I called an audible.
Tupiza Travel Blog› entry 7 of 20 › view all entries
I watched the rest of the Super Bowl last night in Salta, and headed to bed. I got about 3 hours of sleep before the old alarms were ringing for my 5:30am bus to the Bolivian border. Everything went smoothly, as I had purchased tickets ahead of time. I can say that this was the first bus that the temperature was actually comfortable.... What A Concept!!
The bus got to La Quiaca, Argentina on the border a little early at about 1pm. So, with the gained hour crossing into Bolivia, that would give me 3-1/2 hours to get across the border and to my 3:30pm train. No problem, eh? Well, not so. The line to exit Agentina customs was the worst line yet. One person stamping things at the busiest border crossing between the two countries. This was compounded by the first instances of line-skipping I'd seen in South America.
I had to improvise a bit with the train. The same line also goes to Oruro, which is beginning it's Carnival season. So all trains were sold out past the second stop. I had already been toying with the idea of organizing my treak in the salt flats of Uyuni out of a different town then Uyuni, and that cinched it. I bought a ticket to Tupiza instead, and hopefully will leave in the morning. I found probably the nicest room in town for 50 Bolivianos ($6.50-ish), but also found that tours here are more expensive then the ones out of Uyuni. So now my question is, should I burn the extra $50 to leave from here, or head to Uyuni via bus tomorrow? $50 is alot of money down here, so I'm not sure.
BTW, Tupiza is a sketchy little town in southwestern Bolivia of about 22,000 people. It sits among some cool red rock formations on a high plateau of about 9,500 feet. Legend has it that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid met their end at the hands of the Bolivian army near Tupiza, concluding their notorious string of bank robbery raids. No ill effects from the altitude yet, so I've got 'em crossed for the much higher upcoming tours.
You'll either hear from me tomorrow, or I will be out of touch for 4 days. Just a few pics from the trip up here today.