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.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Greetings from Sucre Bolivia

Hi Everyone.
Well it is the 7th of May and I am in a nice city of 120,000 people in Bolivia. The city is called Sucre. It is the official Capital of Bolivia, which is weird because all the gov´t stuff is in La Paz except for the supreme court which is here. It is at about 2700 meters above sea level. It is certainly the most beautiful and most modern city I have been in Bolivia so far. I have been here for 2 days now. I was in Potosi before that and in Uyuni before Potosi.
Uyuni is a small city about 6 hours by train from Tupiza which is where my last update was from. In Uyuni the big attraction is these tours one can take of an enormous now dry salt lake. It is a few hundred square kilometers of blindingly white pure salt. in some places as much as 8 meters deep. I took a one day jeep tour of the salt flats. It was very interesting and beautiful. The people there harvest the salt and make trinkets out of it but it is mainly used as a seasoning on food. There are many differsent types of salt apparently and this is the type you eat! We also visited the "Hotel del Sal" It is a 14 room hotel and restaurant made completely out of salt!! They form the salt into bricks and then bake it. What a wierd place. I didnt stay the night but it was interesting to check it out. While on the tour, I met a nice Belgian woman named Laurence who had about the same travel plans as I did for the next week or two so now we are traveling mates. She is a beautiful blond 21 year old girl who speaks 4 languages including english. She is good fun and we are having a great time together. The day after the Jeep tour we went to Potosi.
Potosi is the highest city in the world. It has about 110,000 people in it and it is at 4,070 meters above sea level. More than 2 miles high. More than double the altitude of Denver!! It is most famaous as the place where there was a massive silver mine and gold and tin and zinc and other stuff. We got into a prettty nice hotel there and spent 2 days and 2 nights there after a really beautiful bus ride through high mountain passes. On the first night we were in a little cafe with a German and Dutch couple that I had met in Tupiza and an Israeli guy I had met in Salta When... in walks Thomas my Belgian buddy who I traveled with in 3 other cities in Argentina! So he moved into our hotel the next day and the 5 of us went to climb a mountain and at the top is a little half acre lake whidch is a hot spring fed place to bathe. It is called Ojos de Incas which means Eye of the Incas. The incas have been bathing in it for thousands of years and value it for its curative powers. The water is about 30 degrees (88F) and it all natural with grass all around and a fine mud at the bottom. It is cone shaped and although it is only a half hectare wide it is 60 meters (300feet)deep at the center. It is dangerous to dive too deep in the center because the water is really hot.A couple ñof gringos kill themselves there every year or so we were warned. Also it is a little dangerouse because at this altitude (4400meters) it is hard to get your breath and easy to become out of breath and exhausted. We stayed up there and swam and played in the hot waters and had mud fights and picnicked and sun bathed for about 4 hours it is just beautiful up there. There are all multicolored mountain peaks all around us. Finally we left and hitched a ride back to Potosi with a couple of Army troop guys in a nice American S.U.V. who were super friendly and gave us Johnny Walkere Red to drink with them in the car while we drove along!!! They had been to Ft Benning in Georgia at La Escuela de los Americas. The School of the Americas. So I talked to them about Georgia and Americas whcih they described as "Muy Lindo"
It is a little weird for me because the school has such a horrible reputation in USA as a place the CIA trains torturers and assassins. But these guys were totally cool and friendly, so I dont know what to think. Potosi is a nice city too but it is more poor and less modern than Sucre.
Sucre is a Unesco world heritage site and the buildings are all painted white. There are a great many old colonial buildings and Thomas, Laurence and I are in a little hostel which is a 17th century restored building with two really nice courtyards. The big attraction here is Dinosaurs.
Yeah Man!!! The most important Paleontogical site in the world. There are literally thousands of fossils and huge dinosaur footprints just 7 kilometers out of town. We went out there and checked it all out. It is really freaky to be right next to these HUGE dinosaur footprints that are like 120 million years old!!! Incredible. I was glad I went. Dinosaurs have always been kind of fascinating to me ever since I was a little kid.
So today is a kind of do-nothing day just gonna hang out and read and check out the bus for Cochabamba on Monday and maybe go to an art museum. Tonight we are going to hear a Bolivian Folklore music show and eat Traditional foods. Tomorrow we have bus tickets to a huge out door indian market about 60 kilometers away that all the guide books say is "Da Kine Man". Well thats me. I hope you all are enjoying your lives as much as I am mine. Ciao for Now.
Rambling Robert


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