QuickPeek: Walk about. Tourism. Eating.
It was nice to have taken a train ride out of Uyuni, the hours were terrible, we had to wait till 2AM in freezing weather for the train and the sleep was a bit disrupted as I could not get into a good position on the low seats. But still it was my first train ride in all of Americas and it was fun to travel. The train was pretty clean and was full, which surprised me. Though there was heating in the compartment, there were cold drafts coming in from some of the windows. Brrr. I was up a 6ish and around 8 AM or so, the train passed thro the Lago Uru Uru. It was a fascinating sight because it was a also a flamenco reserve with tens of thousands of flamencos and numerous other birds too. I wish I had more time to hang out in that area. it was fortunate as only the train track exists thro the lake, the buses take a route much further away.
We got into Oruro and waked into town to wait till noon when we had an appointment to meet with out host. I had an expensive coffee and later discovered there was a Iskcon affiliated restaurant called Govinda which served pretty decent veggie meals. I’d end up eating every meal in Oruro at Govinda, heh. We actually started the eating promptly and had a bit of lunch at Govinda before heading to our host’s place. Our host in town, Pablex, already had a coupe of guests and one of them was feeling pretty low after overeating street food.
Pablex was a really interesting chap who was a trained doctor, but decided to quit and pursue a career as an artist! We had a nice long conversation about comics and movies and after looking at the condition of his other guests, we decided to give them a bit more breathing room and decide to stay at a hostel instead. We walked all day around town looking for decent accommodation and eventually found one right next to Pablex’s home.
The next day, we went up a hill to a huge statue of La Virgen. They seemingly have made this statue just a few years back and by their reckoning was the biggest statue of La Virgen in the world! It was a steep and pretty tough climb. The elevation (nearly 4000m) made every step a chore and I was like a zombie by the time I got up to the statue. It was nicely made and the view from the hill was pretty nice. We headed down for another lunch at Govinda and spent a good amount of time in a local market. I really enjoy walking about markets, just looking around for some silly stuff. Sometimes I think I am turning into my mom, what with all the cooking and spending time at trinket shops, heh.
In the afternoon, we headed to the Anthropology museum which was, for once, reasonably priced for entry, The collection was good, but description was pretty poor and it was impossible to know where some of the artefacts came from. In addition they had a exhibit to promote the local Carnival. Supposedly the Carnival in Oruro is incredibly famous and super wild and fun to participate in. The costumes and masks from the various years were on display and it was really elaborate and stunning. I suppose if I am in the region in February, it would be great to see.
After a snack in the evening and planning our next few days which involved heading to Cochabamba and La Paz, I decided to call it a day.
Track NotesExpenses: SG$ 38.58
Comments: Oruro is a nondescript mining town. but honestly there is a it of a wild soul in here and the carnival must be a riot.