What an entrance to Tupiza!
22.10.2013 30 °C
It has been an interesting transition for the sophistication of Buenos Aires, Cordoba to the gradual changes as I proceed North. Then oof... this is so different. The last couple of stops have had some spectacular scenary, reminding of the dry centre of Australia combined with the mountains and canyons of Nepal, with lots of colour on the bare mounyain sides. The people have become shorter, more indigeous looking and definately no skimmy jeans.
I was quite nervous crossing into Bolivia. I have read that some call that entry point the Bad Lands. I could not get over the fact that you see pictures of the older women with their elongated bowler hats pearched atop their hears, but here they all were, with their large frilleded skirts accentuating their hips, knitted leggings and a pinny over the top to protect their finery, (photos to follow!).
I got to a mini bus station, the picture of organised kaos, as opposed to the efficient Argentinian system. Got my ticket and then had to wait until the sprookers found enough bodies to fill the bus. There was plenty to keep me entertained as the fatest woman with her likewise son made a true performance of boarding the bus and bossing everyone around with seating arrangements and where her goods should go. It was pretty squeezy with a lot of gear, including my pack on top. It was pretty stark landscape, you wonder how people eak out a living. Very basic adobe houses, with a stone coral for the alpacas, out in the blazing sun, and nothing else around. I could also see packs of roaming dogs, looks scary.
Wouldn't you know that there was some sort of transport strike to impede my arrival in Tupiza. Long story short... bridges were bockaded and we had to walk distances and then find other transport to the next bridge and then repeat. Of course I did not know what was causing all this. I got a little graphic at the first disembarkment when it refilled with others heading back to the border with my pack still on top! After I did a song and dance and got my pack back I just tried to keep up with the original bus travellers. I thought we had made it when I saw a sign that said Tupiza was 6 kms, but then we had to get out of a vehicle that had been commendered. I then followed the others to transverse a ricketty swinging bridge and walk several kms to town only to find that the taxis are on strike as well and had created blockades on the streets. Anyway I am here. Not sure what the transport strike was all about but that may become clear.