Photo Essay: Bolivia

With my head in the clouds – well, close enough anyway, we travelled overland from the Atacama Desert in Chile, ascending rapidly through mountain passes to the Bolivian border crossing. A couple of hours later, we were herded off the bus to pick up our packs that had been swiftly removed from the bowels of the vehicle and tossed into the cold mud.

My excitement at entering a new country was at fever pitch, though it was in a constant battle with my exhausted body. A battle that was soon to be won by Mother Nature as the altitude began to wear me down. Carrying our packs felt all the more difficult than it had earlier that day. I resorted to kicking my bag through the mud as we shuffled our way up the immigration line to the mudbrick shed that held two cranky men stamping passports.

Bolivia was a destination that tested me at times and enthralled me at others. The poverty in places was confronting and the people I met along the way were amongst the most genuine I’ve met. The vastness of the highlands and the feeling of solitude that comes with it makes you think about life. It forced me to battle through the physical effects of altitude while at the same time processing and trying to draw a positive from the poverty that surrounded me.

The photos I have included in this post are the ones that remind me most of the way I felt when the altitude sickness was at its worst. They remind me of the beautiful people I met as we drove through Bolivia. People who had close to nothing, yet were set on making sure I enjoyed the place they call home.

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Flamingos in the Bolivian highlands.
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Laguna Verde.
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We met this little cutie somewhere in the Bolivian highlands.
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Alpacas as far as the eye can see.
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With crisp air and views like this, who wouldn’t enjoy Bolivia?!
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A reminder that things don’t always go to plan when you travel…luckily it wasn’t our 4×4.
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Potosi with its infamous silver mine looming over the town.
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Cacti oasis in the middle of the Salt Flats.
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More flamingos.
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When it rains on the Salt Flats, certain parts retain the water creating some of the most incredible reflections you will ever see.
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My little friend. He lived in the house behind us with his parents and nine brothers!
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Giant Cacti.
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The immigration line at the Chilean-Bolivian border.

 

 

 

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