Friday, April 17, 2009

Tupiza Bolivia!

Well we made it, It was a little bumpy but we are in Bolivia now and loving it. Iguazu falls was amazing. We got a firly early start but were distracted my the hostels delicious breakfast. Definatly the best breakfast we have had yet at any hostel, or realy anywhere for that matter. The maid must have been there bright and early making a fresh batch of medialunas (delicious mini really dense croissants). I must have ate 10, or mabie a few more.

The falls are absolutly huge. Unfortunatly it was easter weekend so it was a zoo out there. Had to wait in a little line just to get a good view, but when you did it was just amazing. The water at the top of the falls must be half a mile wide so it spreads out realy far. The main falls, named Devils Throat catches about half the water and tosses it off the U shaped cliff. The mist just soaks you instantly when the wind is right. So after snapping a few pictures, we headed to check out where the other quarter mile wide river goes. Turns out it splits into about 20 other falls that can be seen from really well made viewing areas. I found these falls more beautiful than the Devils Throat. There was water running down the cliffs everwhere and so much green green grass clinging to the walls under the water it turned the water to a foam. I could try to explain the falls for pages but its really inexplicable place. Hope that some of our 350 pictures (that we slimmed down to about 150) will do it some justice.

We were a little stupid again and didnt but bus tickets out of Iguazu for the day we wanted. Luckly this time we only had to wait one day and it turned out great. We headed back up to the falls tp try out the swimming area. It was a little sad since the little area they had roped off for swimming in the huge river (below the falls) was like swimming in the back of a pickup truck. We figured that we could sneak out a little but that just wasnt happening. There was a poor kid on shore trying to keep people with the roped area. His wistle blew costantly. Sage and I even moved the ropes outwards when he wasnt looking, but before long he was waist deep in water moving the anchor points back twards shore. Shitty deal, but we delt with it and had a great day.

The bus ride to Salta was a little tedious. There were no Cama (big comfly seated) buses, so we had to opt for the more cramped up ride. Definatly the worst bus ride yet. The fact that it was 23 hours probly didnt help. We got to Salta in the late morning and headed for the campsite, wich we had read in our guide book had a huge swimming pool! When we got there we were absolutly blown away by the size of the pool it was probly between 5 and 7 ACRES! Unfortunatly I dont think it has had water in it for a few years. Very very lame. We grabed a campsite and got some stretched out sleep.

Salta was a nice city about the size of Kelowna. We did a little cruising arround on foot and found a realy cool metal art exibit. A bunch of metal hens and roosters made out of scrap. Lots of forks and knives and even a motorcycle head and a few valves here and there. There was also a Gondola that went up the mountain in the middle of town. I have never gone on any type of ski lift that went this high up. It was a little scary actualy. The view from the top was quite worth the little scare, and we hung arround up there for a while and got some pictures as the sun went down. Then headed to the bus station to get our tickets to Bolivia the next day.

It was a nice bus ride to the bolivian border. We had front row seats in the top of a double decker bus so the view was nice, we even got to see the sunrise! It was 7 hours to the boarder and it went by in a flash. The landscape was very green at first but as we climbed through the grass covered mountains we broke out into a desert with alot of wild rock formations and cactus everywhere! I happened to catch a glimpse of the summit sign that rear 3890 meters. I could definatly notice that I was a little short of breath. Especialy when we had to walk the last mile into town since they were sealing the last bit of the road with tar. I was a little upset till I saw all the elderly carrying as much weight as I, but tied on their backs in woven blankets. We got right through the boarder without a second look and we were in.

Bolivia has been quite a bit of a shock since its quite a bit poorer than any other country we have been to so far. The roads are rough and the buses are shit. But most of the people are very nice and willing to lend a hand. The clothing here is very cool, the women all wear these really elaberate dresses and sweaters with tiny little leather shoes. I have been trying to convince Sage to pick up a full suite but so far she hasent gone for it. Mabie by the time we leave. We arrove to Villazon then caught a bus to Tupiza where we are now. Sage and I are both feeling a little wierd due to what we believe is malaria pills and probly the altitude. Tupiza is at about 3500 meters and you can definatly feel it. We are staying in a nice hostel wich offers the 4 day jeep tours that visit all the attractions in southwestern Bolivia and ends up in Uyuni. Where we will grab a bus to La Paz and base probly the next 2 weeks there. Venturing out on a a couple 2 or 3 day trips to some national parks.

We are really excited about the jeep trip and have heard exelent reviews about the company we are using. Hopefully all will go well. Its just under 3 weeks till Jordan and Riley arrive and we are getting more and more excited to see them. Going to be great to see some familiar faces. I imagine things are warming up in Canada now and I hope you are all out enjoying the hopefully nice weather.


  1. hey there orin...sounds great so far...keep up the good work...take care and enjoy the jeep to you soon...lyl and striking allowed...took me awhile to figure this out but alas...can you post anymore pictures?

  2. Hello Orin,

    Well you will be glad to know your little truck made it all the way to Saskachewan and back with no problems. We are definitely getting our moneys worth!! It was a great vehicle to travel in, the back was stuffed with bikes and boxes and coolers and such. Dwayne actually let me drive it, once! The drivers over there are crazy, we have it on cruise control at 110 or so and people, (little old ladies included) are whipping by at it seems like it must have been 140. I mean I know the roads are straight and flat but really.... no wonder there was so much road kill, even though you could see for miles, they were going to fast they had to time to stop. So, thanks for the vehicle use.

    Really hope you both start feeling better - like you say it is probably just a combo of the malaria pills and altitude. Do be aware though, and if it gets too weird you might want to stop taking them.

    Hope you are having a great four day tour and look forward to hearing from you when you get back.