World of Marlboro: that is what always come to my mind when I remember horseback riding in Tupiza.
Earthy orange cliffs, dirt roads – or paths, since I don’t think cars could go through where we were – and real tall cactus, all very dry, but very ample. Like looking at the infinite, from the middle of nowhere. We were all inexperienced, but our guide let us be and at some point we were really galloping and laughing, just happy to be alive, there. It wasn’t the top of Eiffel Tower or the pyramids of Egypt; it was a little town in Bolivia, a place that really isn’t on travel magazines. Plus we had paid so cheap for this adventure: (believe it or not) $15 Bolivian pesos (that’s less than US$3) per person for an hour of the best horse riding experience one can find. All right, perhaps it wasnt the safest tour: one of us, Guto, fell of his horse. I remember seeing exactly the scene: we were galloping, having the time of our lives, and I believe we irresponsibly decided to race, and in a few seconds he slide off of his horse and fell on the ground. I couldn’t stop, I had really no idea how to stop my horse, so we kept going and trying to look back, praying that nothing serious had happened. Thank goodness, he was ok. Our trip wasn’t ruined and we can still feel blessed for having stopped in Tupiza, and for deciding to spend the night there. It was, really, the first exciting escapade on our South American trip.
Energized after a great morning, we had a Huari beer and headed to the train station. At 6:30PM, we were headed to Uyuni.
From my 2005 diary:
“As there were only 3 tickets at Salon class and 3 on executive, we shared the entire price (B$58/person) and called odds or evens to decide who was gonna travel executive. Fernanda, Guto and Leo won, but on the end we settled on swapping on the middle of the ride. We weren’t allowed, so Clarissa, Vanessa and I ended up spending the trip on the restaurant onboard. Dinner was delicious!”