A Travellerspoint blog

Bolivia

Tupiza

Well tomorrow we ( Mary and Gerald arrive at 4am tomorrow by train) head off in a 4WD to the salt plains of Bolivia!! Rather excited, so hope all goes well.Yesterday I went an a day excursion, there were six of us in a mini bus, the other punters were French, it seems as though everyone travelling here is french!! English speaking is very much on the outer.... so it wull be great to converse with friends.
Yesterday I went on a day trip, split into bus, horse riding and downhill from great hights on mountain bikes. All od the formations and coulds are amazing, as you would see if I still wasn't a technical heathen. ( Thank you Adrian, I did get further with your directions, but not to fruition yet1). Anyway, there was a bit of drama with the horses. I was on the lead horse and we would get into a trot from time to time. After our stop at a canyon it was decided that we should all attempt a gallop on the way back. I felt some degree of responsibility to not be dragging the chain and was doing my best to hurry my stead along... he must of got a stone in the wrong part of his foot and went down like a sack of potatoes, I rolled off him, anxious to get my foot out of the sturrip before he arose. The horse and rider directly behide also went down with us!! ( The next seated rider did say that I did a very neat pirroette roll, maybe she was polite!) Anyway, as I did not fall from a hight I sustained no ill effects. After that we were content to walk the horses.
For the bike riding part we went up to incredible hights,,, and then it hailed as the bikes were being unloaded. There was also a lot of lightening around, so I chickened out. I am disappointed I did not do the ride, but I would have got wet and miserable, only two guys braved it.

Posted by Jen Tallarook 16:29 Comments (2)

Bolivia

What an entrance to Tupiza!

sunny 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.

Posted by Jen Tallarook 17:58 Archived in Bolivia Comments (1)

Salta

sunny 33 °C

Well, I am getting into some WOW factor now, but am too stupid to be able to put on some photos, so that makes me frustrated. Prompts are in Spanish so although most things can be anticipated there is one, (or more!) steps that alude me. Should have enlisted a lesson from Adrian before I left.
Salta is a very vibrant city and it is starting to feel less of the familiar. The afternoon siesta is aheared to, the central square has a great vibe with beauitiful buildings and people meeting, milling, eating etc. Good looking dogs just wander or sleep under the rised stands the police direct from. I was out last night at about 9.30 and the place was thronging. People go out to eat about that time due to the seista. Yesterday i took a day trip in a mini bus to athe small town of Cachi, I was the only gringo on board but the guide did an English commentary for me. It was a very full day, abou 380 km with lots of stops as we wound up the mountains, navigating hairpin bends and ascending to about 3500m. Spectacular. It is extreemly dry as all their rain is summer rain.
It was about 33 degrees in Salta yesterday, it is a bit strange because I find that the air is not hot, but the sun is blazing. In the shade is comfortable but to be out in the sunlight is almost too much.
The hostel I am staying at is just georous, admire the photo at a later date!

I am feeling rather cut off becaause Face book has locked me out because I log on from a different device to usual, and my security question aludesme. So if anyone knows the last name of my first grade teacher, please let me know! I know photos are more interesting than words but bare with me, it will happen.
I WILL CATCH A BUS ABOUT 5 HOURS NORTH OF HERE TO A SMALLTOWN i HAVE BEEN HEARING LOTS OF GOOD REPORTS FROM TRAVELLERS ABOUT.
Cheers Jen

Posted by Jen Tallarook 05:08 Archived in Argentina Comments (2)

