FEB 9, 2016 – I have to fast-forward to Buenos Aires here. As I was walking through the city center with my brother, my camera was robbed from me by a gang of about 4 people. In the process, I lost a few days of photos. Here is a short summary of what I did during these days.
On Feb 5, I visited the mines of Potosí with a tour group. It was a very impressive tour that showed me the simple methods and bad safety precautions that are used by miners there. We also had the opportunity to buy gifts for the miners on the local market.
The same afternoon, I set out to travel to Sucre with a French couple. Due to a truck drivers’ strike, the road was blocked in several places, so this trip was a bit of an adventure. After riding a taxi and a bus, walking about a kilometer, going over a dirt road in a colectivo and taking a crowded taxi with a near-blind driver, we finally arrived in the center of Sucre. The city was beautiful, and carneval led to a constant risk of having water balloons thrown at you.
After a night and a day in Sucre, I took another domestic flight that brought me to Santa Cruz de la Sierra. I only had one evening there and went to watch the carneval parade. The next morning I flew to Buenos Aires.
FEB 4, 2016 – Given my limited time in Bolivia, I decided to take a plane from La Paz to Uyuni. Already from the sky, I saw how big and empty the area is: The Uyuni salt flat is a quarter the size of Switzerland. After a night in the little desert city, I joined a day tour in a jeep. Luckily there was some water in the Salar, so we were able to see reflections and other nice visual effects. Also the dry part was fascinating, though, with its hexagonal structure. The same evening, I took a bus to Potosí, a city famous for its silver mines.
FEB 3, 2016 – I spent the first night in La Paz at a hostel near the bus terminal and then stayed with a CouchSurfing host, an English teacher and translator of American origin. It took me a while to understand the city’s transit system, but I finally found it quite useful. Colectivos connect the different areas with frequent service, and three cable car lines, built by Austrian company Doppelmayr, provide a fast and scenic link between some parts of the city. Apparently La Paz’ government is planning to build seven more of these lines, so that the city will have an entire rapid transit system consisting of cable car lines. Through gondola supplier CWA, the Swiss industry is also implied in the project. During my stay in La Paz, I organized the rest of my short trip through Bolivia. I visited the nearby “Valle de la luna”, a group of rock formations that is not very impressive. There is another “moon valley” in Chile, which I assume is bigger.