Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

September 27, 2010

On the Border

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 11:14 am

La Quiaca

It has been a while since I wrote my last post. I have been sleeping for about 3 days due to getting Altitude Sickness. I did not realize that La Quiaca is at more than 3000 meters. doh! I should have broken up my journey from Salta to La Quiaca. One day is too quick to go 3000 meters. I could have stopped at Tilcara or any of the places on the way for a night. That would have probably been the thing to do. Now for the symptoms of Altitude Sickness – a raging headache and a stomach ache. It is also incredibly difficult to exert yourself in any way and just walking around is exhausting. It is also harder to breathe because of the thinner air or oxygen content or something like that.

All I have been doing is sleeping and watching TV for about 3 days. That is what you should do, just relax, drink lots of water and not eat too much. I was lucky that the hostel I am staying at, The Hostel Copacabana, has a TV in each room. I got a double room all to myself, all for ten bucks. La Quiaca is on the border with Bolivia. You just walk across this causeway and go through the border into Bolivia. It is windy and dusty here and there is not that much to do. At night, the all-night discos blast out their latino-doof until four in the morning. I am starting to get used to sleeping at night with lots of noise going on.

La Quiaca
The Border town of La Quiaca looking towards Bolivia

Now for my journey from Salta. It seems like so long ago. I started off at the bus terminal in Salta and caught the 10:30am Balut. I headed north through Jujuy which is quite nice and hilly and green. Then the country gets drier and you start seeing cacti and dried-out river beds around Yala. We kept climbing up the mountains through these dusty pueblo-like towns such as Tumbara, Maimara and Tilcara. Tilcara looked like a pretty cool place and I think I might stop here on the way back to Salta in a couple of months. I arrived at La Quiaca about 6pm to complete mayhem and chaos. I walked down the road and booked into the hostel.

Later that night I wandered around town looking for somewhere to eat. I finally found this restaurant and had bife de Chorizo with chips and a salad. It was awesome. I have not eaten much in the last few days but I am finally starting to feel better. Tomorrow I am off to Bolivia, but I am not sure where I am going exactly. It is either to Sucre or Oruro. I thinking of taking the train to Oruro tomorrow. It takes all night and gets into Oruro in the morning.


  1. Interesting! A good read and gives me the feeling of your travels. Take care now!

    Comment by adam — September 28, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

  2. thanks adam. it has been hard to get internet in bolivia. it is sooo slow.

    I am in peru now and the internet is much better.


    Comment by admin — October 2, 2010 @ 2:19 am

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