My buddy Matt and I joined tour company Bike Hike on an adventure trip to Bolivia. We arrived in La Paz, the highest administrative capital in the world that sits on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau at 3500m. We met up with the rest of the tour group and explored narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets. Walking the streets, my breath was taken away, literally. The altitude had me huffing and puffing. Fortunately I was distracted by the city’s charm. I sat to sketch the beautiful The Basilica of San Francisco.
A woman and child await customers at a foosball arcade in a shopping market.
A woman prepares sugar cane to be pressed into juice. She uses this hand cranked machine to crush the cane and extract the sugary liquid.
A boy stands amidst a wedding procession at the top Mi Teleferico, La Paz.
This is the entrance to Pulacayo, an old mining town. It held the Huanchaca mine formely one of the largest silver mines in the world. The first steam locomotive engines in Bolivia were introduced in this town. Above is the last train supposedly robbed by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid before they were killed.
At the top of Pulacayo is a graveyard, the final resting place for thousands of miners. Pulacayo, Bolivia.
The entrance to Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat.
Fellow traveller, Glenn Crim as we begin our journey across Salar de Uyuni.
Our group taking a lunch break.
Biking towards the island of Tulupa where we would stay at a hotel made out of salt. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.
Most of the farmers on Tulupa raise llamas.
We watched the sun set across the vast salt flats. It was absolutely stunning.
Augustine aged 83, overlooks the tomb of the mummy on Tulupa.
We biked 15 miles to an island called Incahuasi. It had coral and cacti and had been submerged when salt flats were the bottom of a lake over 40,000 years ago.
Ismael is our guide in the Madidi National park. He is Tacana, one of Bolivia's Indigenous Peoples. Ismael works for Mashaquipe, a tour company that supports 43 local indegenous families.
Ismael sharing lessons on the jungle.
Macaws flying in the early morning.
Our guides putting together a raft on the Tuichi River. I tried to be manly and help out but ended up fumbling around like a clueless gringo.
Leaving Madidi National Park on the way to the Pampas swamplands.
A fish monger in the town of Rurrenabaque.
Vendors in market, Rurrenabaque.
A teenager in Rurrenabaque gives me the stink eye.
Upon arrival in the Pampas swamplands, we were struck at the abundance of wildlife. A curious monkey checked us out as our boat made its way down the river Yacuma.
We watched two caimen fight for a split second over territory. This one swam towards our boat, fortunately he then went back to shore to cool off.
Watching the sun rise over the River Yacuma.
Women in Bolivia typically carry on the cultural traditions. This flower vendor wears her bowler had on the side which signifies that she is unmarried. Women who are married wear their hats upright and centered.
On the last day our group decided to do a short hike about two hours outside of La Paz. Over the course of the trip, we had traversed the Salt Flats, Amazon and Andes. It was truly rewarding to have explored such a beautifully country.