We´re in a Brand New World Now!

Trip Start Nov 20, 2009
1
13
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Trip End Feb 27, 2010


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Flag of Argentina  , Northern Argentina,
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We left Corrientes and spent a day in Jujuy, Argentina, before heading north to enter Bolivia.

The 4 hour drive from Jujuy was through very diverse country. We passed into the Andes again, past beautiful coloured hills, triped hills, lush green valleys, and we followed a riverbed in a large valley for a lot of the way. This ended as we climbed and ended up in miles and miles of dirt with scrub bushes.

There were few houses and they were either bunched together, or all along in the middle of nowhwere.

These houses were stones and brick, some wooden shacks, and we started to see many adobe brick houses with mud-thatched  or tin roofs. The tin on the roofs was held in place by multiple cinderblocks.

The herds of cattle were replaced by herds, and scattered vicunas, a small relative of the llama. They were just grazing on the scarce scrub grass.

We drove for a long time through very flat land, with the Andes in the distance.

When we got to La Quiaca, the border town with Bolivia, we found our way to the 'border crossing´'.

We joined the line, along with about 150 other travellers, and stood in the sun for 2 and a half hours, waiting to get our passports stamped to leave Argentina. Then we joined another line for another half hour, and got our passport stamped to enter Bolivia!

While waiting in line, it was obvious that we were definitely entering a different country! The physical appearance of the people was different, since there are different tribes of South Americans in this area.

The dress, especially of the women, is hard to dsecribe so that you can picture it, but we´ll try. This computer is so slow, pictures are not possible just yet.

They all have long black braided hair down to their hips, wear a straw or what looks like felt, high top hats, and small check (gingham) aprons with many pockets. Most are wearing cable knit heavy socks, up over their knees, or what look like heavy beige stockings. They all are wearing sweaters and or shawls, in spite of the temperature being about 25' C.

Bolivians are famous for the beautiful woven blankets and they use these to carry large packs on their backs, and this includes young and not so young children.

The men are wearing pants and short, but more often, long cotton shirts. Many wear hats, some with leather wide brims.

Nobody, not even the children, is wearing shorts.

We´re at 3440 feet altitude now, and the trip from the border to the bus station was a slow, uphill walk. There was so much to see, as well. There seemed to be lots of people chewing cocoa leaves, a new site for us.

Now for the bus station!

It was abut 5 pm, so it was a very busy 'station'. The platform was crammed with tourists with large backpacks everywhere, vendors selling 'food' and travellers often with large bundles at their feet. It was almost impossible to get through to find a ticket booth.

Robert stayed and guarded our packs and Dawn, with limited Spanish, went to find us an onward ticket.

Dawn found a vendor, at the back of the terminal, in a very dark area, and she was working by candlelight! I could hardly see where I was going, it was so dark!

We got our tickets and were looking forward to heading to Tupiza, Bolivia.







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