Potosí, Bolivia

I’ve never felt so high before.

That’s right: Potosí, at 4,100m/13,400ft, is one of the highest cities in the world, and having been built on a hill, you feel it every time you go outside.

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To get here, you take a road through the hills filled with llamas! They’re everywhere, and only with a honk of the bus’s horn do they move aside.

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Also on the bus was a salesman that gave a thirty minute speech promoting this “colon power” drug, that is supposed to help with indigestion, bad breath, obesity, and a host of other problems. He started things off by mentioning that 8 out of 10 people riding the bus have too much belly fat, a strategy that ended up being surprisingly successful!

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Also, everywhere en route was graffiti for “the referendum” which happened in February, in which it was (narrowly) decided that current president Evo Morales would not be allowed to run for a third (really, fourth) term in 2019. It was a highly regional vote; Morales being from the more indigenous western part of the country saw huge support there and not much in the lower-lying areas in the east.

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I of course also took the chance to eat some llama after seeing them everywhere.

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The city itself has a really beautiful central plaza.

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And inexplicably, people dressed as zebras at every crosswalk.

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I believe they were there to help schoolchildren cross, although that seems dangerous since their peripheral vision is eliminated completely by the costume.

The streets are narrow and filled with many more people than fit on the sidewalks, making driving here a more “relaxed” experience.

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On leaving the city, I got to see the new bus terminal, which was quite well-built…

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…except the structure meant that sounds echo very well, which in Bolivia means more opportunities for the ticket salespeople to use their booming voices to advertise their routes. The volume and consistency of tone they manage to hold is seriously impressive, and also a little annoying when trying to sit and read there for an hour and a half.

Also at the terminal was a slightly disconcerting wall of all the disappeared persons in the area in the last two years. They didn’t have any more explanation included, other than when they were last seen at home.

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And then around 9pm I boarded my bus, which was exciting enough to deserve its own blog post…


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