Leaving Potosi early in the morning and heading towards Tupiza in the heart of Bolivia, we passed by gorgeous landscapes:
and villages with their inhabitants going after their business:
When we arrived in Tupiza (2950 m) in the afternoon it was sweat-braking hot. Especially compared to La Paz and Potosi, where the high altitude and chilly winds keep temperatures low and bearable. Tupiza is centered in an amazing landscape with rainbow-colored rocks, hills and canyons of the Cordillera de Chicas.
Luckily we had booked a hostel with pool and air conditioning 🙂 But as we arrived, there was no electricity in the entire town… Fortunately the pool does not require electricity 🙂
In the evening we went for some drinks and dinner and tried our first Argentinian beer (Quilmes):
The beers were accompanied by these extremely spicy jalapeños baked in a crust of bread crumbs. Both of us enjoy spicy food, especially Andy, but we weren’t able to finish these three little jalapeños! Instead we ended up trying to stop the burning in our mouth with fries and more beer…
In total we stayed in Tupiza for three days and spent most of the time relaxing, washing and organizing ourselves and the next trips. On one of the days we decided to go for horseback riding and explore the surroundings of Tupiza. The landscape was just too inviting to play cowgirl/cowboy in Bolivias Wild West! We received a helmet and leather leg protectors:
As both of us are are bloody rookies, our guide gave us instructions on how to “steer” and control our horses.
Luckily the horses were pretty well behaved and even listened to us after some initial difficulties. Funnily Andys horse seemed very hungry, because it stopped to eat at nearly every occasion 🙂
We started riding towards the “Canon del Inca” in an almost surreal landscape of red mountains in the distance and our path leading between cacti and brush:
After feeling more confident in our control of the horses we learned how to speed up the horses and first trot and later on even gallop! In the movies this always looks so simple and elegant, but it sure takes a lot of practice to elegantly gallop through the prairie! (Or in our case remain seated on the horse…)
After several kilometers we arrived at the “Puerta del Diablo” formation:
And passed many more fascinating structures consisting of red rock:
For example the “Valle de los Machos”:
Becoming more and more confident with our horses we tried more trotting and galloping under the eyes of our guide. While we started feeling pretty comfortable trotting it was always a little scary to gallop and try to remain seated on the horse 🙂 But for sure a lot of fun, yeeehaa!
Eventually we arrived at the “Canon del Inca” were we and the horses had a rest. On foot we started to explore the entrance of the canyon. If 100 Bolivian Indians would have jumped out from behind the rocks with bows and arrows we would not have been surprised. They would have fit perfectly in this setting! Andy would only be missing his rifles Bärentöter or Henrystutzen (for all non Karl May readers, these are two famous rifles of Old Shatterhand)…
Relaxing in the shade the German way:
and the Bolivian way…
Andy briefing his horse about the ride back… 😉
After the rest we continued our ride and headed back to Tupiza:
Riding does raise your appetite! In the evening Andi couldn’t wait to start with his Pique Macho dish:
And Tini had a Mexican style burrito:
After dinner we went shopping for snacks and supplies for our next big adventure the Salar de Uyuni. This is the largest salt desert in the world and the adventure was to start already the very next day!