Road to Potosi - big trip - diary - bolivia - april 2003

Thieving army gits

Great scenery...

...if you're eyes haven't been pecked out

Sunday 27 - Monday 28 April

After another incredibly silent night on the salt flats we left Uyuni on the rough dirt road over the mountains to Sucre. After about an hour of crawling up the hills in the thin air we came across a road block with two unarmed army boys guarding it. They took note of our details then demanded that we pay 20bs (about $3) to cross. This sounded steep so we argued a bit but they insisted and wouldn't budge. With zero other traffic on the road we could really wait and see if the locals paid or not so we asked for a ticket in return for the cash. Oh dear, the tickets had conveniently run out three days ago and we still couldn't get past them. In the end we got them to write down their names and numbers on a bit of paper and gave them their 20bs. In hindsight we should've just opened the barrier ourselves and driven through.

Llamas and lakes

More salt

Impressive little canyon

Wash day

Mining town with the train down the centre

Local transport for everything

Another hour down the road we came across another road block with little house beside it. Inside were two guys in normal clothes, a cop, three beds and a desk. Not much room to move about! They wanted 10bs or so for road tolls and had coloured tickets to give us. We argued that we'd just paid the army boys but of course they told us we'd been had. We paid for the coloured tickets which turned out to be genuine and is the norm in all of Bolivia.


Village before Potosi with Cerro Rico behind

The scenery was impressive as usual as we passed through tiny villages with adobe walls and thatched roofs. With little traffic, the road is used for herding llamas, goats, sheep, cows, pigs and schoolkids. They all get out of the way in time for us to pass, sometimes some of the cows get a hefty rock accurately thrown on them by the ubiquitous old hag to give a bit of incentive not to get run over, ouch!

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