ur dad if he can read blogs, otherwise i will email him...! thanks, love lots, xxx

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