The Andes
Much of the trip took place at elevations above 12,000 feet. One of the most spectacular places was our visit to Parque
Nacional Sajama. There we stayed in the only hotel which was at close to 14,000 feet with a view up to Volcan Sajama
which at 6542 meters is the highest mountain in Bolivia (picture below). That night I could hardly breathe and had to
wake up Jackie for medication. Not only did I breathe hard, but when I lay down I felt like I was being suffocated.
However, the beauty of this area along the border with Chile was incredible and with heavy medication I came through
the ordeal just fine. As a point of reference, our hotel where the picture below was taken was equivalent to the heighth
of the top of Mount Rainier.
One day we stopped
in the middle of
nowhere to take a
picture. To my
surprise someone
emerged out of
nowhere walking to
some unknown
destination (right).
We saw pink flamingoes (above), rheas (below right) and a strange sort of rabbit that lived in the rocks.
In this area, one happened along a llama or alpaca herders home from time to time. Note the stone corral where the
llamas return at night led by the lead llama for protection against their enemies such as the big cats.
Lake Titicaca
Home Site
Bolivia Home Site
At this elevation, most domestic animals can not survive as the grass is too tough. However, thousands of years ago the
indigenous people domesticated the llamas and alpacas which do fine at these altitudes. Note the virtual absence of
trees at this altitude.