We are in Bolivia!
I felt a sense of elation when we arrived here because I think I had reached my limit with Argentina - I was sick of people who worked on buses doing their, " I couldn´t give a sh&t that you´re vegetarian, just scrape the ham off" face. We even had to queue for 2 hours just to leave the country!!
Bolivia is a world apart. For a start, everyone is a lot shorter and it is apparent that poverty is commonplace. I was so pleased to find our bus we were taking to Tupiza was old, horribly painted, uncomfortable and only just fit for the job - that is what travelling is about! However, I also felt guilty and slightly voyeuristic - whilst everything seemed more ´South American´ and ´cultural´it is simply because people are poorer and have fewer of life´s luxuries. What is a novelty for me is reality for these people every day and I am certain it is not pleasing for them. The only solution was to flog myself and apologise for my conduct during the war - I feel a lot better now.
We bumped into a lovely couple from New Zealand (Nuck and Keem, aka Nick and Kim) on the bus whom we´d chatted to for a wee while in Mendoza and we´ve been hanging around with them ever since. We all went on a jeep tour, mountain bike descent of 800 metres and horse riding tour in the desert yesterday and we´re going on a 4 day tour of the salt flats and surrounding area tomorrow. We were due to leave today but poor old Nick got sick so we delayed for a day - the good news is that I got to see some Premiership football! Every cloud...
We´re at an altitude of about 3000 meteres and it is weird how the smallest of actions require me to summon a lot of energy! Today has been knackering - walking to the post office of course required a rewarding trip to the ice cream shop and I imagine to stay true to form we will drink beer later.
I am considerig writing a small book called, ´Cressyisms´. Entry 1: "Is Holland in Denmark?"
More to follow...