BOLIVIA: 07.09. - 12.11.2007

Route: San Juan, Concha K, Salar Uyuni, Tambo Tambillo, Quillacas, Challapata, Oruro, El Alto, La Paz, Caranavi, Rurrenabaque, La Paz, Copacabana, Isla de Sol, Sorata, La Paz, Copacabana

Distance Bike: 1135 km    Ascent: 6000 m    Distance boat: about 300 Km


Preface: In the introduction to Bolivia says our guide, that in Bolivia expect the unexpected, and thus meets the nail on the head. We will Bolivianern mainly by the very warm welcome, particularly in LA Paz Hardly a day on which it is not either a festival, a parade or at least a small demonstration (some demonstrations have also almost Umzugscarakter). Bolivia landscape is incredibly diverse and snow and barren peaks of Hochgebirgswüsten Amazon Jungle to meet here on almost every conceivable climate zones. Especially in tents Altiplano is relatively easy.


224. Weekly report  07.09. - 16.09.2007 

Route: San Juan, Concha K, Salar Uyuni, Tambo Tambillo, Quillacas, Challapata, Oruro

Welcome to Bolivia: Nevertheless, immediately with the entry formalities the first disillusionment, the border official requires all at once 15 Bolivianos (about 1.50 €) from us for the entry stamp. Ordinarily one must pay the money, nevertheless, only with the crossing the border, however, with foreign tourists one can make quietly sometimes an exception. Because we had not succeeded in Chile, nevertheless Bolivianos (BS) in acquiring to a more or less satisfactory course (the Chileans have offered the exchange to 30% under course value to us!!!) we have of course no 15 BS per nose. Then, nevertheless, alternatively the border official accepts also "generous-wise" US $, however, now we must pay per nose 3 US $ (instead of ordinarily 2 US $). Long live the corruption!!!!
Where to go? According to tourist guides will be in Bolivia ungemachte a road to the Salar de Uyuni, but the streets here to make us an excellent impression. Other roads, there are loud card. Slightly irritated, however, we are, as the road map is not how loud the railway line item, but something more towards the south. Sicherheitshalber again we ask the Customs, if the right road. Yeah, it says, the road goes to Uyuni. We follow the really good gravel runway, but instead of the expected change of direction to the east is continually to the southwest. After about 15 Km we keep oncoming pickup in order again after the road to ask. The two very nice Bolivians tell us now that this was a new road in the town of Uyuni also would lead, but a small sheet and would not Salar de Uyuni direction would lead. If we wanted to Salar then we would have something and then cycle back on a small road north to eventually cycle back to the old way, the railway follows, to take. The small road is extremely sandy, and so we push cycle and a 5 km before we have our tent in the dark detail. On the only sign that we see is the label already up beyond abgeblättert and thus no real help. The next morning we cycle down to the level, but now the road forks. Right, east and actually our direction, the path but after one kilometer into an old mine, so we left the path (west) to choose, but back to the border seems to lead. Would prefer us a way north towards the railway line, but the there are not. We follow the road west for a while and just as we in a small crisis meeting to decide on is whether we have the way through the mine should take or directly on the Salar should ride to the north, we see on the northern horizon (where we hinwollen ), The dust cloud of a jeep. Gespannt we follow the jeep always behind the hills disappear, with our eyes and after about 15 minutes he is not far from us over and disappears to the south. Ok. because the road is so long. We follow the deadlocked lane, still face a number of other tourist jeeps, and after a few kilometres we finally reach the railway line. How are back on the right track! But it that the lane (path or road would be an exaggeration) in parallel to the railway runs can not talk. Once we see the railway tracks are still on the horizon just briefly again next to her. At a military camp, the lanes at once on the Salar de Chuguana north instead, according to the map to the East, but we follow safety times the lanes, because we then some tourists have come jeeps. Confusion comes up again, we San Juan, the next city control, according to the card directly into the railway line, but the only houses we see are about 10 Km from being in the mountains. We trust in the lanes and to our astonishment, the place really in the hills of San Juan. The last kilometer however, we need to push through deep sand. From here it continues to Concha K, a slightly larger city, according to the itinerary of a Swiss Radlers scarce, 18 kilometres away would have. We follow an evil places corrugated iron and sand runway and after 12 kilometers, at once a sign "Concha K to the left". Unfortunately, however, are three ways to the left, and it is good advice once again expensive. We have good luck and again after a few minutes a tourist jeep us on the right of three ways. The lanes lead again through open countryside with some branches but in the end we reach sound after 30 Km Concha K. Apparently, the Swiss cyclist whose information otherwise excellent, there is some abbreviation.
Festival in Concha K: Although is marked in our map as a provincial centre Concha K a small place in which there are, nevertheless, some stores which use to us in the absence of Bolivianos, nevertheless, anyhow nothing. Nevertheless, in the village just a religious festival town finds and thus are all inhabitants on the legs. Something behind the marketplace is the real fairground on itself everything has gathered around to the music of a brass band to dance. The party already seems to be some hours going, because nearly all adult, men like women, are completely got drunk. Many are so got drunk even that it is a miracle that they can keep generally still on the legs, or can still dance. We do not want to disturb the playful mood of the party further (anyhow we feel to us is absent on the place) and there it already shortly before sundown is we still fill in fast our water bottles and cycle a few more kilometres farther.
Shows here your feet: Up here the dusty washing board runways are a really very first cream and as thankfully as we are to the tourist jeeps for her guidance, thus we are also irritated by the gigantic clouds of dust them whirl up if them to us vorbeibrettern. In spite of scanty stores of water we wash every evening around the thick dust layers we abzuschrubben.
Salar Uyuni: The next day, finally, then it goes on the Salar de Uyuni, the biggest and highest salt lake of the earth on 3653 m. After many washing board runways and sandy runways of the last days cycling on the smooth and firm salt crust is a true relief. We were real a little bit anxiously because of the orientation on the Salar, however, thanks to the road description of the Swiss and the black lanes not to be overlooked (thanks to tyre wear) of the tourist jeeps the orientation is absolutely trouble-free. About 40 km we go dead-straight northwards up to Isla Inkawasi who lies here in the middle of the Salar. One can see the island, by the way, already from 30 km of distance.
A dream in white:
Hexagon-shaped salt edges: To destroy the nice hexagonal salt edges not needlessly we also keep quite well to the lanes (except around briefly a few photos to make).
Isla Inkawasi: Though Isla Inkawasi is not the only island on the Salar, however she lies where to herself the main routes on the Salar cruise and, besides, still about a restaurant disposes, it is the approach point for all tourist jeeps. The island itself is covered with many old cacti (should be 1200 years old to). Because the whole scenery lay here once under the sea covertly, there are on the island still many corals what looks a little bit droll up here on the Altiplano of course. We fill in our stores of water with the restaurant again and then disappear on the quieter south side of the islands around a few photo admissions to make. Here, actually, we also want to whip our tent, because we can enjoy thus sundown as well as from sunrise, however, suddenly a storm-like west wind starts, so that we must proceed in the windbreak of the island and can make to no nice sundown photos.
Paddking: Once in the life on a salt lake paddle I imagined and make our Packrafts ready to be launched. Nevertheless, unfortunately, I do not come anyhow so properly from the spot. This is a nice lake if one can not even paddle on him.:-)))
Marathon group: After we spend in the lee of the island and when we the next morning with sunrise from the tent have an eye we do not look badly when all at once a whole group of joggers goes past!!! The group exists of 21 predominantly American marathon runners who take a "run vacation" here in South America. At the latest every 2nd day is run, and is denied every now and then also a marathon (one is in a few days in the brine Titicaca).Für today are attached on the Salar 21 km, before it further goes to Potosi. Most runners are not acclimatised yet completely so optimally, finally, we are on 3650 m, and thus they allow to concern it relatively quietly. In the group is also a German marathon runner who has denied a marathon on the North Pole in spite of his old age (nearly 70) only few weeks ago.

