Day 43 – Horse Riding in Tupiza

Time for another activity and this time horse riding in Tupiza. I have only been on a horse once many years ago while John’s only experience was riding a donkey back home in Blackpool. In very limited Spanish I tried to explain this to our guides, they didn’t understand.

We were joined on the tour by Ro and Mike who we had met on the bus yesterday. We started to get ready and expecting some chaps and safety helmets we were only presented with cowboy hats! We looked very cool but not safe.

In broken English we were giving some instructions on how to direct the horse, Mike later found out that shouting “vamos” the horse would go faster. The plan was to ride in the canyons, over rivers and stop for lunch. Then head back along the railway tracks back to Tupiza.


The views were spectacular with narrow passes carved from old rivers. According to the guides, the area is similar to the scenery in classic American westerns, it did feel like indians could be on the horizon ready to attack. In fact, I think this is the place where Butch Cassidy was filmed.



It was all going well but then Ro’s horse decide to take a shortcut heading down a really steep hill stumbling down, Ro did amazing to hold on. Later her horse galloped off which then sparked mine into action. We left the boys as our horses galloped off into the distance with our guides chasing us. We eventually stopped and our horses calmed down for a while.  My grip on the reigns was so strong that afterwards my muscles in my arms ached. We crossed a few rivers and then stopped off for lunch.

It wasn’t the greatest of spots for lunch as there was huge gusts of winds creating sand storms, not great when your trying to eat an apple.


The four amigos!

We later split as Ro and Mike were on a  two day tour. We headed back along the train tracks and it was all going well, until John’s horse decided he didn’t want John on his back any longer. It went to the left and John fell off going to the right.

He crashed onto the floor luckily on his big bum and away from the horse’s legs. I shouted at him, “John, John, John”. He was sat there holding his elbows. I thought he’s either broken his arm, dislocated his shoulder or broken his collar bone.

He didn’t. He was lucky. He felt a little faint but then came round, dusted himself off and then decide that he wasn’t getting back on the horse.


Where John fell off his horse. His horse the one on the left with the guide trying to calm it down.

We headed back, asking our guide how far it was, he said 40 minutes it was more like 2 hours which John had to walk. He was in pain but still had a smile on his face. We got back to Tupiza later in the afternoon and headed for some street food after a well deserved shower.

Overall a really fun day, not the most professional tour with our slightly tamed wild horses but what do you expect in Bolivia?!

About Julia Chan

I’m Julia and I've just returned from the adventure of my life. I went travelling around South America, the South Pacific and South East Asia for 12 months, and I'd do it all over again if I could! Julia on Google+
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