Well it has been a looong time since updated this (mainly due to wine steak and ice cream haha) so its bound to be a long one! haha.
Managed to leave La Paz eventually! And made our way to Sucre on our first Bolivian overnight bus!! Wasnt as bad as horror stories we had heard although was painfully cold!!! Got into Sucre in the early morning to find out the entire city had no electricty!! So no hot shower or ATM for us haha instead we walked upto Cafe Mirador and consolded ourself with milkshakes and food in the sunshine!! haha Even got a bit sunburnt!! Made our way back down what felt like a mountian and discovered electricty was back on!! Woohoo so spent rest of day being lazy and watching tv haha as the next day we were off to Potosi!
Bus to Potosi was most def a local bus haha but was only for a few hours so wasnt to bad!! Bus station at Potosi was def one of nicest have seen!! Never done much on first day there as saved mine tour until the Sunday with Rob and Dave who we meet in La Paz! So the saturday when they arrived was spent getting organised and watching the world cup!! Also on Saturday night in preparation for mines watched The Devils Mine which focused on the child miners was def not pleasant viewing and left us all apprehensive for the next day!!! Up bright and early on Sunday morning to start tour so made our way into the bus then to the miners market where the boys and Paula bought dynamite to "play" with!!! Then it was off down the mine! The thought of the mines was scary enough let lone when we actually got in them!! The small confined space was horrible to walk through let alone for the poor men and children that have to work there!! As it was a sunday very few of the miners were working, which I was def glad about, although we did find some that were there! Was most def glad to get out of the mines and back into the fresh air again!!! Left the boys in Potosi as they headed to Sucre and we got on overnight bus to Tupiza!
Arrived in Tupiza around 4am and made the scary walk to the hotel we had booked!! Have never been so glad to get inside a hostel in my life!!! And to get into bed and the warm!!! Although room wasnt that hot! Next morning had bit of a disaster as discovered Tupiza had no ATM or internet haha and we had no cash!! So had to use cash advance from bank so we could get on tours we had booked so all was not lost!! Next day we went horse riding!! NEVER AGAIN!! haha. Tupiza is the setting for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid so is very Wild West looking so best way to see it is on horse!! So we doned our cowboy hats (literally haha) and hopped in the saddle and off we went, successfully for 5minutes before Panchitto, my horse decided it wasnt playing anymore and galloped off! In the end the guide took over the reigns and led my evil horse beside this and I clung on for dear life!! haha. The scenery was amazing though and all in all I did have a good time!!
Wedensday we were off to the Salt Flats of Bolivia!!! It was a 4 day jeep trip through the area until we reached the salt flats on Saturday! The journey was amazing but very very cold reached minus 20 degrees on the second night! And to make matters worse company forgot to pack me and Carmel´s sleeping bags!!!Grrrr so we had to beg steal and borrow any spare blankets haha. The jeep took us through salt lakes and lagoons as well as seeing flamingos and geysers at a height of 5000 meters above sea level and also staying in a hostel made entirely from SALT!! The salt flats were by far the highlightof the full journey!! The sheer scale of them is hard to imagine!! And allowed for many funny pictures haha due to the white canvas so we literally had hours of fun there!!! Was back to Tupiza after the salt flats on a very bumpy 6 hour journey, but on our return we got an ensuite room due to them forgeting our sleeping bags and a hot shower that was very much needed after wearing and sleeping in the same 5 layers of clothing for the 4 days!! haha.
Sunday me and Carmel said goodbye to Bolivia and headed to Argentina!!! The bus was only 4 hours but the Argentine border is THEE worst border that I have ever had to cross!!! Didnt help we forgot to get our Bolivian exit stamp either haha. Took 3 hours to get a stamp in passport, nightmare!! Couldnt even use the excuse of the World Cup Final being on as we managed to catch the end of that in the bus station after crossing the border!! The bus to Salta was really comfortable and warm (a thing Bolivian buses lacked haha) so we got to Salta around 1am where we met up with Rob and Dave again!
Monday in Salta was grey and feeezing cold so didnt do very much haha just drank coffee and played some cards and games as well as listening to Dave play his guitar! Tuesday was much brighter so we saw all the sights and got our bus booked for Cafayete! Also had a really good steak dinner but unfortualtely the chips (turn the oven to full Rob haha) just wouldnt cook so instead of steak and chips we just had steak and wine! haha. Then it was time to say goodbye to Salta!
The bus journey to Cafayete wasnt the best in the world yeah it was comfortable but the roads were so twisty we all came off feeling a bit sick and in desperate need of fresh air and food! Cafayate was such a nice quaint little town with a beautiful main square and surrounded by mountains! Also loads of the restaurants and cafes all had wood buring fires too which were def needed as it was again freezing!!! Wednesday the four of us headed to the wineries!! Firstly on foot as we were told they were within walking distance so after sampling the local wine and getting some lunch obviously washed down by a bottle it was time to get on tandem bikes (how we never died I do not know haha) and ventured to the further away wineries where yet more wine and cheese and crackers were consumed!! Once safely off the tandems and back in the square it was time for our favourite meal, steak, salad and mashed potoates washed down by yet more wine! haha. That night very much under the influence of the copious amounts of wine we laughed, ate some more, drank some more and played games!! Needless to say the next morning we were in no fit state for anything haha but as was me and Rob´s turn for breakfast, out of the kindness of our own hearts it was all served in bed with some pinched organeg juice from the hostel breakfast we well and truely slept through! haha. Original plan was to leave Cafayate and get bus to Cordoba but weather had other ideas as road to Cordoba from Cafayate was closed due to SNOW!!! So back to bed it was for us haha. On Saturday we decided to head back to Salta for a night out hahaha, well after purchasing steak and alcohol at the supermarket on our return we decided it was too cold haha so spent night laughing and drinking in dorm as we played more games!!
Sunday was again another non productive day shockingly haha, which doesnt really matter in South America as nothing is ever open on a Sunday other than the supermarket so it was back there for more steak and some ice cream on way back!!
Monday was the day we were all suppose to be parting ways with me and Carmel of to Mendoza and Rob and Dave off to Iguazu but in true style changed plans again haha and enjoyed Salta for one more day before booking bus to definetly leave on Tuesday! This time we did stick to it and gladly we changed days of leaving as Tom and Lisa arrived that morning so me, Carmel and Tom all got bus to Mendoza on Tuesday afternoon biding the boys and Lisa goodbye!!
Bus to Mendoza was about 19hours so not too bad and was really comfortbale as all buses in Argentina have been! Its so nice to be sitting on a bus not being jumped about all over the seat and knowing the bag and water you have at your feet wont be flung into another aisel or seat after every bump! So we arrved in Mendoza around 10am this morning and are planning a winery tour tomorrow!!!