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Living higher than most Swiss summits

La Paz / Huayna Potosi / Uyuni

La Paz is a nice city that kind of reminds me of Quitos but I liked it more. There is big party folks at the hostels, I made the trip to Huayana Potost but I did not have time for the death road / most dangerous road in the world – but this is anyway more a myth - and there would be so much more to do and see in Bolivia for which I unfortunately did not have nor take the rime for.
Then my first X-Mas away from home… It was ok, thanks to Skype I saw and heard Urnäsch and my family, we had a nice tree in the hostel, and the party wasn’t bad either…

Huayna Potosi – my first 6’000er…
This nice Australian couple – Tani & Matt – who I met on the Island tour in Puno brought up the idea to “hike” up Hauyna Potosi on a three day trip. Well why not that could be an adventure and moreover I was keen to try ice climbing which was part of the trip.
So on the first day we drove two hours to the refuge on 4’700 meters. In the afternoon we went for practicing walking with the crampons and ice climbing on the glacier about 30 minutes away. Already there we cheated death when we almost got killed by a giant falling rock. We were lucky enough that it just stopped about one meter in front of us… The guides backpack got smashed, though. The ice climbing, however, was really good fun!
On the second day we walked uphill with our big backpacks for about two hours. The rest of the day was just killing time by playing cards, getting tired, and going to bed around 6pm…
…because the third day started at the first minute. We got up at midnight, got dressed, had a little breakfast, and started walking uphill through the night at 0:45. Over crevasses, 2-3 difficult climbing passages and countless steps over snow and ice I made it in less than five hours which is quite good but I started too fast and was dead tired but proud of myself in the end. It was a tough physical and mental test for all of us (except the guides – mine had been more than 800 times on the top but he did not count anymore).
Just the weather god left my side for once. It was snowing almost all the time and on the summit was just white out. (People a day before and after us had a spectacular view which we were not allowed to enjoy.)
P1020136.jpgP1020097.jpg P1020081.jpg P1020074.jpg

The salt flats of Uyuni or ‘Salar de Uyuni’ are the biggest salt flats in the world and another natural spectacle that I could witness. Not only the dried salt lake but also impressive lava stone formation, colored lagoons, and geysers. But I think the pictures will speak for themselves. At daytime it was very hot in the desert on high altitude and at night freezing cold.
I was on a three day trip and exited Bolivia in the end (already again) for San Pedro de Atacama where I directly took a bus and headed to Andres in Viña del Mar for New Year’s Eve… (I was a bit unlucky on the way with yearend traffic but in the end lucky I made it on the 30th after a 26 hours bus ride!)

On the 3rd January we will both fly to Buenos Aires where I’m hopefully going to meet #1 aka Marco…

And again I’m far behind with uploading my pictures… it’s not my fault that the internet in Bolivia sucks… but I’m catching up these days in Viña where the internet is fantastic!

I wish you all a good start into 2011 – according to the Inca calendar the second last year ever – make the best out of it! And I hope all your dreams may come true…

Posted by Perch 14:49 Archived in Bolivia

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