Julian, Javier, Erika, Tati and I arrived.
We were harassed by all the travel agents. We, very politely, declined all the offers and promised to contact them later.
There are lots of stories of tourists being cheated. Either the car is old and they are left in the middle of nowhere for hours or a day, or there is no food, or the drivers are drunk and the list is just too long for this blog. But if you ever go to Bolivia, take this into account. You have to be very careful when it comes to a guided tour. Ask your fellow travelers where to go, what their experience was. Don´t hire the first one you see just because it´s cheaper.
Julian went to find a place to stay the night. Tati and me too. Javier and Erika went to get something to drink.
Julian decided to share a room with us. Javier left Erika at the market. Tati went to talk to the person who´d rented us the room. The lady also offered us the guided tour.
Tati came back with the news. Erika texted Javier, she was lost. Julian was lying on the bed. Me trying to give Erika the right directions. It was funny, how can you get lost in a town so small? Of course, Erika. The text read “I´m lost in Bolivia”. We all laughed.
We went to different travel agencies. There was one we all liked. Julian wanted to see the car first. Clever guy. We hadn´t thought about it. So we waited while chatting with the woman who was trying to convince us that the car was in good condition.
We were told that we were going to spend the nights in shelters with no electricity. So we all thought about the same, batteries for the cameras.
Javier, Erika and me went to buy batteries at the black market. Don´t ask me why there. It seems that it was the only place to get them. Tati went to the so-called hostel together with Julian to have a shower and wait for us. Javier and Erika found the batteries. I didn´t. So they went to exchange money somewhere and I kept looking for my battery, which I didn´t find. On my way, I bought a bottle of wine to drink at night with Tati. The rest of the guys were going to a Karaoke.
The shower didn´t work, the water was cold. It had an electric water heater and we almost got electrocuted. The bathroom didn´t flush, so imagine, no description needed. We wanted to find the woman who had rented us the room but couldn´t. The building was empty.
We went to pay the tour, 50% ,and the rest when we were safe and sound in Uyuni. That was the deal. But there were five of us, it was low season, they agreed.
We went for a pizza in Tupiza (in Spanish Tupiza sounds like “your pizza”). They were really big!!
Julian, Erika and Javier went to a Karaoke. Tati and me to open up that bottle of wine. The Bolivian wine tasted like vinegar so we couldn´t drink it.
We sat in the street to see people pass by, while chatting about our coming adventure. We had to be up very early. We still hadn´t found the woman who had rented us that room. We didn´t worry. We hadn´t pay. Worst scenario, we left without paying. She surely deserved it.
The place was nothing like she said it was. One thing concerned us though. Where were we going to have breakfast? we hadn´t buy anything, we had trusted the woman who said that it was included.
We decided to go look for her and finally found her at the Travel Agency. We complained. She shrugged and said she would look into it and as for breakfast, it was served somewhere else. Where? we asked. Another house she said. We smelt a rat.
Julian, Javier and Erika came back. Karaoke had been a bit of a disappointment since the place was almost empty. We told them about us meeting the woman. We all said that nobody was to try that shower again in the morning. So we set our cells to be up before 7.
Hour 12-13-14 and 15 we slept like angels.
We couldn´t find the house and we were about to lose our hopes when we saw it. And had our breakfast that had nothing to do with what the lady had promised when we first met. But it was breakfast and we were all pretty excited. So we just made jokes about it.
We met the driver and the cook. We were going to share 5 days with them. And we had a good feeling.
The Bolivian adventure was about to start.