A little over 1,300 miles in 3 days

Our journey from Mendoza to Bolivia started in absolute luxury with the bus equivalent of a business class seat in a plane. Well, for 18 hours on a bus, you’ve got to try and make it some what enjoyable and after winning a free bottle of wine from a game of bingo and eating a 2 course hot dinner with wine and champers we were ready to bed down on our fully reclining bed/chairs. Ahhhh bliss!

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After being woken up for brekkie we had a few more hours until we arrived in Salta where we were to stay for 1 night before heading for the Bolivian border. In Salta we had enough time to look round a cute little market and buy some basic rations for dinner before an early night as we had to be up at 5am to get our 7am bus. This bus was a few steps down in luxury, only a semi-cama, so it only had a foot stall and reclined some of the way. The journey was OK apart from a few road protests which held us up for an hour or two by pulling cars into the middle of the road and burning tyres. We have no idea what they were protesting about, we can only assume they weren’t environmentalist protestors.

We arrived at the Argentinian border town of La Quicha and wandered aimlessly for a while trying to actually find the border. No signs, no arrows and no one willing to give directions. Only a scary looking cowboy who just stared at us when we asked him a question. We moved quickly away, and luckily it was in the right direction and we quickly got through the border and were officially in Villazon, Bolivia. Next was a 2 hour minivan ride through nothingness to Tupiza.

Now Tupiza was only a stop off for us to buy some warm clothes before moving on. Once our hostel found out we were not buying a tour off them to the Salt Flats they instantly lost interest in us. In their eyes we no longer existed. Asking for anything was like pulling teeth. This was also the place where we got the worst breakfast ever in our 7 months so far. Dry cream crackers, margarine and jam and the worst cup of coffee known to man. Least to say we were not satisfied or filled and were quickly beginning to dislike Tupiza, thats what a hungry belly can do to you! So we quickly moved on and caught a 9 hour night bus to Sucre.

Now this bus was on a whole other level to our previous. Comfy enough but absolutely freezing! We had on every jumper, fleece and coat we owned, gloves, scarf, hat and blankets and this was just enough. Freezing cold air blew in from the gaps in the thin sliding windows and a badly dubbed Charlottes Web video was put on so loudly it scared a baby to tears! So in went the ear plugs to try and get a few hours shut eye. Needless to say we didn’t sleep too much and arrived in Sucre in the darkness at 5am.

We arrived to our hostel and were warmly welcomed and quickly dived into bed. At last, the constant moving around can stop for now. Let the Spanish lessons begin!

—CSmith—

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