2013 Bolivia

Bolivia climbing trip
P1060215  Coca tea is standard and so is chewing of coca leaves P1060218  These are witches stands where you can buy lama fetuses for construction , potions for love life etc. P1060219  Average bus and average street P1060226  Typical local cholita
P1060227  These hats are ominipresent P1060232  Lake Titicaca P1060241  Copacabana is not only a Brazilian beach - it is also a lake beach town in Bolivia P1060242  Town was full of Peruvians who were celebrating the Dark Virgin of Titicaca or just Panchamama
P1060245  Trout is often on the menu P1060246  Juris found his truck , but properly decorated P1060247  Look at Copacabana from above P1060249  Lake Titicaca
P1060252  This is where you sacrifice alcohol, coca leaves to the lake monster 00000  This is how you please the gods P1060253  Another bottle in the mouth P1060255  Just chilling at close to 3800 m
P1060256  Nice evening sunset P1060259  Morning commuter rush to get to Isla del Sol P1060265  This reed boat is just to please tourists. Modern plastics and fibreglass rule P1060266  It was cold on roof so we are glad to get a spot inside
P1060268  Great beach - cold water P1060269  Pigs P1060275  Great views on Isla Del Sol P1060277  This is old Inca ritual table and I bet some heads were chopped off there
P1060278  Pseudo inca trail from one end of island to other is about  7 km P1060279  Windy on the ridge P1060284  We had to pay 4 times P1060287  Bored of train we started to walk along the beach
P1060288  Row of dear leaders. Can you spot Evo ? P1060289  These kids would jump in the cold water too P1060292  School kids ambushing P1060293  Village plaza
P1060295  Getting close to the south end P1060297  We are still in the clutches of civilization P1060298  This is how all kids should work P1060299  All the good looking women were other tourists
P1060302  That what was ours will be ours again someday... this is in regards of land/ocean lost to Chile P1060306  In El Alto there is a famous row of witches . People here treat them as serious as Americans would a chiropractor P1060308  El Alto has the most amazing modern glass architecture. Something about property rights make them build up when becoming richer. P1060309  Another glass building in not so nice neighbourhoos
P1060310  Illampu massiff.  We will hike around it. P1060312  Altai Oasis restaurant where you can get Goulash and Borsch. P1060314  Our cabin in Altai Oasis P1060318  We leave our clothes drying when leaving for the treck
P1060321  Before trek P1060325  Start of trek P1060327  This mule will carry our bags P1060331  Armando and the mule
P1060334  First stop P1060335  In case you wondered where these flowers are from... P1060339  Local school girl watching us during a break. P1060343  Entering some steep sections which we might no have found without Arturo
P1060352  From here on we are on our own P1060357  Yellow bird P1060358  First campground P1060360  Leaving early for the pass
P1060361  On the way up P1060365  Feeling the altitude P1060372 P1060367  First pass
P1060376  Real estate in ecuatorial tundra P1060379  Clouds moving in P1060380  Crossing streams P1060383  Juris braving cold water
P1060386  Stunning views above us P1060387  Moving up the next pass P1060388  All foggy P1060389  And we reach the second pass in the same day
P1060391  Bunch of llamas are around us P1060392  Each pass earns us a candy P1060393  Pigs in fog are scary P1060394  Waking up after 2nd night
P1060395  Getting lost on the way to valley P1060396  Way too high on a steep wall. Nothing to do but go back P1060399  Looking back at where we came from P1060400  Nice break to buy some fruit in local village
P1060401  Lunch and laundry P1060403  3rd pass is a achieved P1060404 P1060407  Night while hiding from villagers
