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Sucre, Bolivia

Buses in Bolivia ain´t so great.

sunny 23 °C

Now we had been warned by everyone that the bus journey from Santa Cruz to Sucre was pretty tough, and had been advised to take the money hit and fly. Of course we knew better and being veterans of a previous 23 hr journey, were fairly confident that us seasoned travellers could handle it.

We arrived at the bus station to buy our tickets, and its not easy when there are over 30 ticket touts shouting at you for business, but we were confident!!! Having been scared by several grown men almost fighting for our business, we were approached by a younger chap, maybe 15 or 16 and the tickets that his office had sounded promising. There was some pretty impressive pictures of fully reclining seats, space in abundance and the price was good. There was no way he would lie to us......

All four or us arrived back at the station a few hours later with our bags and sat waiting for our luxury bus to depart. We even sat outside watching the other poor people boarding somewhat dodgy looking buses. 8pm arrived and our bus still wasn´t here, but still we knew it would be ok. Then the bus pulled in, now it didn´t look too bad from the outside however nothing like the picture we were shown. When we boarded it became very apparent that maybe, just maybe we had been stiched up. The seats barely reclined and worst of all no toilet!!!!!!! Now i found this quite hard to deal with at first however after grumping myself out, got on with the idea that it couldn´t get any worse.

It did.

I always thought that buses required a road to get from one place to the next, not so important in Bolivia. After a few hours of some of the rockiest and bumpys roads i have been on we started to climb. When i say climb i mean the bus was driving on the smallest mountain roads ever. Credit to the driver, i couldn´t have imagined a car making it.

We had our first toilet stop after about four hours and the scenery was lovely, in the middle of mountains and on a dirt road. Hang on i said toilet stop, thats not exactly accurate, hole in the ground stop would be more fitting and Nic decided against that little extra.

So off we go, and its dark now so you can´t see the sheer drops out of the window and it got to about midnight when the bus went bang and stopped. Although the driver tried his best, all the bus would do is roll backwards, which was a corner and a huge drop. Again being the only English speaking people on the bus, we had no idea wgat was going on. Everyone started to get off the bus, so like sheep, we followed to find the bus driver carring the drive shaft to the side of the pitch black mountain. He tried everyting, hammer, shouting and even found a random piece of steel lying around, but of course it didn´t fit. While all this was going on, there was one hell of a traffic back log and eventually, patience isn´t a virtue, they started to attempt to get past us. I was sure the road was only big enough for a car however trucks and buses still squashed by. Everyone got back on the bus, unsure of what was happening, it looked like we were here for the night. The driver and his assistant dissapeared and well, we attempted to sleep.

10 Hours later the driver returned with what looked like a fixed drive shaft, and amazingly it looked like that scrap piece of steel he found was attached to the end!!!! Finally on our way, and it was beautiful outside, it was all over. Of course we had another 12 hours of unbelievably hot bus journey and even more terrifying mountain drops, but nearly there!

On arriving in Sucre, we were shattered and went to the first hostel we could find, outside the bus station. It wasn´t particulary nice so the next day we had a wander around the town and checked into a nicer place. On the night time, the four of us prepared a huge dinner and ate it in the courtyard along with a few drinks.

The following day we hit the bus station to get to our next destination Potosi. We hadn´t planned to stay in Potosi as nothing really appealed about it, but as the last bus to Uyuni, our planned destination, had already left we had no option but to stay. The hostel we ended up at was horrible, metal camp beds screwed to the wall and padlocks on the doors. Never mind, it was only for one night.

First thing the next morning we caught a bus to Uyuni. Salt flats, here we come!!!!!!!

Posted by Big Adventure 15:52 Archived in Bolivia Tagged bus mountain potosí broken sucre

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