After waking very early on the 10th we caught a train to Tupiza. It was a stopover before we hit the border. There was not much to do so we sampled the local beer and laid by the pool at the hotel. Tupiza is interesting in that it is almost impossible to eat there. The group split and it still took hours to eat at any local establishment.
Nothing else was notable except a very pretty square where street vendors sold books. My roommate was very excited to find “The Motorcycle Diaries” in Spanish. Apparently she had been told by people in shops in Ecuador and Peru that there was no Spanish version. Um, even though it was written by Che Guevara. Who spoke Spanish….
I purchased a copy of the Bolivian Constitution which I was surprised to learn is extremely long. Also some book with a picture of President Obama about how the U.S. is ruining Latin America’s life. (For a different perspective?) Okay, I bought it because the cover was hilarious.
That evening we learned about the shooting in Tuscon, even though it happened on Saturday. I had to field more questions about why Americans are always going on shooting sprees.I clarified that it wasn’t a spree, gaw! I still haven’t heard if the Congresswoman is okay or what the exact motive was.
The 11th was literally a wasted day. We woke at 2am, boarded a bus and headed for the border. Although we arrived early we waited for about 4 hours to get across the border and into Argentina. It was sad to leave Bolivia, but it was nice to see the Argentine border patrol giving the Brits a hard time instead of the Americans. They’re still a little touchy about the Falkland Island thing.
Once we got over the border there seemed to be an immediate change. We headed to Salta and arrived late. Already it is harder to get anything vegetarian. They put beef in everything! I also understand the purpose of the days in Salta now. We are here to relax after the 5 days of non-stop travel , camping and sleep deprivation. Unfortunately it has been poorly executed. The ten of us are sharing one bathroom and shower.
Also, Tropic of Capricorn! Yeah!
I have already noticed a big difference between the two countries. In Bolivia no one was ever in a rush. People walked slowly, delivered food slowly… everything was slow! (Not that its a bad way to live, its a little awesome unless you’re hungry.) In Salta everything was lively at 9pm. People are moving more quickly, a characteristic that I had decided in Bolivia must be uniquely Western. The town is also more modern instead of colonial. The people are dressed in Western clothing and the stores sell Nike and other brand name items instead of the handmade things in Bolivia.
Also, I have sustained my first mosquito bite! Southern Bolivia was supposed to be the most dangerous area but it was so hot and dry that I did not use the repellent or the Malaria pills. But my family is convinced I will contract Dengue Fever and I am armed with an arsenal of military grade mosquito repellent. Guess I’ll start using it now.
Today we slept in and tried to shop. Siesta is from 1-5pm here, so it was a little silly that we even attempted to go out. It took until noon just to get us all showered! Tomorrow there is a horse tour but I feel that I have had that experience too many times in my life already. There is also a BBQ planned but the vegetarians will only get salad. So tomorrow we plan to hit the market for our own dinner.
Otherwise we are preparing for launch into Mendoza. It is a 19 hour bus ride and its on my birthday! I have been assured that a celebration is planned, however. Anyway, Salta is pretty but boring. I think there is a museum we may check out. At least this hostel has good wifi and everyone’s phones are working again. Except mine since I didn’t bring one!