One big culture shock
After crossing the Argentinan/Bolivian border we were immediatley welcomed by the culture shock we were expecting from South America. We crossed into a small Bolivian village called Villazon, which looked like something out of the wild west, cactai, dust and swing doors. it was 7am when we crossed the border and the whole village was already out working on their stalls!
Bolivia really is a 3rd world experience, which was confirmed when we took out first trip to the toilet - we wont go into details, but lets just say we´d rather wet ourselves.
The way they dress here is just wicked, you´ll have to see the photos, because trying to explain would be too hard.
This little village is merely a bypass to the salt plains, which was our intentions; however the train had broken so we were forced to make an alternate route - which we paid for the worst experience of our lives!!
12 hours on a Bolivian bus!! the first thing we noticed was the fact our bus was a 4 wheel drive! didnt take us long to find out why, the bus driver seemed to think he would take us as the crow flies and create a new road, over desert and through lakes and over the bumpiest terrain possible! We both came off our seat numerous times and sleeping was impossible!
The bus windows were reinforced by cellotape and the dust that came in from the road made it impossible to see further than 5 yards! In the night we both had children sleeping under our feet with mothers resting on our feet like pillows! anyway enough of that!
Potosi, we´ve never been so happy to get off a bus - Potosi is the highest city in the world, and almost instantly we felt the affects of altitude sickness! so odd. anyway we got this very over populated minibus taxi thing to a nearby mountain, where we disembarked to climb to a hot lake we had heard about! it was amazing, bit dirty but it was about 35degrees (the water now) so we went swimming in it, so relaxing....and we got burnt!!! funny thing is within seconds it monsooned!
We got another bolivian bus to La Paz, the capital, little bit different to the desert villages we´d seen so far, but nonetheless an experience!
This city is huge and annoyingly on a hill, so it means exercise!! You will all be glad to know that we are no longer cycling the worlds most dangerous road, as it is rainy season so its too dangerous! bit annoyed but oh well!
We leave La Paz tomorrow morning on this time, a 1ST CLASS bus (only 30squids) to Lima where we will meet Mr and Mrs Vaughan, which we are both really excited about!
Hope you arent missing us too much xx