Published: August 7th 2011August 7th 2011
Departing Rurre: When we returned from our Pampas trip we headed for the Amazonas office to reconfirm our flights. We saw a comotion and realised quickly something was amiss. We spoke with our two Belgian friends and they informed us that no flights were leaving for two days because of rain. (It was drizzling, very very slightly) I suppose it is a grass runway! So we settled down for another night in Rurre. Ourselves, the Belgians and the Germans met people from Dubai and France and we spent the following day hanging around with them, drinking coffee and playing pool. Theres little else to do in Rurre! Our Dubai friends obtained numerous flights throughout the day which continued to be cancelled, so we had lots of goodbyes and lots more hi were back again! We heard about a french patisserie which unfortunately was closed but the baker informed us it would open the following morning. So we did visit it and got salty pain au chocolats. Eeeewww! In the end everyone got a flight out of Rurre (ours being a particularly bumpy one where a few people were quite ill after).
We arived back in La Paz airport,had a quick subway with Andy and quickly got a taxi into the city to pick up our backpacks. We headed straight to the bus terminal where we chose a bus with a bano (toilet). There we met a Kiwi and an Aussi and realised we were on the same bus.
We had a very long trip from La Paz which involved our bus breaking down in the desert at 3am. Suspension broke. Our poor bus driver had to try to fix it all night. He must have been so cold and exhausted. In the meantime, myself and Kevin babysat his little 1 year old who was asleep in the front cabin. His little hands were so cold! We were there for 9 hours in the icy cold so we had to light the desert bushes for heat!! Very funny and not very eco friendly but needs must. It was seriously cold! When we did get up and running we drove for 10 metres when the other side of the suspension collapsed and we waited another 3 hours. Midday sun in the desert with no water or food and no passing traffic. NOT GOOD! The bus driver had to pay for another bus to come get us but he couldnt afford it. Can you believe the poor bus driver had to pay for it! His family were so poor we think they lived in the front of the bus with their baby. Every time we booked a bus that we would pay for, he cancelled it, thinking he would end up with the bill!!! In the end the Kiwi stopped a dumper truck and 35 travellers jumped into the back with all their baggage! It was a truck for surfacing roads so it was covered in black tar which ruined everyones clothes but nobody cared because we just wanted out of there. Ended up with a lot of wind burn which Im still recovering from. We spent 4 hours on the truck on the bumpiest, dustiest roads. When we came close to Uyuni the truck driver decided to drive on the airport runway!!! It was so funny. Like something out of Speed the movie!! It got really cold again when we arrived to Uyuni so we ran to the nearest hostal for a hot shower!! That was ambitious! We got the promise of a warm room and a hot shower from a Bolivian! We of course bought the usual Bolivian bullshit and reserved the room. None to our surprise we shivered all night and had lovely cold showers with extra ice cubes. (5 bolivianos!) We took the 1 day trip to the salt flats the next day because we were tight for time. We took our funny pictures. Unfortunately we were told we couldnt see Laguna Verde which other travellers have since told us was actually open.
We headed off the following day by bus to Villazon at the Argentinian border. The bus was the usual freeze your ass off Bolivian transport but we got there! When we arrived at the border at 4 am all we wanted was heat so we yet again listened to a Bolivian con artist and took refuge in his bus terminal (office). It had a TV and no heating but was slightly warmer than the outside temp of minus 10 so we reserved our bus to Argentina with him in return. He promised us we would be through customs by 9.30 and across the border on our way to Argentina in no time! After hours of queueing and searches, skipping the Q, angry gringos and hot sun, we departed at the 6 hours late time of 3pm (of couse). Luckily his bus had calefaction (heat) and even a toliet and food so we were all set to go on our 24 hour ride to Buenos Aires....and wait for it...can you believe it. No hitches!
In Buenos Aires now until Wednesday. We decided to stay in a decent place for the end of our trip, so we get milk in our coffee for FREE and toliet paper is included!!! We even got a free taxi to the hotel and my bank card works here. Amazingly! I think were gonna like Argentina. Kevin saw cattle ranches, combines, tractors and flat well fenced land all the way from Salta, so all is good. Buenos Aires temp is very agreable, as are the steaks!!!