ALTIPLANO: Villazon to Uyuni, Bolivia

12 03 2009

March 1, 2009:

The border between La Quiaca, Argentina and Villazon, Bolivia is a mess of people shuffling about like drunken ducks carrying drunken duck packages. I didn’t see many people stamping in or out. It looked like a free for all. So, after checking into a hostel for $4.20 per night I decided to try my luck and coast invisibly through the mess. Read the rest of this entry »

ALTIPLANO: Humahuaca, Arg. to Villazon, BOLIVIA

5 03 2009

Altiplano loosely translates to High Plain. This place IS high, ranging from about 3,400 meters (11,100 ft.) to 4,200 meters (13,400 ft.) above sea level. It is mostly flat, as that range is only an 800 meter elevation range, but everything is made more extreme not simply due to the fact that the roads are ripio dirt, but mostly by the elevation.

My pulse races when I climb a small hill up here in the clouds. As proud as I am to have raced bicycles as a Flagstaff resident, making fun of competitors from lower, lesser altitudes, I must admit I have not lived in Flagstaff for years now; I have been living in low-altitude Paraguay. And besides, altiplano residents would scoff at Flagstaff residents for our pride– 7,000 ft is nothing here (Sorry Flagstaff, I still love you.) I am typing this entry in a town whose elevation is higher than the summit of Humphrey’s peak, the highest point in Arizona, 5,000 feet above more-than-mile-high Flagstaff. Campesinos on single-speed cruiser bicycles ride past me with no effort. I need more red blood cells. Read the rest of this entry »