At some in every boy’s life, he has imagined himself living in the Wild West and being a cowboy.
For me, Tupiza was the closest I will ever come to living that dream.
The mountain range surrounding Tupiza, the Cordillera de Chicas, is a smaller but no-less pretty wild west.
My two fellow vaqueros, John Leonard from California and Matan Vax from Israel, and I spent a good five hours riding through the canyons and along the dusty trails that surround Tupiza’s small (22,000) town.
Besides the obvious wild-west cowboy imagery, Tupiza also boasts legitimate six-shooter history.
In 1908 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid robbed an Aramayo payroll at Huaca Huanusca (40 km north of Tupiza) and were pursued by authorities through the landscape that my fellow cowboys and I were riding through.
The chase that started in the United States and was led by the Pinkerton Detective Agency (which later helped establish the model for the FBI) continued all the way into southern Bolivia, through trails similar to the ones you see in the pictures here.
The pursuit ended in San Vicente, a small mining village, where the cops finally got the robbers.
The legendary chase went on to inspire a popular movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
Matan and I had arrived in Tupiza very tired after a night of little sleep on our overnight bus from Potosi. We had overslept the Tupiza stop and ended up in Villazon, forcing us to go two hours back north to Tupiza, meaning we added a total of four hours to an already exhausting ride.