After leaving Sajama I took two four hour buses to reach Oruro, one of the largest towns up on the Bolivian altiplano. This city is rather ugly and if an overnight bus was headed to my destination of Tupiza I would have taken it. But there was not. So I overnighted and woke early to book the afternoon train.
This train, that still trvels the track built 80 years ago from La Paz to Salta, now only runs from Oruro to the Bolivian/Argentinian border. It was the slowest, most bumpy train I have ever travelled on. Dinner was included, my first ever on a train. Felt like the Orient Express (Not!).
The train arrived in Tupiza at a cold 4.00am. So I knocked up the nearest hostel for a few more hours sleep. Then I booked a half day jeep tour to view the red rocks of Tupiza.
The following day I took the afternoon bus down to the town of Villazon, and crossed the border bridge to the small Argentinian town of La Quiaca. I decided to sleep here and get the Salta bound bus in the morning.
So here I am back once again in Salta. Here too the weather has turned bitterly cold. Last night snow was visible on the nearby Andean foothills. My full circle of the altiplano, and it's unique landscape is now done. Time now to turn away from the Andes and head east to the border of Argentina and Brazil (where hopefully it's a bit warmer).
Overnight bus tonight (29/05/07) to Corrientes on the Paraña river, just below Paraguay.