Sucre & Potosi

As we were in Sta. Cruz we decided we wanted to get to Uyuni, so we woke up still a bit hangover and went to the bus terminal. We figured since we were heading south we would stop by Sucre and Potosí to check them out before hitting the Uyuni salt flats.

The Sucre-Sta. Cruz road is one of the craziest roads in Bolivia, which means it is c-r-a-z-y. It starts at the bus terminal by bargaining and getting the price to drop by half as much as they were originally offering to you. To kill time before our bus we joined these students from Paraguay that were playing music and doing magic tricks on the street cause they needed change to take a shower. The kids loved and so did we.

The ride was 13 hours long. The road was mostly unpaved, with no lightning, barely wide enough for the bus and at times right on the the edge of high cliffs. The driver drove fast and stopped the bus once out of nowhere to buy mangoes from people on the roadside, which I thought was bizarre. I stayed awake throughout the whole night, because I was partly scared and partly fascinated.

Sucre is a small but pretty charming town, which reminded me a lot of Ouro Preto with its colonial buildings and charming alleys. We foolishly booked our bus to Potosi way too early so we didn’t have much time to do some of the things they have on the mountains around Sucre like hikes or atv tours so instead we took a city bus to the mirador at the top of town, pretty nice view especially if you have a good camera with you.

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Back at the bus terminal we had a surprise when we ran into Ugnius again, the Lithuanian guy we met in Sta. Cruz. He was going straight to Uyuni to start the salt flat tour the following day, and although me and Rodrigo were planning to spend a day in Potosi before doing that, we agreed to skip Potosi and try and catch the last bus from to Uyuni that night and join Ugnius for the tour the next day. It turned out all buses were sold out so we went back to the original plan.

So here we are in Potosi at 4090 m above sea level. This place is like a mountain climber’s heaven, but such activities require time and usually a good amount of money. We had plenty of the first but none of the last so we decided to stick to walking around town with a friend from Cape Verde we met before leaving to Uyuni. It’s now been three days in Bolivia and we didn’t manage to do a single interesting thing. At least I got me a nice coat because word was Uyuni was pretty cold at night and I had not brought a single piece of warm clothing with me.

The ride from Potosi to Uyuni is beautiful, especially during the sunset, but it’s boring cause the roads are actually pretty good. We met with three other people there that were also going to explore the Uyuni salt flats starting tomorrow morning so we were now six, the perfect fit for a rental 4×4: Me, Rodrigo, Aleida (Cape Verde), Elena (Germany), Chris (New Zealand) and Sarah (Switzerland). Can’t wait!

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