Tour Town

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
1
105
163
Trip End May 02, 2013


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, August 26, 2012

We paid substantially more for the supposedly deluxe Todo Turismo bus from La Paz to Uyuni, but it still left much to be desired. The seats didn't recline properly and the seatbelts, although present, were old and dirty like the bus itself.  Bolivian transportation didn't quite have the same standards as that of Peru, but then we did have the accident there so who could say which was better.

We left shortly after 9:00 pm bound for the main draw that had brought us to Bolivia, the Salar De Uyuni.  Short sections of the ten hour road were smooth but for almost the entire night it felt like we were on a plane with moderate turbulence shaking us in our seats.  They fed us a half decent small dinner and some snacks for breakfast.

We arrived in Uyuni just after 7:00 am and were left to grab our bags from the bottom of the bus ourselves.  In so doing, Jason tore a hole in his pack's rain cover on a piece of metal.  The duct tape we'd brought along came in handy again.

There was no-one around at our pre-booked hostel so we made ourselves at home in the lounge and boiled water for coca tea.  When the staff did show up we couldn't settle in because the room was still occupied.

We went out to find a tour of the surrounding natural wonders instead.  Unfortunately we didn't have much luck.  The recommended companies were either full or closed and the others closed at around noon.

We sauntered over to the market and plowed through a few papas rellenas, another version of pastry with potato and egg or meat inside.  As they all do, they tasted fantastic.  We also bought bananas and oranges.  The town seemed so cold, dusty and desolate, like its sole purpose was to support tours of the area, but at the same time it was quite large with many rundown buildings and garbage everywhere.

We returned to the hostel and received our room key.  The place seemed to be the most popular in town for a reason and English-speaking Oliver did everything he could to make us feel welcome.

We decided to cook dinner that night so we made another trip to the market.  On our way to pick up laundry we bumped into another Canadian couple looking for a similar tour as us.  Luckily several of the agencies had reopened after a long Sunday lunch break.  It was also the main day of a major local festival so there were bands playing in a parade through town.  With strength in numbers we approached the tour agencies again and finally found one that suited all of us.  We booked a four-day, three-night adventure for four.

That night we weren't motivated enough to join in the festivities so we made a huge pasta dinner and retired early.  With the band inching ever closer to our hostel and fireworks going off in the streets we needed earplugs to sleep again.
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