P1060411  Pretty llamas everywhere P1060412  The old inca trail across Cordillera Real P1060413  Trail looking back P1060415  Getting close to high pass
P1060424  Somewhere there is the pass , but after each turn it seems further P1060426  Alpine lakes P1060427  Our water filter at work P1060428  Tiny plants survive this high
P1060430  Pass at last P1060432  Heads are getting light at 5 km P1060434  Crossing pass is a 10 min walk P1060435  Relax
P1060437  Nice laguna on the other side P1060438  This section is steep and we wonder how mules make it P1060441  Laguna is nice and clear P1060444  We fill up our water bottles before attempting the 5km high traverse to Laguna San Francisco
P1060446  Water is actually fairly warm since will has pushed it our way P1060447  Looking for the faint trail going up P1060448  Desert like conditions P1060450  Often we wonder if we are lost
P1060451  Wind formed features in gravely slopes P1060452  After each "sand" dune there is the next P1060455  Amazing look at the range P1060456  No wind and afternoon heat make this 5km location pleasant
P1060458  Guessing our way P1060459  Dropping in the right valley P1060461  Somewhere there is Laguna San Francisco P1060463  Long way down
P1060464  Evening is approaching P1060467  The only spot without nasty plants involves setting up tent on a dusty/muddy shore of laguna. P1060469  We are starting to run out of food and tonight will be chinese noodle night P1060472  Morning with frozen laguna shoreline
P1060473  Looking for the mystical hot springs P1060482  We give up on hope finding the spring and concentrate on making it to civilization P1060483  Keep right, keep right P1060484  Long wind swept slopes
P1060488  In distance that is Lake Titicaca P1060490  Last can of meat P1060493  Somewhere in this valley is Sorata town P1060494  Back on 21st century road
P1060495  First green color P1060497  Waiting for the taxi driver P1060500  It is scary to drive on roads where looking out of windows looks like you are in airplane and you realize that driver barely knows how to drive. P1060502  Sorata looks great now
P1060505  Abuelo rum and Coke to celebrate return P1060507  Laundry in the morning P1060508  Getting the bad news that we cant climb here is a shocker P1060509  We board a bus back for La Paz
P1060510  Bus is a classic P1060514  There is a festival in a town on a way and we get to wait and watch for 30 min P1060515  Back in La Paz we sign up to climb Huayana Potosi. This is fairly popular 6km peak so minibus takes us to the starting point P1060516  In the lodge at starting point we are being fed and have a chance to chat with others
P1060517  Hiking up to the refugio as 5300m P1060518  We are doing great and pick the 2 day plan. P1060522  Clouds are moving in P1060523  Locals have the photoshoot with a cholita on snow.
P1060524  Getting on glacier P1060527  Refugio is 2 shacks P1060528  We are 11 in the square shack. Good crowd. P1060530  Our spots are on lower right
P1060531  It is standing room only when everyone wants to get out of bed P1060532  Trying to fall asleep at 7pm to wake up at midnight P1060538  It is snowing at midnight P1060539  Guides decide to go on.
P1060541  And snow keeps on falling P1060549  We climb till 6 am to reach the summit. Most of time there is only vague sense of direction. P1060551  Break. Our rope is first so we often have to make steps, P1060552  Some sections are steep but it is hard to judge in dark
P1060558  We reach summit first ! P1060559  Snow and wind is just picking up P1060560  Juris is ellated. P1060561  Our guide
P1060563  Me P1060565  6km reached ! P1060566  With daylight we get to see where we are P1060567  Steep cornice has to be followed to reach the section where we climb down. You can not lean on it as it can fall.
