Potosi is best known as silver mining empire of yore and you can still do adventurous tours of them, but the wealth of its mining days is evident in the beautiful architecture, well worth visiting in its own right.
Uyuni's Cementerio de Trenes, or train graveyard, presents you with the surreal sight of a collection of rusting, old, steam locomotives dumped in the middle of nowhere. One of the trains is still riddled with the bullet holes left by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when they held it up.
I guess it's not too far off the beaten track as it's only 3km out of Uyuni and most of the expeditions heading for Salar de Uyuni stop here.
to the Yungas...heart stopping stuff, when you drive a rental make sure it is a 4X4 and be aware everything is in good working order
but of course travelling by Minibus and other Travellers is more fun anyway.
in many places the road has been carved out of the Mountain and passes sometimes under a waterfall and when a truck passes, the abyss stares at you.. a very, very close shave at times, mindboggling and adrenalin is pumping through ya veins....but it is actually, fun!!
There is a wonderful little store called 'Fortrama.' It is (or was) a women's cooperative making absolutely gorgeous sweaters. Not the typical tourist-quality alpaca, but sweaters with lush, rich colors, beautifully designed and crafted. Moreover, by shopping at the store you ensure that the proceeds go directly to the women who crafted the sweaters, instead of various middle-men who show up at the markets and normally take the bulk of the profit for themselves.
One of the activities on the Mamore River cruise was a horseback ride on the Bolivian savanna. After about a 30 minute ride, we came to a working ranch. The tile roofed ranch house seemed deserted, but there was a family living in the thatched roof house and taking care of things. They were working in the garden and had to chase the pet rhea away with a stick. Other pets included a javalina and a macaw. See my Mamore River travelogue for a picture of the alligator skin hammock.
The village of Laja is 38 km west of La Paz on the road from El Alto to Tiahuanaco. It is the original location of La Paz. Captain Alonzo de Mendoza was told to found a city no later than 20 Oct 1548. This was where he chose. The original name was Laxa. When gold was found in the Choqueyapu valley, the city was moved there. Besides the weather was better in the valley than out on the Altiplano.
Before you get to the turnoff to Laja, there is a police checkpoint where you must pay to continue on the main highway to Tiahuanaco. The cathedral in Laja was one of the first built on the Altiplano. It was remodeled in 1680. The village of Laja is small but the plaza is large. I am guessing their festival on October 20th is large and they need a big plaza to accommodate it. The plaza had some koa plants (ancient Andean shrub) that are rare now. See also a separate Laja travelogue under my La Paz tips.
CHACALTAYA (5300m), the highest Ski run in the world. It is 36km. Away from La Paz by a dirt Road. During the trip is possible to see the
Huayna Potosi Mountain, lots of Volcanic Rocks. At first we get at the refuge of the Bolivian Andean Club(5260m.), then walking up around half an hour reaching the top at(5385m.)
Excursions: THE SUN ISLAND, is the biggest island in the lake Titikaka. Also is famous of the legend that from there appeared the first couple of Incas. (Manco kapac and Mama Ocllo).
Around there, visit interesting ruins, such as Pilkokaina, the Inca´s Stairs, the fountain of the incas in the south side, and the north side are Chinkana, the Step of the sun and the Sacred Rock. visit the gallery of pictures.
One place. Here. Uniqueness is something that always attracts journeymen and the human spirit. Salar de Uyuni is such a place. On nowhere else on earth are the clouds and the tierra so much in love, that they become one. When the sun sparkle and the two merge, you know you are witnessing something quite special. Only here.
Colours, Winds and Playgrounds. Lying on such a grand scale, this must have been a playground for the Gods. The southern stretch of wilderness from Uyuni to the Chilean border is a place where the world is still being created. Lava flows, mineral deposits and vast plains give you back something you have been looking for. Perspective on a grand scale. Colours twist and turn, winds laugh at the colours and the few living creatures laugh at the winds.
There's a Magical Island. But whisper it quietly for it will surely dissappear. On the magnificent and fabled lake of Titicaca, is an island so tranquil, that even the Incas believed it was their birthplace. The Island of the Sun is serenity. Stone pathways wind through wind rustled groves, while the sun bakes the earth. Shepherds transcend the Inca terraces insearch of water and give cheeky 7 yearold smiles.
An age of the Innocents. The peepers are everywhere. Behind the paintflaking door or around the crumbling adobe wall, peepers are watching. Mostly its the curiousity of innocence at work of wee kids or old women. But theres something telling in those eyes. They give away their secrets when you look closer. Troubled pasts and uncertain futures.
Time isn't sure what to do with Bolivia. So it does nothing. Building fall asleep in the sun, animals dont move and days sweep past without thought. Look around. Often the quite long days provide a window into ancient days. The 1600s its seems were just yesterday. Weren't they?
Il y a beaucoup de lagunes dans les deserts du sud Lipez, pour la plus part salees, d autres avec de grandes concentrations de mineraux tel que le soufre.
Il y a aussi des lagunes chaudes, en raison de l activite volcanique importante dans le secteur.
On est toujours dans le desert, et bien loin de toute vie humaine.
Assez epoustoufflant d arriver a une lagune ou l eau est teinte rouge en raison des algues qu prosperent dans ses eaux chaudes et sulfurees; de voir les vapeurs selever lentement, comme d un grand jacouzi ou les flamants rose circulent en file indienne, le bec dans l eau.
On voit vraiment des droles de choses dans les montagnes perdues des fois!
I had never seen one fighting ruster before, and it looks very different from the regular chicken...
J'avais jamais vu de coq de combat avant, mais ca ressemble vraiment pas au poulet de basse-cour...
More Regions in Bolivia