The city sprawls below a plateau where the world's highest international airport is situated at an alititude of 13,325 feet above sea level
The first short part of the road was asphalt through the cloud forest which allowed us to get used to the bikes.
The guards are there only to prevent escapes; they do not venture inside the prison which is run by the prisoners.
An engraving by Granger from 1590 depicting the brutal mining conditions. Eight million indigenous and African slaves died in colonial times.
There are no rules - no engineers, no geologists, no structural or safety regulations. (Internet photo)
Miners believe each mine has a god or a spirit, called a Tío, that protects them. They give the Tío offerings of cigarettes, alcohol, and coca leaves. (Internet photo)
The miners give the protective spirit, Tío, usually represented in the mine by a clay figure in the shape of a man, offerings of cigarettes and alcohol, coca leaves and other items.
No protective gear other than helmets. The miners chew wads of coca leaves for energy at this altitude.
Cerro Rico has been so hollowed out by tunneling, like swiss cheese, that a group of American mining engineers has declared it overdue for a total collapse on itself.
A bizarre assortment of curiosities can be purchased to manipulate the indigenous Aymara world of spirits and beliefs.
You’ll also find a host of talismans, amulets, potions, aphrodisiacs - even llama fetuses that are said to bring prosperity.
"The savage beauty of this vast salt desert makes it one of South America's most awe-inspiring spectacles" (Lonely Planet)
Unending white hexagonal honeycombs in the dry season; the dramatic light and our shadows at sunrise on the salt flats.
The lack of perspective in the endless expanse provides a fun backdrop for manipulation of photo images
Danish assistant head chef showing us, Kurt and Anneiles the “think tank” area where new dishes are concocted