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.