One year honeymoon around the world...17th April 2007 to 9th March 2008! Yes we're home!!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Bolivia



Did you know Bolivia is same size as France & Spain combined!! And as we've seen in only 2 days most of it is pretty unhabitable.

Today we took a bus from Uyuni to Potosi: the highest city in the world at 4100m (13,000ft) and is full of Silver mines. Ben and the guys are going on a mine tour tomorrow but I've opted for the hot springs.

Buses here in Bolivia are nothing like the ones we took in Brazil/ Argentina/ Chile. As the Lonely Planet puts it: buses in Bolivia come in various...states of disrepair!Gone are the comfy coche-cama/giant people legroom seats, we're now in mini-people land.

Even better - Ben bought yesterday's Bolivian newspaper from a man who came on bus selling them, partly to get some change and also cos he likes practising his spanish... and what article should we come across before the bus has even departed but the below. Eunice/Jemma/Jo - tell me if i've translated this right but my understanding was that on Monday a British citizen had their rucksack stolen from INSIDE the bus, and even better, on their way to POTOSI!!! which is where we were heading to!

Los turistas extranjeros sufren el robo de mochilas, billeteras y cámaras fotográficas en buses del transporte interdepartamental y en el paseo de El Prado, según la Policía Nacional.
El lunes, un ciudadano británico sufrió el robo de su mochila dentro del bus en el que viajaba de Potosí a la sede de gobierno, mientras que otra turista de nacionalidad argentina fue objeto del hurto de dinero en efectivo en la ruta Desaguadero-La Paz.

http://www.laprensa.com.bo/noticias/06-06-07/06_06_07_segu8.php

Anyways - we were okay - we were 9 people this morning - all from Salt Flats tour and with 5 men amongst us I reckoned we'd be alright and we were. And our big packs made it too - wasn't worried about them getting pinched, more that they would make it at all as they were strapped to the roof of the bus along with dead llama and all the locals bags. But to explain why a bag might go missing ON the bus: there are no such things are safety regulations/capacity issues from what i've seen so far. If someone wants to get on the bus, they do. Nor do people book enough seats for their family - one woman had 5 children and had just 2 seats so her kids were sitting in the aisle. Amongst others, an old man sitting on a crate and a man and woman sitting on blankets eating their lunch. And none of the locals give up their seats for the women/elders - one lady got on for 1 hour carrying her baby on her back and another young child stood next to her. I felt a bit bad but have to tell myself this is normal; also no way we could manage the 6.5hr journey at altitude on a rickety bus on rickety roads.


For more facts on Bolivia check out..
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/destinations/south-america/bolivia?

1 comment:

Eunice said...

Very nice translation Sam. Good thing you didn't lose any of your belonging on your way to Potosi. The tourists on the newspaper were leaving Potosi. Looking at your blog, looks like you made it out of there just fine : - )
Good to see your Spanish is getting good practice! You should be fluent by the time you get to Chicago. I'm going to test you both!

See you soon and stay safe!

~Eunice