Published: August 6th 2007March 26th 2007
After the disaster of missing our jeep at 6am to the border (must buy a new alarm clock!), we eventually got on a bus to take us to Tupiza at 9am. The bus was supposed to arrive at 4.30pm, giving us enough time to continue onto Villazon (border with Argentina) before it got dark. However! this is South American time. We arrived in Tupiza (2 hours from Villazon) at 9pm. Unfortunatley, we had no money on us and there were no ATM's that took visa! We started to panic a bit, as we didn't fancy sleeping on the street. After leaving yet another hostel which didn't accept payment with travellers cheque, we bumped into this amazing woman, who offered to give us 40 bolivianos so that we could get a place to stay, saying she hoped someone would do the same for her, if she was in our position! The saga didn't end there! We finally found a place that would take us in for 40 bolivianos (aprox $2.50 each), only to discover that one of the 20 notes was a fake!! What a nightmare! Luckily, the owner was fascinated with 3 x 1 GB pound coins (the only money we
had left) and agreed to take this as a replacement for the dodgy note (thus, technically, making this the most we had paid for accomodation so far!). We managed to get a cheap meal to share using Peruvian spare change we had wanted to keep as a souvenir.
The next morning we got a bus at 4.00am, arriving in Villazon at 6.15am. From there we crossed the border by foot into Argentina (after a long wait at border control!). We had never planned on visiting Argentina but a few friends we'd met along the way said that it was more beautiful and three times as cheap as Chile - so here we are!
Unfortunately, the travelling was not over for us - it had just begun! As we only had 4 days in Argentina before leaving for Chile, we decided to travel to Mendoza, the second biggest city in Argentina (only 6 hours from Santiago). We had a monumental 27 hour bus journey, which wasn't actually too bad, despite being stopped five times to be searched for drugs!
There are more photos below