|A free morning this morning. We have a leisurely breakfast at the Hotel and pack a smaller bag for the next week including our 4 x 4 adventure lasting 3 days. After breakfast there is a lot of noise from the street below so we go down to find a parade of kindergarten children, dressed up as all kinds of fruit, promoting healthy eating. Very colourful and so cute. Mid morning we have a coffee at Cafe del Mundo and buy some croissants and snacks for our lunch. At 12.30 we catch 2 taxis to the bus station. At 1.10 our very comfortable public bus leaves beginning the 3 hour journey to Oruro. We stop at El Alto where we pick up more passengers and fill the bus. This takes longer than expected and the locals in the bus start yelling 'Vamos' so they are getting impatient! We finally get going and the terrain is as I remember it, red barren soil, very dry with the odd adobe house.
There is a toilet on the bus but we aren't allowed to use it. Reason? No reason why, it just not to be used. All is going well but at 4.30, more than three hours in I am getting a little desperate. I have had another bladder infection and for the last 3 hours I have felt the need to go, but now then urge is stronger. Marco says we will arrive in 10 minutes. Well that takes 30 minutes, so as soon as the bus pulls up I jump off and make a beeline to the toilets and make it just in time!! The joys of travelling!
We catch two taxis from the bus station to the train station to catch the high altitude train across the altiplano to Uyuni. There is time to have a quick look around the nearby markets before our train leaves. Up on the hill, opposite the station is a new statue of the Virgin Mary that's a little taller than Rio's famed Christ the Redeemer. At 6.45 we board the train. We are in a very comfortable carriage with reclining seats, blankets, pillows and a TV. There are enough seats to spread out and have a row each. The train leave at on time at 7 pm . The four of us go to the dining car. We order a meal and a red wine. The wine comes in a small balloon shaped glass so it doesn't spill but the rocking of the train is so bad we dare not lift the glass and try a drink out of it. Solution - a straw! I don't think I have EVER drunk wine through a straw but it solved the problem. The meal is good but we
don't linger as we need some sleep as the train gets in at 2.30am!