As you can hopefully tell by the tone of our blog we are having a fantastic time. However, I (Steve) feel that I must rant about our bus trip from Uyini to Potosi. We were on the bus in the mountains between the two cities when we stopped in a village and picked up a yokel. As she walked towards us her stale and sour stench filled my nostrils. However I reminded myself that I am a visitor to her country, that there are different social norms and acceptable levels of hygiene, this is Bolivia, this is what I came to see, hear and smell. I reminded myself of all this again as she sat in the seat behind me. However there is a line and what the Queen of the Great Unwashed did next crossed it. She decided that she wanted to see out of the window, a point of view I whole heartily understood, the view was stunning. However in order to maintain this position of elevation she needed some support. She reached out with both dirty hands and clasped either side of my head rest. These hands were so dirty that when she later relinquished her
grasp each soiled digit had left its mark. Call me xenophobic, but that's just not nice!
Apart from the irksome journey it has been interesting to see Potosi and Sucre. The area itself was once the most important region in Bolivia (or Alto Peru as it was then known), due to the discovery of Silver. Potosi is still now home to many working silver mines which you can visit. (Our mothers will be pleased to hear we refrained from this... at some points the tunnels are said to be so small you have to crawl on your belly).
On our final day Steve was extremely pleased to find an establishment (and one of repute) that served llama. The steak was fantastic. It tasted like a gamey cross between beef steak and top quality pork sausages. A recommendation for anyone who chances across it!
The two cities are very different from each other and if we are honest we preferred Sucre. It is a bigger city and as result more European-friendly! (the food and toilet hygiene are better). It is also still officially the capital of Bolivia (a little known fact) as the constitution was never changed! The
architecture is also very beautiful and it is where the Bolivian declaration of independence was signed. Overall quite an interesting place.
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