After another hearty breakfast of scrambled egg. bread and fruit, we decided to head to the mint museum to kill some time before our bus to Uyuni to see the famous salt flats. When we arrived, the Swiss guy from our dorm was also there with the same idea. However, he was waiting for a bus to Tupiza – our destination after Uyuni. After buying our ticket, we didn’t realise that we had to go round as part of a tour. But the english tour was lacking in numbers which meant that we had to hang around at the entrance for around 30 minutes before our tour actually started. The museum was pretty interesting and explained how the riches of the mines led Potosi to become a minting city. It displayed lots of old coins housed in an old building facing a large courtyard.
After the museum, we headed back to the hostel to check out and get a taxi to the bus station. The bus journey took only a few hours and we arrived in Uyuni late afternoon. On arrival, and as part of our routine whenever we arrive in a new place, we checked out a few hostels. We found a rather basic hostel which reminded me of boarding school type accommodation. Our room even had a bed pan!! And showers only had hot water for 2 hours during the day. It wasn’t the greatest but it meant that we didn’t have to lug our bag around anymore to find a decent place. It would do!
John pretending to use the bed pan
We then proceeded to walk around some more to check out prices and tours for Bolivia’s most famous tourist attraction – the salt flats. The salt flats tour usually last for 3 days and 2 nights. But unfortunately for us, there has been a ridiculous amount of snow which means that there were no tours going to the lagoons or hot springs as it just wasn’t accessible with the amount of snowfall. To be fair, we’ve already heard that some groups have been trapped there so it’s probably for the best. The next best option is the 2 day tour. We managed to get that book to leave tomorrow.
In the evening, we decided to go to a restaurant – splashing out on a rare occasion. I have no idea why, we just felt like it. We chose to go to a decent looking place and after spending almost 3 weeks in the country, we still hadn’t tried their national dish – the pique macho which is basically chips with thin strips of beef and sausage on top with onions (ingredients can vary). Bolivians are not known for their time-keeping and after an hour and a half wait, our food finally came. And it was not worth waiting for. The dish is basically a glorified version of kebab meat and chips. Nothing to rave about in my opinion. What’s disappointing is is that I’d wish I’d tried it somewhere cheaper. I think we paid something like £5 for it instead of about a £1 on the market stalls. Oh well.