As far as our South American destinations go, Bolivia was out in the backwoods, well off the usual itinerary of most tourists. But as illustrated already, its a haven for budget backpackers on the Gringo Trail, and they very much have
their own “standard route” through the country. So far all of our destinations had been firmly on this route but, partly according to plan, partly not, we were taking a diversion way off the usual tourist path.
The part that was NOT according to plan was our visit to the town of Oruru. The fact that we’d stopped there at all was due to a transport strike, which had closed the roads both through and in the town. We arrived late in the afternoon and, given that we needed to change buses out on the road, decided to spend the evening in Oruru rather than take our chances standing on the side of the highway in the middle of the night.
This guy got on our bus as it was preparing to leave Potosi. He played his small stringed instrument (kind of like a cross between a ukelele and a mandolin) and then (as expected) made a plea for some money from the passengers. I was kind of annoyed by his guilt-tripping his captive audience like that, but looking back on it I don’t mind so much and am happy to have contributed something.