Sights of Bolivia. The dry bits

Trip Start Nov 03, 2012
1
9
60
Trip End Dec 31, 2012


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Flag of Bolivia  , Potosí,
Friday, November 9, 2012

Because we had come to the Bolivian highlands via San Pedro, our bodies have not come accustomed to the rarified air making activity, talking and at time s even thinking, difficult.
Breakfast was simple, half a slice of toast, some juice and a cup of coco leaf tea.

Jose' and McGyver picked us up and took us to see some cave paintings on the side of cliffs that predate Spanish times ( though being on cliffs I suppose I can't call them cave paintings.)
Jose' is of the view they show aliens.
I have discovered that the best way to respond when Jose' tells you about aliens, UFO, ghost sighting, religion etc is to listen intently and nod but don't offer a strong opinion one way or the other.

From the paintings we went to an area where the rock formations were carved by wind for thousands of years till it was possible to interpret shapes from them. Given dehydration and altitude sickness was common. This was easy to achieve.

We passed by a village to get some hot water for tea, of a population of 1000 or so, twice as much as the village we stayed at last night. Large enough to have both a primary and highschool and a soccer team.

Lunch was had in the desert (not surprisingly). Grilled chicken wrapped in ham with an assortment of sides. Always too much food. Never a big enough appetite.
We arrived at San Juan our accommodation for the night but not until we visited the city of the dead. Outside the town was the ancient graveyard, pre columbian, pre Aztec, where the natives of the are were entombed sitting up in a fetal position surrounded by items from their life and symbols of status. All above ground, in the dry landscape which ultimately mummified them.
Fascinating and horrifying at the same time.
The woman who ran/officiated the site seemed to earn her living by it, and with an entrance fee of just 10 Bolivian Bolivianos 'BOB' ($1.35ish AUD) it was a hard way to make a living when most tours arrive here in the afternoon and head straight to their accommodation.

San Juan has existed for a very long time. Spanish is the second tongue spoken here, the native tongue has survived many conquests. Our accommodation was at the most exclusive hostel in the town. So exclusive, that of the 11 rooms available, we were the only people staying there. Jose' and McGyver had to seek alternative accommodation in the town as their budget would not stretch this far (they had stayed with us at the Mallku Cueva Hotel).

While Tina had a short lie down Jose' and I went to the corner store to locate some sun cream (20 BOB), failed to locate some pandadol or panadine for Tina's headache and returned to our customary lie down before dinner.

Hostel La Magia de San Juan went all out for our dinner. A CD of pan flute music playing top 20 songs of 1992, candles everywhere, which was helpful as 5 mins into the meal there was a town wide power outage.
The food was fabulous, but, unfortunately unappreciated due to a general feeling of unwell.
Though we did make it through the desert of fruit salad.

Early to bed, probably leading to slow to rise.
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