Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Welcome to Bolivia

So...our last post was when we were in Salta and talking about the easy travel it had been thus far....things have changed in less than a week...we were certainly up for a challenge and a challenge we got!

We hopped on an over night bus from Salta(Argentina) to the boarder into Bolivia where we would go through the boarder crossing and spend our next few weeks in Bolivia. The trip is only about 300kms but takes 8 hours....that may help you understand the story below.
We hop on a bus for another over night travel in what looks like an OK Bus..in which is was...it was the roads that we horrendous! We had been spoilt with getting our 5 or 6 hours sleep on most over night trips but this one was not the case. The roads were like being on a cattle grid for most of it so the 2 hours sleep we got were well enjoyed! When we got on the bus we saw 2 other white people speaking English so we quickly made conversation to help sooth our nerves for what we knew was ahead. They too were excited when we found out they were heading the same way as us. Bolivia travel is an experience in it´self.

To our surprise we did made it alive to the bus station at 6am but where shocked to have to wait in a cattle pen of a terminal till day light when we could walk over to the boarder crossing to Bolivia. Boarder crossings are a classic! no security and just a box on the side of the road where they look and you and stamp your passport. We were now in Villazon (boarder of Bolivia). We ripped through the boarder crossing by early morning and then had to wait till 4pm to get a train to Toupiza where our first tour began. We were highly recommended NOT to take buses in Bolivia where possible...what is meant to be a 10 hour bus ride can take you 20 hours....

We set up camp in the first cafe that opened in Villazon (about 8am) for the day where we had copious amounts of te, coffee, water..anything to allow us to hang there for the day. Lunch quickly approached and chickens were being hung on the rotisserie which meant salivating was the only thing going on from then. We were the first to call dibbs when ready....YUMMO!

The day went quickly with our new found friends from UK (now living in Sydney) talking rubbish, sipping tea and enjoying a chicken or two. 4pm we got on the train to Toupiza where our Tour started first thing the next morning. The train ride was picturesque...although we all passed out as soon as we hit the seats...missed our dinner call but woke up to a sandwich on our laps...haha

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