Salar Uyuni to push: According to our map it looks thus as if it was to be driven substantially shorter by Isla Inkawasi to north-east directly to Tacarani than about the Salinas Garcia in the north. Without further ado we resolve to try our luck. First everything still runs rather well and thus we come to the east of the volcano Tunapa to a nice small place before a gigantic herd Llamas puts out to pasture and with on a small lagoon bulky flamingos are to be admired. I ask a Llamahirtin which direction we should smash best of all around about the Salar to Tacarani to come, however, unfortunately, woman has no notion whether and what for places are on the other side of the Salar. Thus we drive off roughly after feeling, because our compass has a gigantic air bubble and is also not particularly helpful. Because none of the lanes in the direction aimed by us leads we simply cycle "quersalzein". The salt is nicely firm and crunches as really coldly frozen snow. Nevertheless, after a while the salt becomes more humid, we sink even something, and everywhere from the tyres it splashes there. We change our direction a little bit southwards and come so luckily again to more firm regions. Nevertheless, after some kilometres the surface of the Salar changes once more and instead of the nice smooth roadway with the hexagonal fields now it is very rough and hubbelig. Our speed decreases from comfortable 18 km/h on strenuous 10 km/h. After a while the salt becomes more humid and softer again, and we become even slower. At last it goes off in such a way that we must descend and push. Suddenly the salt changes suddenly and we deal it with soft quite fine loose mud. Our heavy bicycles deeply sink and thus we struggle laboriously pushing forward. All together we push our wheels 7 km, before we reach firm reason shortly before sundown again. To our joy we can see a few kilometres farther a small village. Tacarani, as we hope. We cycle and push on sandy runways in de small place where we shortly after sundown come. As we are found out now we though not in Tacarani landed, but in a little village with 3 families about 10 km farther to the north, however because we anyhow want further to the north only suits us. Nevertheless, at last from 50 km easy according to map of stage (abbreviation) quite strenuous 80 km of day has become.