P1060569  My hands freeze as soon as i take of gloves P1060573  There are 40 people behind us and path is only wide for one person P1060575  We end up standing on side to let others pass P1060576  View of cornice traverse
P1060577  Traffic jam is making my feet freeze P1060579  Crevases which I did not notice on the way up P1060580  It is a complete whiteout P1060581  Tiredness setting in
P1060583  Climbing down to our side of glacier P1060584  Back at the lower refugio P1060585  We have to hike 30 min to get to the stuck minivan P1060588  Buying quinoa for my dear wife in La Paz
P1060590  Glass on top of wall is the favorite way to prevent home intrusion in South America P1060593  "Christian" chicken is our favorite local place to eat P1060596  Victoria rescues us after we are stuck by bus cancelation. She gets us on the plane and also posters of Huayana Potosi. Maya travel is the best ! P1060603  Celebrating Juris birthday
P1060605  Leaving from La Paz military airport P1060606  Uyuni P1060609  Dakar rally will be here in Jan 2014 so they are starting to merchandise it P1060612  Our rented Lexus SUV takes us to the volcanoe
P1060614  On the way there are fantastic looking erosion structures P1060618  Ollague vulcanoe and that steam on the left is our target. Border between Chile and Bolivia goes right in middle of it but nobody seems to mind slight trespassing P1060621  Our driver promisses to come back in 2 days and we are left wit 12 liters of water P1060623  It is desolate here
P1060625  Old sulfur mine road P1060627  View of salt flats is amazing P1060630  You can see dust devils going across the salt flats P1060631  We set up tent in ruins of old mine worker huts
P1060632  Looking at the top it seems so close.. P1060634  Juris enjoying the evening P1060635  This moss/fungus was amazing at how it wraps entire rocks like foam P1060637  Dinner
P1060638  Sun setting over salt flats and not a human in sight P1060639  Stunning landscape P1060640  Our domicile P1060643  Breakfast before climb
P1060645  This is our favorite breakfast food P1060646  We follow mine road into Chile P1060647  Slow and steady we gain altitude P1060648  Looking up at our target it looks too easy so we decide to go up this slope. In retrospect that was not the right approach.
P1060649  Sulfur sand is steep and icy. P1060650  Pure sufphur P1060652  Snow sections turn into ice and without crampons we are forced to turn back and look for another route P1060653  Traversing over to scree + cliffs
P1060654  Behind us is Chile's Atacama P1060657  Finally we get in the rocks which don't slide. P1060659  Getting close P1060660  Looking at salt flats in Chile side
P1060661  Couple more pushes P1060662  Fumerole P1060663  It stinks bad when wind changes 00001  Juris trying to film with his phone
P1060666  Juris getting stinky P1060671  Crater or mine? P1060674  Last look P1060677  Burning man
P1060679  Last night in mountains P1060681  This is it for breakfast P1060682  Taliban warrior P1060686  Washing socks with bottled water
P1060688  and feet P1060689  Our ride is back P1060691  Us and the volcanoe P1060694
P1060699  Flamingoes 00002 P1060700  Filtrators at work P1060704  Not so scared of humans
P1060711 P1060712  Glad that they have restaurant here P1060719  Vicunas are the wild llamas relatives and they are not allowed to hunt P1060722  Back at clay figures
P1060725  Is that a fox or eagle P1060727  Condor or pig? P1060728  This is main road from Chile to Bolivia P1060731  San Cristobal market
P1060734  Uyuni rail graveyard P1060735  Lots of iron here P1060737  Glory days P1060746  Uyuni salt flats are the larges in the world. They are only allowed to mine salt in one place along the shore
P1060748  Tourists P1060749  Silly tourists P1060751  Piles are to dry salt P1060754  Salt is collected by a cooperative and later ground and iodized
P1060756  It does taste like salt P1060757  More tourist stuff P1060759  Everyone has to do picture like that here P1060760  Just salt
P1060763  Salt roads are monotonous P1060764  It all looks like this P1060765  Till horizon P1060767  Our driver
P1060769  Tourist P1060772  More tourist stuff P1060778  At "Fish" island P1060779  Toyota endorsment
P1060780  Llama steak and quinoa P1060784  Salt just looks like frozen lake P1060786  Juris touching his cactus P1060796  We hike around the island
P1060799  Salt hotel P1060801  Salt has "rings" like tree P1060804  You can build stuff out of salt P1060805  Ojos de Salar are good for you
P1060808  This hotel is 120 Bolivars per nigh. That is about $17 P1060813  Our favorite restaurant in La Paz is Argentinian steakhouse