A night at 4500m


  • Uyuni – Potosi

Our bus pulled in to Potosi’s bus terminal about 8pm with the four of us crossing our legs in the hope that we could hold on for a toilet. Turns out they don’t stop for el baño on Bolivian bus trips! It was also the first time I was arriving somewhere and didn’t have a hostel booked. Travelling is for these new and exciting (lol) experiences.

The girls had booked a hostel so we hopped in a cab up there to be told that they had in fact mucked up the booking and it was for the next day. This meant that the two beds they had free now had to fit 4 and so we went in search of another hostel. There was one just around the corner which was cheaper and could house the 4 of us in a private room. And so, Hostal Compañera de Jesus was our home for the night.

Being a Sunday and 9pm, not much was open in Potosi but he receptionist recommended a nearby pizza place. This was perfect for our tired little souls and so we finished our evening with pizza, beer and Bolivian football on TV. I can’t say that much else happened that night since we’d been up from 4.30am and so, we just went to bed.

In Bolivia, they don’t really use duvets but instead pile on several blankets and a sheet. The ones at this hostel were really, really heavy and lying underneath them felt like you were in prison! I stayed this fact which the others found hilarious and hence, spent my night imprisoned whilst the other 3 (who are all bigger than me, might I add) found it funny that I was so restricted by my bed sheets!

The hostel offered the classic, and dull, breakfast of bread and jam. Or had clearly had enough of this so when Kasia and I awoke, Aubrey informed us that he’d gone out to buy breakfast supplies. Within minutes, he produced four beautiful bowls of oats and fruit which really brightened up our mornings to no end. It was great to not always eat bread.

The morning was fairly leisurely and then just before lunch we took a wonder around the city. This tour started along the main square, towards the crest of the hill where we could see across the town, and then to downtown and the bus station again so that I could figure out my transport to Sucre that afternoon.

All four of us really liked Potosi because it felt like a locals town. They certainly did not care for or cater for the tourist. Therefore, we had to fit in to their lifestyle, which is exactly how it should be. We even managed to get caught up in school pick-up time and muddled with all the adorable little kids in their uniforms roaming the streets. Not once did I feel unsafe in Potosi either.

Before I left, we stopped for lunch in a local cafe. For a coffee, hamburger and chips, I paid no more than £2.20!! Bolivia, I love you and your prices already. We stopped here for about an hour before returning to the hostel for my things. I decided to get a cab to Sucre. Along with Bolivia’s cheap food and cashmere, taxis are also dirt cheap. Any local journey costs 5 Bolivianos (62.5p) whilst my 2.5 hour journey to Sucre cost 40 Bolivianos (£5), sharing with 3 other passengers.

So, there I was, leaving Potosi with a double denim clad driver, who by the way I hadn’t chosen as he had positively snatched my bag from me as I arrived at the taxi rank, however, was the most stylish! We had 3 passengers in the back and whizzed off around the mountainous roads towards Sucre, which was again just beautiful. 

So, 138 days in to ‘life from a bag’ and I’m thoroughly enjoying the cheap Bolivian prices, landscapes and living like a local. But, it was time to catch up with my Brazilian girls, Naomi, Rhona and Fran. Ciao for now.

Gabby x


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