Nova Scotia Artist, Joy Laking, posts ramblings while she's travelling and painting in South America.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


On Tuesday we took a bus north from Tilcara, Argentina to the border. The bus trip was through incredibly colourful beautiful mountains. When the people in the front seat got off we nabbed their seats and basked in the marvelous views. The mountains are barren and are undulating stipes of red and yellow. Occationally we passed a bunch of cacti that looked like large people standing and waving.

After arriving at the Argentinian border we departed the bus and walked across the bridge to Villazon Bolivia. Immediately we were struck by the noice, excitement, confusion, and colour that is Bolivia. The women wear their traditional dress and it felt like coming home to see the hats and shawls and full skirts. The women are short and with the full clothing and carrying packs of babies, bricks, vegetables, they look as wide as they are tall. It´s a relief to be back in Bolivia also because we found Argentina too expensive for our slim budget, but the main pleasure is seeing traditional people going about their daily lives, away from the posh comfort that lures most tourists.

Yesterday we took photos from our hostel window of people walking by on the street. The colours and shadows were strong. Then I set off to do some sketches on the street. It´s a little scarey to go off alone in a strange town and then to actually paint but once I find a spot for my little stool and become a fixture of the street, I settle in and totally enjoy myself. First of all a boy selling icecream started watching me paint the orange juice ladies squeezing their oranges. Then more and more people gathered, even policemen. As I finished sketches, different folks would borrow them and run off to show their friends. Of course they also showed the orange juice ladies!

At three oclock we hopped on the train to Tupiza. It was more breathtaking scenery of mountains, arid plains and beautiful dry washes. Unfortunately the train also played movies and I got sucked in watching a Michael Douglas thriller in Spanish. I alternated between worrying about the little kidnapped girl and savouring the fantastic Bolivian scenery.

No comments:

Post a Comment