I just discovered that my keyboards power plug is broken that is why I havent been able to charge it. A quick pull apart I managed to hook up another battery I have. Not quite the power it needs but its working.
I stayed in Tupiza for 3 nights at Tupiza Los Salares Hostel. It was a really new hostel that was very clean and had friendly people. I really just relaxed for those days and took a few walks through the towns markets. It was a nice place with a few walks into the mountains close by. I was a little too lazy to go.
I did choose to take a four day tour with the same hostel who also has a tour company with the same name (map above, we did the blue route- Tupiza to Uyuni). The tour I chose was a 4 day 3 night tour which would take us high up into the mountains to see many lakes with different colours due to minerals etc filled with flamingoes..We would also see some semi active volcanoes and gizers. And to finish off we would see the salt flats of Uyuni, the biggest in the world and the old train cemetary.
We were pick up by our guide, Victor if I recall and his partner who would be our cook. He had a nice Toyota Landcruiser. All together there were 5 tourists on the trip, we set off at 9am in the morning and made our way into the mountains. It was a relaxing ride. We didnt see much on the first day. Just a lot of driving up and down.. I was starting to feel the altitude. A funny tinggling in my torso. Very strange.. i had been up over 4000 meters before and didnt feel this. As the time went by all was ok. I had slight headache and loss of breath when i walked up a steep hill.
We stopped for lunch on a huge grass plains filled with llamas.The food we ate was amazing. It was beans and rice with the best flavour ever. After lunch we set off again for some more driving until around 5pm where we stopped at a hostel for the night. Again i do not recall the town. It was a beautiful little town. I took the opertunity to get out and try again with some stary photos.. it was pretty exciting because i got a couple of good shots. I didnt last long outside because at 4200m it was cold…
The next day we were up at 5:30am ready to head off.. there were lots of places to see..many lakes of different colours and volcanoes. Its beautiful in the mountains. Really feel free and at home. The days were super clear and quite warm. Its quite tiring just sitting in the landcruiser getting out at many spots for photos. I cant imagine how Victor was feeling.. loading and unloading the gear every morning and night then driving all day.. but 4 days work a week is pretty good. One tour every week.
Night two we stopped in another town and stayed in Hostel Marcelo. It again was nice. There are no showers but thats no problem.. I wasnt hot and we really werent doing much. The food was tipical Bolivian food.. rice, vegies and many different kinds of potato that were simply amazing.. there was always enough food and it was so tasty.
The second last day we went to see some ruines which where abandoned because it was too cold to live. Then we went to visit see some giezers which were pretty impresive. Heaps of hot steam just pouring out from holes in the ground.. you could really smell the sulpher in the air. Pheeww…. yep I got lazy and didnt clean my lens…. and too lazy to take out the dust spots in photoshop.
Next we went to visit a hot pool that was really hot.. it wasnt super cold outside so i couldnt stay in there very long.. but the view was amazing and we had a friendly flamingo that was coming close to say hello.. really amazing creatures eating microscopic organisms living in the water..
That was it we made our way to the last hotel.. the salt hotel.. where everything is made from salt. The bricks, the tables, the beds, everything. It was simply amazing.. On the last day we woke at 5am to be ready to go nice and early to get out onto the salt flats to whatch the sun rise.. its amazing to see so much white. Really looks like snow only its super hard and has beautiful hexagonal shapes wherever you look. It was really chilly in the morning so it was great to welcome the sun. We drove out into the lake where could see nothing but white all around to take a few fun picture..
After this we stopped of in one last town for another bueatiful lunch of quinoa, it was fresh from the mountains. I was suprised to see so much growning in the desert mountains. We finished off in Uyuni and made a visit to the train cemetarty filled with old trains. It was great.
We were dropped off in the city centre to go our seperate ways. I was heading to Sucre and needed to wait 9 hours for the bus.. it was a little boring but i made it. Finally on the bus at 10pm i tried to sleep as much as i could to be woken at about 3am in the morning with the driver saying toilet stop.. since there are no toilets on the bus i jumped off to see everyone going on the side of the road, woman too.. so i did what i had to do. Im happy it was just number 1. We arrived in sucre at 5am… i waited around until 8am then took a taxi to the Bolivian Spanish School where i would start Spanish lessons.
I took a Spanish test to see where i was at. I was so tired so it was difficult. I waited until 10am when i was to be picked up by my host family. I decided to stay with a local family to practice Spanish little more. Its very comfortable here. I have my own room and get breakfast and lunch. Lunch is the biggest meal and usually with all of the family, its so different to home. Everyone goes home from work and school for lunch and siesta lol… I started studying 30 hours a week for the first week then the second week i started volunteer work at an orphange with 12 boys from 8 to 15 years old.. I really enjoy the afternoons, helping with homework and then just playing games..
Im so tired by the end of the day its great to come home cook then relax in my own room. Couldnt imagine a long time spent sharing a room in the hostel. I havent done a lot in the city. I have visited the cemetary, the mask museum, and even went to the opera which was pretty cool. Im not much of a fan of cities but its really nice here. Its quite relaxing, it feels a lot like the Gold Coast back home without the beaches of course. There are a lot of old buildings which are really nice. I enjoy visiting the market to buy all my fruit and veg.. its huge, you can get everything you want there.. books, food, toiletries, everything. I have only been to visit a couple of the restaurants which were nice but a little expensive because they are for tourists owned by foreiners.
I would have to say its my favorite city so far because its so close to the mountains and it has everything you need.
I did take a 4 hour motorbike tour Maragua, it was a great ride on dirt through the mountains with some amazing views. We didnt stop a lot for photos.. Now i have been in Sucre for 3 weeks with i think one more week to go. I am enjoying the lessons and even more the orphanage. Its great to understand people a little more when they speak.. i still have a lot more practice for speaking myself.. the mind has so much trouble trying to structure a scentense.
I think i will head to Santa Cruz next and hopefully stay on a farm close by.
Again i am sorry for the lack of information with places visited etc.. Im so lazy with my writting.
Well until next time