Cordoba

sunny 24 °C

I really think that all the long haul buses in Argentina should pool their money and buy out Aereolieas... they know how to run human cargo. Seats that are way comfortable, movies, coffee and cold water on tap, leave on time.. etc. Maybe the buses could just attach wings.
THE BUILDINGS IN bUENOS aRIES WERE REALLY FANTASTIC, much more European than I would have imagined. I knew there was Spanish influence, but also a lot of Italian and smidges of French and other stuff. Even when they are not tricked up to their potential magnificance they inspire. Here in Cordoba the Jesuits were the main influence. Bloody churches every where, over 400 years old, and the original university. There are now 6 universities here. So I spent the day walking central area and then went on a general city tour, 5 of us with multilingual guide. I got so confused that there were churches i thought I had been in and then new ones that after a while I knew I had seen before.. so am over churches. The history can be very confusing when it is something completely new. All was good until the guide asked to meet me after for coffee.. although the Argentinian men are generally very attractive I did not feel comfortable, so when his head was turned I did a scarper!! Tough luck honey!!
I think my head is starting to clear after a general fog after arriving.. too late to retrieve a bag of underwear I left in a room. Was a funny experience today to buy knickers and bra without any common language... we did prevail. So I can understand^recognise lots of signs, words in shops, menus, but the spoken word reuses to pop out though I do secret little practises to build up courage. I guess it will come, and it will be easier when it does. I HAD SOME WONDERFUL COLOURFUL PHOTOS FROM b>a THAT GOT LOST but cannot bring myself to post church photos from today. One of the tour guide would have been more interesting for you voyeurs.
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I did a scientific survey yesterday and decided that one out of 500 females under the age of 60 wears wears a skirt or a dress! If you have not got skinny jeans or leggings you just are not part of the female gender. This arose when my attention was caught by a young thing is a bright skirt, I wondered why that was so, it was infact not a memorable skirt, no wow factor... then I realised that I just had not seen any.
Anyway all well. Hope this finds everone chipper. Jen

Posted by Jen Tallarook 16:15 Archived in Argentina Comments (2)

Buenos Aires

overcast 19 °C

WELL, i THINK i COULD ALMOST CALL THAT THE FLIGHT FROM HELL. i HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT WHINGING about flights was meaningless when you think that you are actually sitting in a chair a kilometre in the air, being transported thousands of kilometres... But... Aerolineas should have retired that plane at least last decade. The controls on my arm rest did not work, ie no individual light, no sound... lucky I did not have a heart attack as no one would have answered my obsolete call button. THE SOUND DID NOT MATTER TOO MUCH AS IT WAS BASICALLY BRING YOUR OWN ENTERTAINMENT. It was at least 3 hours before a movie was shown, which was of limited value to me anyway. This was just as well as when I looked at the screen some time later the scene on the screen was just rolling over, like bad T.Vs used to do. The food was next to inedible as well, and usually I cut the airlines a lot of slack. ANYWAY i WAS SITTING NEXT TO AN INTERESTING YOUNG LAD WHO WAS OFF TO AN ISLAND in Brazil to compete in world Junior surfing championships. The couple in front of me were also great and later shared a taxi with them into the city.
HAPPY HERE IN bUENOS aIRES. I would post some wonderful photos but fell foul of local scam yesterday and was relieved of camera and wallet!! POOP fell onto my had, presumably from an overhead pigeon. AS I was cleaning my hand a passerby said I HAD more on my back and gave me a tissue and some water from her bottle. Strangely enough she and her partner helped.... need I say more... did not realise until I got back to the room to shower off and wash clothes. The bloody fake shit was everywhere and hard to wash out...curses. The good news is that I had only a small amount of cash in the purse. I had spent all day taking photos of a fantastic parade of dancers and bands in very colourful costumes, it was spectacular. CURRENTLY SHOPPING FOR A NEW CAMERA.!
SPENT THE DAY WALKING. i HAVE ORGANISED A 9 HOUR BUS TRIP TO cORDOBA tomorrow. I like Buenos Aires and will see more of it on my way home. I WENT TO a tango performance last night, dinner and a lesson beforehand. I WAS THE PERSON WHO WAS TOLD TO START ON MY OTHER LEFT FOOT! Sorry about being incompetent with the caps lock key!! and too lazy to correct.
There was a humungus SUNDAY market on today, was on a cobbled street that was blocked of and went on for 4-5 blocks. ALSO HAD A TOUR OF THE bUENOS Aires theatre yesterday, bloody impressive. It would be great to see a performance there when I am back here. It had seven different levels, 3 or 4 levels full of private boxes, which you can book a seat in. IT seats 2500 people.

Posted by Jen Tallarook 14:38 Archived in Argentina Comments (2)

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