Monthly Archives: March 2014

February

What Happened in February?

I am back in Sucre! I spent my last days in Argentina visiting as many wineries in Mendoza as possible and drinking as much wine as possible. The highlight was visiting the Nieto Senetiner winery. I choose to go for the guided tour, tasting and the lunch. It cost $AR 250 (£19) but was worth every penny. My guide was very friendly and easy on the eye, the tasting extremely generous and the lunch would of fed a small family. There was free wine throughout the meal which was some of the best iv’e tried yet. I would highly recommend it to anyone going to Mendoza to taste wine.

My time was unfortunately up in Mendoza and I would have to start the long tedious journey back to Sucre. The journey to Salta was comfortable and trouble free. But the journey from Salta to the Bolivian border was a completely different story. It started off with me running out of Argentine Pesos and not be able to pay the taxi driver for the journey to the bus station. The only currency I had was 5000 Chilean Pesos which was at least worth 7 times the amount of the taxi fair. After some negotiations the driver reluctantly accepted the money, obviously not knowing the true value.

The next problem happened about 2 hours into the journey. The bus pulled to the side of the road and we stopped abruptly. We would stay stationary here for the next 2 hours while the driver and his assistants battled to change the wheel. Once it was changed a heavy down pour lashed down on us. Some how water entered the bus causing an almost river down the aisle of the bus.

The next problem was near the end of the journey. Another road blocked, strangely in the same place as it was on the outbound journey some 6 weeks previous. Another 45 minutes of sitting at a standstill while the protesters made their supposed point.

Finally at La Quiaca I met a nice Irish couple who let me share a taxi with them to the border as I had no money what so ever. The border crossing was surprisingly easy and we breezed through in less than 10 minutes, but unfortunately the Irish guy lost his Mobile phone at some point so they decided to head back into Argentina to try and locate it.

The direct bus to Sucre I had hoped to catch had already left, so I had to go to Potosi and catch another bus at 6am to Sucre. The bus to Potosi was horrendous. probably one of my worst bus journeys in all my travelling. I was the only tourist, the bus stunk of body odor and coca leaves and there would be probably more room in a coffin than on this bus. I am not a tall guy, but there lack of leg room caused me to have my legs in the aisle for the whole 8 hours. We arrived in Potosi (quoted as the highest city in the world) at 4 am so it was a cold breathless 2 hour wait for the connection to Sucre.

Since I have been back in Sucre I have enjoyed chilling out and catching up with my friends, and more importantly spending time with Marion. I was luckily enough to experience Carnival here in Sucre, Carnival in Bolivia means lots of drunken street parades and more importantly, water fights. At times it was like a war zone in the main plaza. People of all ages tooled up with huge water pistols and bags of water bombs. I am not going to lie, it was great fun at first but over the week it became extremely annoying as you could n’t even walk to the shop without getting bombarded. The balcony of my apartment faces on to one of the busiest streets in Sucre and all the parades came past it resulting in a great point to launch water bombs at the unsuspecting party goers down below. Unfortunately though these same people liked the idea of war and rained a relentless bombardment of balloons upon my balcony causing the paper thin windows to smash showing my balcony with broken glass. I learnt the hard way, a water war is still war and casualties are inevitable!

School children help out in getting the girls wet

School children help out in getting the girls wet

One good thing this month. I successfully secured 2 tickets for Costa Rica vs England at the World Cup. I am hoping to be fortunate to add more when the next sales period starts in March.

 

Countries Visited: Argentina, Bolivia

Argentina: Mendoza, Salta, La Quiaca

Bolivia: Villazon, Potosi, Sucre

Total Distance Traveled: 1621 Km / 1007 miles

Distance Traveled by air: 0 km / 0 miles

Distance Traveled on bus: 1621 Km / 1007 miles

Distance Traveled by boat: 0 km / 0 miles

What I Spent

Argentina: £149.74 in 6 days = £24.95 a day

Bolivia: £384.75 in 22 days = £17.48 a day

Total Spent: £534.49 in 28 days = £19.08 a day

What I Listened To

3 Most Played Tunes: 

  1. “Two Fingers” by Jake Bugg
  2. “Hopeless Wanderer” by Mumford & Sons
  3. “So Here We Are” by Bloc Party

What I Have Been Watching: Breaking Bad Season 1-3, The Walking Dead season 4

What Have I Been Reading: “The Motor Cycle Diaries” by Che Guevara

Best Part: Discovering I had successfully secured World Cup tickets for Costa Rica vs England.

Worst Part: The worst part this month was an incident I am deeply ashamed of. While walking to the park to see a parade during carnival I was shot at near point blank range in the eye by a young child and his huge water cannon. I lost my temper and launched a water balloon at full pelt directly hitting him in the back. This resulted with him bursting into tears, his mother in complete shock and various abuse from bystanders. A true low moment in my travels and I am deeply sorry. It was a hell of a shot though!

Favourite Drink: Vino Tinto

The Beer I Drank Most: Huari, Bolivia

Favourite Bar: Cafe Florin, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Club: Stigma, Sucre Bolivia

Favourite Hostel: Hostel Lao (Mendoza, Argentina)

My Favourite Photo: 

Whats Next? I have started taking Spanish lessons again with the view of at least having a half decent conversation with the locals. I hope to go to the Salar de Uyuni while there is still water there and also plan on a trip to La Paz to do some mountain biking.

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