Butch Harris and the Sundance Jish


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Published: May 7th 2007
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Horsing AroundHorsing AroundHorsing Around

Jude and Glynn meet their mighty steeds.
This blog is well out of sequence so don't worry if you think you're going mad - we really are in Argentina now and not Bolivia and more. However, this was such a nice day out that we didn't want to leave it out of the blog altogether and it's only now that we have a decent enough internet connection to share the photos of our horse riding adventures with you. Enjoy :-)

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Most people who visit Bolivia seem to bypass the lovely small town of Tupiza and head straight past either south to the Argentine border or north to Uyuni. Having left Uyuni behind us and spent a few days getting well again after our recent serious bout of dysentry, we had one day left in Tupiza to make the most of. As well as the sunny climate, the thing that Tupiza is most famous for is horseriding. It's not just that there are lots of horses here or that it's possibly one of the cheapest places in the world to ride one but also, this is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid country. In fact, the infamous duo met their maker in a small town
Tupiza CanyonTupiza CanyonTupiza Canyon

Horse-eye view of the canyon. Pretty here, isn't it?
not far from Tupiza and when you get out into the the surrounding countryside, it's easy to imagine a wild west style showdown happening in any one of the dusty cactus strewn canyons.

We booked ourselves on a 3-hour horse trek at the Tupiza Tours desk right by our hotel at the bargain price of just 20 Bolivianos per hour - that's about £4 each for the whole trip! We were picked up a little late at 10.30am and taken by taxi to the stables where we met our steeds for the day. Our guide, Esmerelda, gave us some very basic instructions on how to get the horses moving and how to slow them down which turned out to be rather useful as my horse had an inclination to go galloping off every time he reached an open space! It was a bit daunting, especially as neither us have ever been on a horse before (I don't count the terrible pony trekking experience I had aged 10 on account that my pony did little more than fart and poo!) but ultimately, it was a really nice adventure.

The ride itself was lovely. I felt really at home on
Multicolour RockMulticolour RockMulticolour Rock

4 big chunks of rock, 4 different colours!
my horse although Glynn had a little less padding on his saddle than I did and found his crown jewels being shaken around a bit more than was comfortable! Our route took us into a richly red and violet stone canyon and the sun shone brightly all the way. Occasionally the horses would ride under some low hanging branches and we would get a bit scuffed but otherwise, it was a very gentle and enjoyable ride. We stopped off at a big crevice in the canyon where a trickle of river flowed down over some huge bolders. Naturally, we went for a clambour around although there wasn't much to see other than the big gash in the mountainside and an awful lot of hornets that seemed to be attracted to horse dung.

On the way back through the canyon, we were amused by the aptly named penis rock formations although I felt a bit embarrassed at asking our guide to explain what the Spanish name meant because I just didn't twig it was something rude! The last 30 minutes of our journey was marred by the wind kicking up and blowing as hell of a lot of dust at
HowdyHowdyHowdy

Glynn rides his little woman ;-)
us which we were powerless to avoid inhaling. I think this might have been the cause of Glynn getting ill again the next day, poor bugger.

Later in the day, we went for a long walk around the sleepy town and encountered outdoor pool tables (what a great idea!) and a friendly drunk who seemed to take a shine to us gringos. He was harmelss enough and explained how he had spent the weekend drinking because there really isn't much else to do in Tupiza if you live here. Fair point. For my money though, tupiza was a nice little place, a damn sight better than Uyuni, and well worth a visit if you're ever out this way.


Additional photos below
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Yee-Ha!Yee-Ha!
Yee-Ha!

It's not a rodeo, Jude!
Puerta Del DiabloPuerta Del Diablo
Puerta Del Diablo

A huge slice of rock known locally as the Devil's Gate.
Get to the PointGet to the Point
Get to the Point

No rock climbing for us on these mountains!
Cowbear JishCowbear Jish
Cowbear Jish

Jish, as sponsored by cowboys-r-us.
Ta Da!Ta Da!
Ta Da!

Little man in the BIG canyon.
Penis ValleyPenis Valley
Penis Valley

From one phallic symbol....
Giant CactusGiant Cactus
Giant Cactus

...to another!
Ghost RiderGhost Rider
Ghost Rider

Butch Cassidy, eat your heart out!
Around TownAround Town
Around Town

Sleepy Tupiza on a Sunday. Could it be more chilled out here?
Outdoor PoolOutdoor Pool
Outdoor Pool

Open air pool with a difference - what a great idea!


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