And so we left the Chalalan.
That place of untamed natural beauty.
That place where the wilds of the world still held sway.
Where man was the minority and the beasts of the wild ruled.
We boarded our plane and left the basin of the Pachamama, Mother Earth,
and ascended to the mountain kingdom of the Inti, the Sun.
We arrived in the city of La Paz,
Bolivia’s administrative capital.
La Paz translates to “Peace”
After the peace and calm of the rainforest,
the streets of La Paz seemed like something from another world.
A wild river of cars and people.
It took us several days to adjust to this new way of life.
Our first few days found us standing on street corners for extended periods waiting for someone to let us cross.
After watching the locals we began to learn the way of things.
No one makes room for you, you find your opening and you take it.
Before long we moved as they did.
We stood amassed on the corner…
Poised at the ready…
Wait for it….
Wait for it….
We would spring to action and dash for the other side.
Narrowly avoiding the dangers.
By the end of our time there we were leading the pack.
We were at peace with the new way of things.
We spent our days in La Paz exploring the markets and the hills surrounding the city.
We rented quads and travelled the outskirts of the city, from river valley to the Altiplano,
a plateau stretching in all directions to the peaks of the Andes on the horizon.
We signed up for a mountain bike ride on what was once the world’s most dangerous road.
“The Death Road”
Riding from the sparsely vegetated heights of the Andes, down to the lush rainforest valley.
We rode that rutted out trail that had claimed the lives of so many before.
Looking down cliff faces that fell away into the abyss below.
We cut through the clouds and felt the temperature and humidity rise as we did.
Watched as the vegetation changed with the change in altitude.
Scrub grass gave way to the jungle’s grasp.