Potosi, Bolivia: high altitude in a cute little town

IMG_0237Potosi is the highest city in Bolivia and boy didn’t I know it. the struggle walking around was immense as I was constantly out of breath. The altitude hit home. It was the weirdest sensation. However, I’m so glad I came here as the little quaint streets with restaurants and beautiful buildings really made it worth while. It kind of reminded me of a little village in Europe with stone walls.

The journey from Sucre to Potosi took just under 4 hours, where I just gazed at the beautiful scenery and listened to music.

The bus ended at the new bus terminal just outside the city, which looked like a huge dome. There were only two other tourists on my bus who followed me outside but I didn’t speak to them until later when I found out they were in the same hostel as me. I got a taxi from the terminal to my hostel, which was 15 Bolivians and took about 25 minutes to the centre of Potosi.IMG_0231

As I approached the centre, I could see small cobbled streets everywhere. I was going to like this town.

I checked into the hostel and found my room, where a guy from Hungry immediately started talking to me. I chatted for a bit before eating a snack dinner and relaxing in bed before falling asleep.

The following day, I casually got up and ate the breakfast, consisting of tea, juice, stale rolls with jam. At breakfast, I spoke to a French girl and a couple from Australia, who took the same bus as me the previous day. I had a shower and got dressed before meeting the couple to wander the streets of Potosi.

During the morning, we wandered the cobbled streets, exploring the town, finding churches, markets and shops. While walking around, there were a few random things; first, there was a bench in the middle of the road with rope to block off the road. Now sure what it was about but maybe a protest. The second was a person dressed up as a chicken dancing in the streets to advertise a restaurant. It was amusing to watch.IMG_0210

At lunch time, we stopped off in a vegetarian restaurant. The two Australian told me they had been to several vegetarian restaurants in Peru and Bolivia. They advised me to go on Trip Advisor to find out ones in different cities. For me, this was great as I was find it difficult to find vegetarian food around as South American’s most eat meat and carbs.

The restaurant was called Manzana Magica and did a lunch special for 20 Bolivianos (£2.50). It consisted of 4 courses: fruit and vegetable salad, vegetable soup, Pasta with vegetables and banana with yoghurt for dessert. It was so delicious and filling.IMG_0212

After lunch, we popped back to the hostel for a toilet break, where we decided to climb up to a view point to see the view of Potosi. The walk was difficult because of the hill and high attitude. Potosi is the highest town above sea level in South America, which means I was getting breathless extremely quickly. When we got to the top, there was a huge modern arch and an incredible view of the city with houses sloping down the mountains.

On top of one of the buildings close by were a group of kids dancing and playing (or swinging) a cat around. As soon as they saw that we were looking, they started show off, swinging the cat even more. I felt so sorry for the cat.

We mooched back to the hostel, stopping at the market on the way. Unfortunately, there weren’t many stall open and the fruit didn’t look too fresh. Instead, we got an ice-cream from a café.

For the rest of the afternoon, I just relaxed and wrote my blog while talking to the others.IMG_0219

In the evening, We went out in search of food, where the other two got a traditional snack of Saltana. These mostly have meat in so I didn’t have any. The café also sold cheese short crust pastry slices, which were okay but a little dry. The also brought out a lemon meringue pie and I couldn’t resist so bought a slide. In the dinner room in the hostel, we ate our food and chatted until we felt sleepy. Then I headed to bed for a night of rest. The Hungarian guy I had met the day before offered me some food but I feel asleep before him coming back in the room.

I woke up at a reasonable time to grab the breakfast from the hostel. I packed up my stuff and had a shower. Then I met the two Australians in the lobby to travel to our next destination: Uyuni.

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