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Nick and Laina's Adventures

Beep! Beep! Uyuni and Horsebackriding!

BOLIVIA | Wednesday, 25 February 2009 | Views [1848] | Comments [4]

Horses!

Horses!

Our first stop in Bolivia, outside the Salar is a little town called Uyuni. We finished off our 3 day trip across the desert and wound up in at a small residencia (like a hostel) in a single room, with a private bathroom right by the main strip in town. We didn´t realize that the town of Uyuni also had really strict water regulations, where water only ran for 3 hours each day, in the morning. After using the bathroom once or twice, it was abundantly obvious that there was no water, and then we found out that there would not be any water until the next day! This ended up being a really tough situation, as the bathroom was attached to our room, and constantly reminded us that it needed water(i wont say how).

Laina was still feeling really down from the altitude sickness, so cory and I went to the main market to pick up some dinner. The main market in Uyuni is one long strip and is absolutley packed with people as you turn down the stree, on there are two lanes to walk down, and each side of both lanes is crammed with metal poles that are holding up tarps to seperate each vendor. As I walk down the lane, looking into the vendors stalls, I see many backpacks, purses and wallets with brightly color idigenous style design, the next stall is all pirated DVD movies, there are literally thousands of movies mostly in spanish, but many are in english, all of them in plastic sleeves with a small piece of printed paper with the movie title on it. We then run into the Hamburguesa stands, and there are about a dozen of them all next to each other, selling the exact same thing. We bought a total of 6 Hamburguesas, 3 for cory, 2 for me and 1 for laina(she still feels sick). A Hamburguesa in Bolivia consists of a roll of bread, a paper thin wafer of meat, deep fried, salt, tomatoes, salt, onions, salt, lettuce, salt, french fries(in the bun too!), salt, mayonaise, salt and salt. Im not even kidding about the salt, she sprinkeled salt in between every item on the burger! Anyways, they are delicious, even if not that nutritious.

Getting into Bolivia(politically) is tough! If you are from the US, it will cost you 135$US just to enter! we had to go to the immigrations office, withdraw money, get photocopies, etc.. not fun.

We left Uyuni the next morning on a bus taking us to the "wild west" town of Tupiza. They bus ride was abosolutley beautiful! There are major exposed valleys and cliffs, and lots of red rock. As we decended into tupiza, the surroundings just got more and more beautiful! There were huge, water carved rocks and green trees and deep red rocks. We are entering Tupiza for the week before Carnaval, but the streets already have people with drums, trumpets, and everyone is dancing, they are all practicing for the fun event coming up at the end of the week. We found an awesome little Residencia, where we got our own double room with 4 beds for 18Bolivianos(Bs) per person. the exchange rate is 7Bs to 1US, so it was about 2.55$ per night. We set up our room and headed to a restaurant, The Alamo, and got soem Bolivian cuisine (fried chicken, rice and salad) and watched "Remember the Divas" or somthing on TV, that was form the US, so it was nice to see some familiar faces, and music.

During our time in Tupiza, we found two great hikes out of town. The first hike is called El Cañyon. We hiked on a road in town, all the way out of town until the road turned into a path, and then we turned into a river bed and followed it all the way up to a giant canyon of red rocks. The hike was beautiful, and only interupted by running into a large bolivian family washing all their clothes in the small trickle of a stream. The plants here are also beautiful, they have large thorns, and many of them are cactuses. The other hike was called Valle de Machos. It is an aptly named hike, due to the very large phalli of water eroded rock that are the major sight on the trail. These hikes are surrounded by other rock formations that are beautiful. for example as you hike into valle de machos, there are two seemingly large rock humps. as you get closer, you realize they are almost 2 dimensional. from the side, these huge hills, about 100 feet tall, are only 4 feet thick! we called them stegasurous plates.

In Tupiza we realized that Bolivians have a real habit for beeping their horns whenever possible, when they pass you on foot, when they see you from 100 feet away, after they pass you, when they come to an intersection, and even if i am sitting on the sidewalk as they pass, they beep. I guess it is just a different culture, but they beep soo much, and it is just so aggravating!

Our last day in Tupiza we vouched to do a horsebackriding tour of the area. Normally, we couldnt afford a hourseback riding tour, however, in Bolivia, we scored out on 7 hours of horseback, lunch, water, and a whole bunch of experience and beautiful scenery. We started out our trip in town, and my horse "Ginger" was already trying to walk away from the group. Laina and Cory got the two brown horses and the guide (a 17 year old) had a small dark horse. Our first stop was rather uninteresting, but we got some much needed food, and then headed back onto the trail and into some real beautiful terrain. We got to ride through rivers on the horses, which was cool, and then we stopped at a beautiful bend in the river with some dramatic rock cliffs. We then headed back into town, and got to ride the horses faster. At one point I was trotting along and my horse suddenly slowed down, once lainas horse caught up(about 1-2 seconds) her horse bit my knee, hard. It really hurt alot. Horses sure can bite hard when they want to. I rubbed my knee for about 20 minutes so that I wouldnt get a bruise! Once back in town, we said bye to the horses, and headed to the hostel. By this time Tupiza is starting to get crazy, Carnaval starts tommorow!

We are headed to the Official Capital of Bolivia, Sucre tommorow, so we should have alot of fun durign Carnaval!

Comments

1

HI YOU TWO....SO GOOD TO BE ABLE TO SEE YOU ON HORSES. EVERYTIME I RIDE A HORSE IT DECIDED TO GET RID OF ME...NOT FUN.
SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE FINDING BARGAINS FO SLEEPING. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE IN GOOD SPIRITS.
WE ARE IN KOOSKIA RIGHT NOW. RICHARD AND ROBBIE ARE FISHING ON THE CLEARWATER FOR STEELHEAD. RICH CAUGHT A NICE ONE YESTERDAY. ALL IS WELL HERE.
LOVE, AUNT PAT XX

  AUNT PAT Feb 26, 2009 10:18 AM

2

sounds like you guys are having a blast. Things are good on our end as well. Got into Cuzco today and getting set to go down into the Amazon around Manu NP. Should be some horrendous travel, but I think it will be well worth it. I´ll talk at you later.

  erik andersen Feb 27, 2009 3:05 AM

3

Hi

Beautiful picture! I was wondering why it is so hard to get into Bolivia. Its been raining a lot here and I think we are almost at 90% of normal. I wonder if you could get your travel journal published. Maybe in a travel section of a news paper.

Love, Aunt Mary

  aunt mary Feb 27, 2009 9:10 AM

4

HI
It's Saturday morning and I just read your entry. How is Laina feeling ? I am a little worried about the altitude sickness...
The party for your Mom was absolutely fantastic, she was so surprised, everyone danced and had a great time.
The scenery beside you looks gorgeous. We are awaiting your pp numbers to get the train tickets to MP. We wanted to go Vista one way and backpacker the other way but the times won't work.There are a limited number of trains and times. We will get tix for you and Laina.
Love, Holly

  holly Mar 1, 2009 2:24 AM

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