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
200-300 people died each year on the Old North Yungas Road. It was replaced with a new road in 2006
You are not between a rock and a hard place here - but between a mountain and a 1800 foot abyss.
Guides preparing our biking gear with bikes still stacked on the van roof.
Crosses are sober reminders of the dangers and deaths along The Most Dangerous Road in the World.
The first short part of the road was asphalt through the cloud forest which allowed us to get used to the bikes.
Biking through a waterfall (Internet photo)
In December 1999, 8 Israeli travelers were killed in a jeep accident on the Death Road
Our group photo on one of the curves
Chuck with his bike
We are the "Survivors"!!!
The building, right in the heart of La Paz, was originally a monastery
The guards are there only to prevent escapes; they do not venture inside the prison which is run by the prisoners.
This photo almost cost Linda her camera when the guards came after her and wanted to confiscate it.
Old engraving of the town showing Cerro Rico and its mining activities
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.
Dried llama fetuses bring prosperity. We were told the fetuses are stillborn animals.
You’ll also find a host of talismans, amulets, potions, aphrodisiacs - even llama fetuses that are said to bring prosperity.
Hallucinogenic mirror-like reflections in the wet season (Internet photo)
"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
Linda ordered a 5 course tasting menu with a nonalcoholic drink pairing
Nicely presented dishes on rough-cut slate plates and in ceramic bowls
Glass enclosed kitchen on view from the restaurant seating area
Young Bolivian chef-in-training preparing a desert
Danish assistant head chef showing us, Kurt and Anneiles the “think tank” area where new dishes are concocted
Gastronomic creativity - new dishes sketched out on a white board