Archive for October, 2009

Everything is possible. Nothing is certain…

Everything is possible.  Nothing is certain…

This was Cristian Castro’s philosophy, our 4×4 driver and guide to the Uyuni salt flats. It became our motto for Bolivia. We started our tour of Uyuni on a crisp Friday morning; 8 of us in a Toyota Landcruiser (Cristian, his girlfriend – our cook, an Auzzie couple – Laura and Alex, their friend Seb, a Japanese girl called Megumi, Ise and I). First stop was the “train graveyard”, where 100-year old decommissioned trains lie rusting in the desert. After that, we headed into the salt flats, which are most surreal – huge expanses of blinding white salt, crystallised into…

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What does a Potosi miner want for Christmas..?

What does a Potosi miner want for Christmas..?

“…A new job!” Well, that would be top of my list if I had to spend 10-14 hours a day in the hot (up to 45oC), dark, dusty airless tunnels chipping, packing, exploding, sorting and shifting heavy rocks and minerals. Also on my list for Santa would be: a professional massage (to ease away the back ache from crouching and bending all day), some jasmine scented bath oil (to wash away the grime and stink of hard graft) and some decent protective hand cream (the dust and rocks are very drying and chafing). Do the miners of Potosi have the…

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The Road of Death

The Road of Death

The road, if you can call it that, from La Paz to Coroico has earned the epithet of “The World’s Most Dangerous Road” due to its morbid reputation for being the route on which the most deaths occur annually. It’s estimated that 200-300 people die or are seriously injured each year as a result of taking a tumble over the sheer drops, which are the main feature of the road’s 64km length. Naturally, such a road attracts the attention of maniacs intent on mountain biking at speed along the narrow, crumbling, rock-strewn track and round the many hairpin bends into…

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Lake Titicaca & La Paz

Lake Titicaca & La Paz

We’ve been in Bolivia since last Friday. teamGoolTM travelled from Cusco to Copacabana (commonly known as “Copa”, at Lake Titicaca) by bus and had one of the smoothest border crossings so far. We’re now on country number 12 of the Big Trip and I had been a bit apprehensive about Bolivia after having been told (by other travellers) that the food was terrible and that we were bound to get ill. So far, however, Bolivia has been pretty good – cheap, interesting and mostly dry, with some good food! The women here dress traditionally, with Laurel and Hardy style bowler…

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