Thursday, June 14, 2007

A short Bolivia Tutorial

Bolivia is a country of almost 9 million people high up in the Andes in South America. It's Latin America's 5th largest country though much of its territory is sparsely inhabited due to rugged landscape and a harsh climate. The low population density contributes to vast, incredible, untouched, raw, barren beauty. On the altiplano, snowy mountain peaks always remind you that you are soaring in high altitudes. (That and the fact that you can only climb two of three stairs at a time because you are gasping for breath in an effort to inhale just a little bit of oxygen.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Salar de Uyuni

Bolivia's most dramatic natural beauty lies in the Salar de Uyuni, better known as the Salt Flats, a 12,000 km area on the southern end of the altiplano near the Chilean border. This area has kilometer after kilometer of spectacular landscape. Deep red mountains rise out of sandy plateaus. Active volcanoes spew smoke. Brightly colored lagoons suddenly appear around each corner. Their colors come from their high mineral contents and the red, green, deep aqua blue burst out amongst the tans and browns of the open terrain. The edges of the horizon were met with clear bright blue skies.