Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Tupiza Bolivia

Well I have finally left Argentina and now I am in Bolivia. I walked across the border at a small town called Villazon. Took a 2 hour 100 kilometer bus ride on dirt road the whole way to this town called Tupiza in south west Bolivia. Bus was pretty comfortable and cheap. Bolivia is one of the least developed countries here in South America. So it is very cheap to live or visit and the people are very friendly. It is the only country in South America (or North America for that matter) where the local indigenous (Inca) people are actually in the majority. They are very pretty people and not too tall. I like that!! They are dark colored people like the color of an old penny. I am in a very high altitude part of the planet in the Andes mountains. The border town last night was at 3500 meters or 10500feet I got a little woozy from the altitude but I have been chewing cocaine leaves and this is a help.
So my last week in Argentina was real nice. I stayed in Cordoba which is a very large modern city with lots of old colonial architecture still intact and lots of old museums and cathedrals. Cathedrals here are not as elaborate as in Europe but are still quite stunning. I liked Cordoba okay but it was not one of the highlights of my trip. It is a city of about 1.5 million people and it is just another big city but not really all that interesting to me.
After Cordoba I spent 5 days in Salta. Salta was great. I really liked it there. the mountain scenerey is gorgeous. It is not a very large city only about 25000 people but it is laid out well and has a lot of great museums and architecture is real sweet too. Great food there as well. They are famous for various foods including their humitos which are like a vegitarian tamale, the tamales de carne which usually contain lama meat, and the stew called locro, which contains many things. It is a yellow soupy concoction with beans and tripe and squid as well as pork meat&bones. I hope I am making it sound good because it is delicious!!
Also the town is famous for its folk music. I went out to a bar in a small museum/house/restaurant called casa de Guemes. Guemes was a famous general from the 1800s and he aparently lived here. They have some historical pictures and letters and antiques and stuff, but they also serve local specialty cuisine and play the famous local music. The night we went there were 5 of us, myself, a nice canadien couple and an Israeli guy and another American man. There were altogether 5 musicians playing a drum various wooden pipes and flutes and guitars. All of them sang and there was one woman who was very good. The music is sort of spanish influenced they finger pick and it has a flamenco feel/sound to it, but with the lovely sounds of the wood flutes it is very south american sounding too. The singing is kind of sad and it reminds me of the Portugues Faldo music too. We drank a lot of wine and had a very nice night of local music!!
So now here I am in Bolivia. I am in a nice town surrounded by beautiful mountains that are all way above the tree line but there are lots of giant cactus and other plants. The mountains are a beautiful burnt umber color and the air is very crisp and clear. It is sunny and hot in the daytime but at night it gets quite cool. I am in a great hotel, it is super cheap here. I have a nice private room with a balcony, a private bathroom, color cable tv, and a nice comfy queen size bed. Very nice swimming pool too, which I spent about 3 hours in and around today. With a buffet breakfast included it is 45Bolivianos which comes to about 5.50 US dollars. With a shared bathroom it is 3 dollars per night but I decided I would splurge!!!
This is the town where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid spent their last few days on earth. I will take the Butch&Sundance tour maybe tomorrow or the next day. There are lots of nice and cheap horseback riding trips available here too. Both day trips and 3 or 4 days riding and camping trips maybe I will do a little riding here as well. I havent been on a horse since New Zealand, but have been on some elephants and camels since then!!! I think I will be here for 4 or 5 days but one never knows...
Well thats it for now.
Rambling Robert the traveling man


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