Tupiza is like something out of a western. It is a small town set in arid mountainous landscape. It is rumoured that Butch Cassidy was finally captured and killed here after fleeing the US.
I have a lot of blogging to catch up on as we are now back from the 4 day tour we took from Tupiza so instead of boring you all with minute by minute account of our days I will summarise high, low and funny points as best possible.
In Tupiza we stayed in Hostel Mitru which was much nicer than the Potosi Hostel but didn't have the luxury of heating and night time temperatures were to drop below freezing! Esben and I adopted a method the second day of heating the room and adding moisture to the dry mountain air by leaving the shower on hot for a while and leaving the door to our room open to steam it up!
After arriving we shopped around a little and then booked ourselves onto the 4 day 3 night tour of the national park and salt flats leaving on Monday, allowing a couple of days to enjoy and explore Tupiza.
To start the weekend we had a three hour horse ride through the amazing western landscape. As neither of us are very horse trained we found this a bit dull (we only walked) and our bums were in agony by the end! Next up was a hike to the top of a small mountain just outside the city where there was amazing views and a cross at the top. We seem to be doing a lot of pilgrimages to crosses in South America!
On Sunday we hiked along the railway line exploring the landscape and taking in the scenery. We adopted a dog on the way for the walk and named him toto, dogs in Bolivia seem to gate crash our walks and it's been quite nice to have mans best friend by our side. The weather since we started in the mountains is always sunny and warm in the day and cold at night so we had great weather for walking. We were meant to reach a great big canyon 12km out of the town but after 2 hours walking one way we decided to turn back as we didn't have any lunch with us and Esben feared for his life if we continued without food ;-)!
Every night in Tupiza we ate at 'Milan Centre' directly across the road from our hotel. It served less than average pastas and flavourless pizzas but that seemed to be the theme throughout the town. Every restaurant in Tupiza is an Italian and I can safely say that I don't think any of the owners have been to Italy or eaten Italian food. I believe these establishments have spring up for backpackers and tourists. We tried another of the Italians for lunch one day and had a similar experience. The service is also incredibly slow. In Milan centre there were two young lads running it and there was no way they were going to say hello when we walked in. We sat ourselves down near the tiny heater and were thrown some menus. Once the order was taken we would wait about an hour for them to cook the dishes and serve them at different times. I am not sure what they were doing to my spaghetti and tomato sauce for it to take so long! It can't have been that bad though as we went back :-)!!! Pedro I imagine you would have gone insane!
All in all the town of Tupiza was a bit dull, a proper cowboy town, but the landscape surrounding it was amazing and the hostel was comfortable.
I will blog soon about our amazing experience on the tour!