May 3, 2011 at 11:59 am #1273249
@dtpaladinoLocale: Northern Rockies
Companion forum thread to:May 4, 2011 at 1:06 am #1732730
I envy your adventures. Nicely done.
Just a note about the "illegal" mines. Mining has been vocation for individuals and families throughout the Andes since pre-columbian times. These Indian family operations are preyed upon by multinationals and government cronies for their local mineral knowledge. Their traditional activity is then made "illegal" for environmental or safety reasons, only to have it taken over on a grand scale. There are reasons these small-stakes mines are unmapped: the natives are wary to give up the source of their income, nor are other interested parties keen on inviting others to explore.
Thanks again for continuing to share your trip with us.May 4, 2011 at 7:16 am #1732774
I've currently based out of Bolivia and was in Sorata last month. I'd love to know what trails you were hiking and much time you were out for.
It is certainly beautiful out here!May 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm #1732902
I love the photo of Kristin finding someone to talk to… because that would absolutely be me. I kept greeting the small lizards that lived near the doorway of our rental in Hawaii last month. Rob thought I was crazy, but I'm confident that they now miss me!May 5, 2011 at 5:03 am #1733221
@winterwarlockLocale: Western NY
Once again, an excellent tale with awesome pics…wish I had taken time when younger to do something like this.May 5, 2011 at 6:03 am #1733233
Thank you for shining light onto some of the underlying issues of these smaller mines. The line between legal and illegal was murky in some of the places we traveled to.May 5, 2011 at 6:14 am #1733235
Paul – we were in Bolivia in June of last year. This trek took place in the early part of the month.
We don't have great internet connection right now, so I'll have to look up our route next week. I can say that we hired a taxi to take us to one of the mountain villages below Illampu. We spent 1.5 days hiking up one valley to the pass, only to realize that the driver had taken us to a different village. Should we have continued, we would have been on the loop that goes around the whole range. Unfortunately, we did not have time for that. So, we backtracked and traversed around the mountain edge to continue hiking below the peaks. I'll post more info when I can. Enjoy Bolivia. How long are you there and what are you doing?
Addie – too true!
Scott – thanks for the comment. However, you CAN still travel and trek around these great destinations.May 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm #1733858
Great article and photos! I have visited the Altiplano of Bolivia twice (with a Church group) and love the beauty and extremes you experience there. The ubiquitous wool "poncho" is used as a backpack, baby carrier, sweater, and sleeping quilt. I am amazed at how fast and far the native Quechua can hike in a day, carrying the family provisions up and down the mountain. Can't wait to go back in October.
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