nuestro unico problema es que nos falta chicha

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

El Parque Nacional Tunari, Cochabamba, Bolivia

during lunch

This past weekend, myself and 3 others went to part of Parque Nacional Tunari, directly north of Cochabamba. We started out early in the morning and hiked up to the tree line, which took about 7 hours to get to and a bit of route finding. The hike itself was more or less straight uphill, but afforded some amazing vistas of Cochabamba and the surrounding mountains as well as a look into certain maneras of the people in the nearby hills.

Cochabamba in the morning, just as we started

another photo, about 3/4 up the mountain

During the hike, we ran into several campesinos who were living on the hillside. Particularly memorable was a woman who we asked as to where we might find water (which was a problem for though lagunas are listed on the map, they turned out to be much further than we had thought). When she responded we realized she spoke only Quechua, one of the native tongues--but she did help get us back on the trail. I took the following shot of her tending to a herd of sheep after we had gotten a ways further up the mountainside. Our elevation relative to Coch is also apparent in this photo.

The rest of the day was uneventful, and my boots kept my toes from getting banged up into the toebox on the way back down--a welcome change from the grand canyon. It was a 12 hour day hike, but a lot of fun.

Next sunday, myself and a fellow student from Colorado are going to attempt to summit Cerro Tunari. The highest peak in the this Cordillera at 16,700 feet. We´ll be taking a local guide and it should be really great--especially because there is now snow dusting the peak due to a freak snowstorm that happened in the higher altitudes of Bolivia yesterday. I am prepared with long underwear, a waterproof outershell, and boots made from hiking in winter in the mountains, among other things--so it should just be a challenging high altitude summit. It takes about 4 hours up, and 2 back down. I am excited to share those photos...


Dad said...

Wow! It looks like you are having fun Erik!
Are your feet healing okay? Wish I could hike with you. Mom and CJ and AJ are hoping to go to Colorado in a couple of weeks...
Take care of yourself, my son!

mom said...

I was looking at the entirety of your photos - they are really spectacular. You've got a great eye. And it doesn't hurt to be working in such gorgeous surroundings.
I love the llamas. I want one for a pet.
I love you.