A Travellerspoint blog

Tupiza, Day 2

I`m getting bad at this...

semi-overcast 21 °C

Hey lovely people, I know I have a lot to catch up on, but for now all I really have time for is to say that tomorrow I`m going on a 4 day Jeep tour so I probably won`t be on the internet until Wednesday or so.

Just so I don`t forget, this is what I have to fill in still:

- cooperative mine tour in Potosí
- travelling to Tupiza
- horseriding (and actual galloping!) in Tupiza

All is well and good. I`m still travelling with the British couple and we`ll part ways in Uyuni where the tour ends. Until then amigos!

Posted by The Cat 15:27 Comments (0)

Potosí, Day 1

Welcome to the world`s highest city

semi-overcast 15 °C

At 4090m, Potosí is indeed the world`s highest city, so upon arriving (especially from the lowlands), it`s a good idea to take it easy for a few days. I didn`t have problems with altitude in Perú or when I was in La Paz, but I`ve been in the jungle region for a while so I`m taking that advice to heart.

I arrived last night on the same bus Andy and Tamson were taking. We happened to be heading to the same hostel as well, so we shared a taxi, not knowing how far away it was, and settled in with a grumble about the price. The guide books tell you it`s about $2 cheaper than it really is. It`s a nice place though, breakfast included, and since I`m only here for a couple nights I can`t be bothered to change.

The three of us took a tour of the Casa Real de Moneda (The Mint Museum) this morning. It`s a spectacular building, known as one of Bolivia`s `finest museums`, and is worth the mandatory tour. This afternoon I`m just wandering around, comparing prices for the tour of the mines, which I plan to do tomorrow morning.

The city is quite beautiful, very cold, and is full of young students. I wouldn`t mind staying a bit longer, but time is pressing me now so tomorrow night I think I`ll head to Tupiza along with Andy and Tamson. I wasn`t planning to go there originally, but a friend who was just there wrote all about it to me and now I HAVE to go: it`s the area where the real Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid spent their last days and died in a shootout!! So I will experience real crook cowboy territory, where two of the most famous crooks ended up.

Yeeeehaw!

Posted by The Cat 09:27 Comments (2)

Sucre, Day 3

Dinosaurs!

semi-overcast 17 °C

Yesterday I was sitting in the hostel having breakfast at their little cafe and who do I run into but Tamson and Andy from the Inca trail! ... It was great to see them and not have to have a getting-to-know-you conversation with a complete stranger. We parted ways after breakfast with plans to meet up later.

My morning was full of walking around, exploring, seeing things. I went into a couple small art galleries, looked at a few buildings of interest: one of the big theatres and the Supreme Court of Justice, though both just from the outside as the former was closed and the latter was high security and required at least nice clothing.

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia mostly because the Court convenes here; La Paz, the de facto capital, has more power.

Next to the court is Simom Bolivar park, a very pretty spot at which to relax. It´s full of tall tall trees, lanterns which I always love, replicas of the Eiffel tower and Arch de Triumph, and some recreational things for the kids. The only thing that bothers me about these lovely parks and plazas is that you´re never allowed to walk on the grass.

After lunch yesterday I met up with the British couple to go see Cal Orcko where the dinosaur footprints are located. We hopped on one passenger truck after paying the 10bs for transport, but it wouldn´t start and we were ushered into a taxi instead, with a full refund. The site is only 5km out of the centre, so it didn´t take long to get there and the taxi waited for us to return.

´Parque Cretácico´, what appears to be a new or renovated addition to the site, was good but a little pricey for what you get: 30bs and you can´t even get close to the footprints. It´s sort of geared toward children, too, though it´s got lot of good information on the period and the dinosaurs themselves. Leading up to the tracks are numerous life-sized models of various dinosaurs, all scary either because of their sharp teeth or mere size.

The path leads up to an observatory with binoculars (2bs for 2 minutes), overlooking a grand cement wall with all kinds of tracks leading up to the sky. It was far away enough that it was hard to judge their size, but they were impressive nonetheless. I suppose the ground they walked on was flat at the time, but over the years, with the shifting of tectonic plates and the formation of the Andes mountain range, that particular layer went from horizontal to nearly vertical.

I´ve had an off-and-on fascination with dinosaurs; I wish I could have a closer look. People used to be able to go closer with hard hats and a truck, but a rock fell on someone from above and they banned it from then on. A bit surprising for Bolivia. I think you should be able to sign a waiver and go anyway.

We got back to town just before 5pm so I wandered over to the National Library and Archives building, curious to see what it looked like. It´s a beautiful, massive building, all white with shining black accents. The archives aren´t for public perusal so what I saw was very limited.

...

Today I´ve accomplished little. I got a package ready to send to Canada, but made the mistake of assuming the post office would have basic post office things like boxes and brown paper for packages. It was another one of those frustrating experiences because I didn´t know the exact procedure. At least the Spanish wasn´t the problem this time. Anyway I went back after lunch for the THIRD time and finally got it sent, no problems. (It´s going to Sarah in Hamilton, by the way, so no one else keeps their eye out.)

Once I´m done on the internet here I head to the bus station to catch a ride to Potosí. I´ll write again from there. Bye for now!

Posted by The Cat 10:24 Comments (0)

Sucre, Day 1

Another colonial city, but with dinosaur tracks!

semi-overcast 15 °C

I finally made it Sucre! The first bit of the way here was quite nice, excepting the fact that I managed to pick, for the third time in a row, a broken bus seat that doesn`t sit up straight (not good for my back). Anyway the views were great:

¨6.29pm - Sat. 25 Nov. 2006

¨Everything is beautiful after 6pm when there is still light but the sun is low on the horizon. The road to Sucre from Santa Cruz is dazzling right now; it snakes up into the mountains parallel with a river, water low because of little rain, lush trees above and below, and the clouds are glowing gold and white.¨

As for the rest of the ride...not so comfortable, but I made it here in one piece and am glad to rest for a couple nights:

¨12.59pm - Sun. 26 Nov. 2006

¨The bus ride was horribly uncomfortable last night and I barely slept, my back sore the whole time. We arrived before 7am this morning and I was relieved to make it to a hostel where I could sleep for a few hours.

¨I was up again at 10.30am, cleaned myself up, and am about to explore the city a bit. I need to find a tourist info office cuz I don`t have a map of the city. Tomorrow I`m going to gosee Cal Orcko, a cement quarry which is apparently the biggest dinosaur footprint site in the world. It has over 5000 footprints from 332 species, ¨measuring up to 80cm in diameter¨ according to the Lonely Planet guide.

¨From what I`ve read, Sucre`s other attractions are mainly museums and its old colonial architecture, most of which don`t really interest me right now. It`ll be nice just to look around, gather a few things, and move on. I`m going to make an effort to leave a few things behind as well as I`d like to lighten my load. I have yet to learn the art of travelling light! I seem to use most of what I have, but I`ve met other travellers who manage with 2/3 or less of what I have.

...

¨7.37pm

¨I just got back from the cinema! Nothing is opened on Sunday so when I happened to pass by while wandering the streets I walked right in. The film playing was The Chronicles of Riddick, a bad Vin Diesel action film that I thoroughly enjoyed because it`s been 2.5 months since I`ve been to the cinema. It was in English with Spanish subtitles.¨

Posted by The Cat 16:44 Comments (0)

Santa Cruz in transit, Part 2

My local news

sunny 33 °C

This article is very interesting by the way:Bolivia goes back to the whip
It seems that President Evo Morales is keeping with his promises, however controversial.

Posted by The Cat 07:52 Comments (1)

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