13th - 14th November 2003
Tupiza is south of Potosi and is at the heart of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid country. It's a long drive from Potosi, but worth it for the surrounding countryside. It is also great fun - driving a winding single track. A good hotel to stay in is the Hotel Mitru - it has parking, a pool and fantastic showers. And only £8 a night. They also have an inhouse agency - Tupiza Tours - that arranges trips around the area.
Here are a few succulents we saw on the way to keep Nod happy!
Tupiza is a small town and there is nothing much to do in the town itself - you need to venture out into the surrounding countryside of rocks and canyons, reminiscent of the Wild West. And what better way to experience it than on horseback. Luckily this time the horses were a decent size and the saddles comfortable (unlike our experience on horseback near Vilcabamba, Ecuador). We spent 7 hours riding and galloping through moutains, rivers, prairies and the various red rock Quebradas, including Quebrada Seca, Quebrada de Palmira with its large fin formations, Valley de los Machos, with its phallic pedestal formations and Canon del Inca. The scenary is fantastic and you do feel as if you are in a western - especially when we returned to Tupiza and felt like the gringo sheriffs riding into town as everyone came out and stood on the street to look at us.
The other highlight in Tupiza is the Tamales - spicy dried llama meat encased in a ball of corn mash and steamed in the corn husk. The best place to go is Dona Wala's stall just outside the Mercado Negro at around 8:30am. Get there early as her tamales are very popular and she sells out very quickly - there was already a queue when we arrived at about 8:45. They are absolutely delicious and after eating two each for breakfast we bought another 6 to eat on the journey to Uyuni (they didn't last long). Unfortunately Tupiza is the only place we have been able to buy Tamales, and we've been trying to work out how they are made so that we can replicate them back at home.