Friday, April 10, 2009

Chuchaque en la manana-REMIX

(hangover in the morning)
It was one of the girls birthdays last night, so I´m going to keep this short so that I can go hunt for some water and a coffee.
The last week has been excellent. We took a three day jeep journey across the salt flats of Bolivia. The salt flats are unlike anything I´ve ever seen, filled with lagoons and strange lakes, potassium deposits that look like snow, and beautiful flamingos that live off of the salty shrimp in the shallow waters of the desert. We visited an area properly named the Salvador Dali Desert, as it was a garden of oddly shaped rocks we got to climb all over. Each night we stayed in a local lodge sitting on the edge of a beautiful lagoon and had plenty of time to watch the sun set. I woke up early each morning and climbed the nearest hill to watch the sun rise, as well. The sky is so big here, like Texas, and it makes me a little bit homesick. After that we visited a hotel made enitrely of salt (I licked the wall!) and an island in the middle of the salt flats covered in cacti. One thing about the salt flats is that it is vast expanses of white where you can take a number of exciting pictures, looking as if you´re climbing out of your hat or being crushed by your sunglasses. As a group, we spelled out tranquilo (which means calm and is the theme of our trip) and I still haven´t heard the end of my sad life as a ¨U¨. I never knew my arms were so short!

After the salt flats, we traveled through a number of small towns in the desert. One of which had a train graveyard- a perfect version of an adult playground. We spent hours climbing all over trains and reading the grafiti, one of which said ¨We need a good mechanic urgently¨in spanish. After that, we made our way to a mining town called Potosi. There we toured the mines- outfitted in full miner suits with bandanas over our mouths. We climbed down in to the mines with our guide and met many of the miners and brought them gifts of dynamite, soda and coca leaves. I´ve never been to a mine before, but the treatment of the workers and the pay is hideous. Apparently, though, there is one miner in Potosi who makes over 5000 US dollars a month and owns a mansion and ¨changes cars and girlfriends like he changes socks¨. Otherwise the average wage is 1000 bolivianos a month (which is the equivilant of about thirty dollars) and it takes more than five years to be promoted. At the end of the tour we had some extra dynamite.... so you can imagine the explosions. As it turns out, I like dynamite. Its nice and destructive.
At the moment we´re in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. Its a big city, almost all black market, and we´re about to hit the town to visit the Coca Museum and a few churches.
Tonight we start preparation for our trek into the jungle- machetes! We leave officialy on Sunday and return a little over a week later. We have three days of trekking, three days in a jungle lodge (with a swimming pool!), a safari, and a few days in a small jungle town. Yay.
All for now.
Love and Bugs
and soda



  1. I forbid you to drink alcohol.

  2. atleast separate from the dynamite.

  3. And do not chew the coca leaves.

  4. You're my FAVORITE 'U'!!! That had be laughing or a while! xox

  5. BLAIR,
    I haven't said hi in forever. I keep looking at pictures of your trip and it all looks so wonderful.
    Cannot wait to hear all of your stories when you get back.

  6. Wow...just wow. Can't wait to see the pictures!