Sonja and Ludgardo part 1: I believe we look tired after many pushing a little bit and exhausted, because when we will want to fill in, actually, only water we from Sonja and her neighbour, an older South American Indian's woman in the traditional Petticoat and Bowlerhut (melon), directly on a cup of tea invited. The kitchen of the neighbour is pitch-dark, no window has and thus some light comes in merely by the Türe. We are allowed to do ourselves on the bed placed, while the neighbour puts a kettle to water on the gas range standing on the ground and lights afterwards a small oil lamp. The oil lamp exists merely of a wick in a tin full with oil. Presumably we also look half starved, because to the cup of tea we still get a piece of fried white bread. After we are supplied with the most necessary one soy and her neighbour withdraw and we sit alone in the twilight and strengthen ourselves in the easy however comfortable kitchen. Actually, we want again from the place rausradeln around our tent to be based, however, Sonja and Ludgardo (her husband) persuade us that it is not clever in get dark on the sandy runway rumzueiern and offer us that we can whip with pleasure our tent here beside the chapel. I help Sonja on plastic foils to the drily laid out grain punch (Chinua, any millet-like grain) zusammenzuräumen, so that we have a level place for our tent. We have put away just the tent, as Sonja to us one more room offers in we could sleep, however, to move over again, nevertheless, we are too exhausted and thus we decline with thanks. Nevertheless, at least an invitation for the dinner for later insists they. Sonja disappears in any of the houses to the cooking and we furnish our tent further. Although it is already dark and is cold a little bit, nevertheless, we leave open the Zelttüre to be accessible furthermore. After 1.5 hours, we freeze substantially and can keep open the eyes hardly more, a possibly ten-year-old girl stands all at once in get dark before our tent and looks to us in without what to say. We say "hello", however, the little one is still taciturn. Finally, I ask the girl whether she speaks in Spanish (in rural Gegeden the language of the Incas and Aymara is spoken in Bolivia because still often Quechua) what she answers with a short scanty "Si", before she goes to ruin again in the silence. Finally, after some minutes she says something like"mummy" and "Sopa" and has faster disappeared than the flash. OK. now true probably the info that the dinner is ready, however, in which of the houses we should come then. Uncertainly we wander around the houses and after half an eternity a Türe goes all at once Sonja rises from to us joyfully entgegenwinkt. The culinary small house resembles rather a storeroom for grain and unused utensils and the only one what reveals that the space is also used as a kitchen is a gas range which stands in a corner. Sonja sits in the candle-light between some bowls and a big soup pot on the ground. Immediately we get two small stools offered. Nevertheless, I offer my small stool of the neighbour, because I do not want that them on the ground must sit, however, from from somewhere she conjures all at once still a small seat opportunity. A few minutes later there comes Ludgardo, whereupon itself the neighbour discreetly moves back. Now everybody gets a full bowl with the fervently steaming tasty soup. Jaqueline, Sojas and Ludgardos daughter to us to food has called, sits down on a few grain bags, while her smaller three-year-old brother means he has no hunger and now would go to bed. The soup is marvellous and warms up us again so really nicely from the inside. It is eaten in silence. Not which we would have to tell ourselves nothing mutually, however, in particular Ludgardo is exhausted very much by the work and drops off even every now and then something. After food we tell something else about our trip and our everyday life as a bicycle traveller and we report merely about our trip here in South America before we dead tired in the bed fall.
Sonja and Ludgardo part 2: The next morning brings and Sonja a freshly fried bread for the breakfast to the tent and mean, nevertheless, we should stay here one more day and rest a little. Now we are in the catch-22 situation. Loving with pleasure we would spend one more day with Sonja and her family, however, by no means we want to lie to them on the pocket and allow to feed us again from them. Now ordinarily we would offer that we would cook today for everybody, however, our stocks of food are limited just more than only. We could still exchange no money and have no Boliviano in the pocket, and up to the next place where we hopefully on a bank hit these are still more than 150 km on grit runways. We have to eat just enough that we if everything well runs these can reach. Should we need, nevertheless, longer than two days would be fast announced. Long we turn over in the mind and, nevertheless, finally, we decide in addition to go on. The resignation hurts, in particular, because Sonja tells us that we were the first guests in her life.
Other detours: From Sonja and Ludgardo from we follow a sandy however well to be driven runway to the north, however, to us, finally, again on the right street are we must cycle once again own kilometres more than we had expected. Nevertheless, expected good Schotterstrasse is a bad washing board runway from very coarse grit, so that we make headway rather laboriously. Nevertheless, bit by bit the street very feels well better and, finally, even here and there. In Tambo Tambillo we fill in our stores of water in the village well from which with the help of an old Belchkiste the water is scooped. The people here on the Altiplano are nice, by the way, everybody really and friendly. From a driver we get as a gift even bread, cakes and biscuits and want to invite once to us a few construction workers to food, (nevertheless, to us have got what they, actually, want we are already vorbeigeradelt). Then to Santuario de Quillacas the street becomes once again bad. There comes that there is a new street here either again, or our map is once again wrong, because 20 km farther to the south instead of directly in Santiago de Huari we come out; with the taut headwind we have more than only one cat's jump once again. Briefly before we after many kilometres in dust and mud again on the tarred road come Nadine has one more spoke break. Apparently the mechanic does not have in Salta, nevertheless, so well eingespeicht.
Hombres Trabajando Cuidado! Attention men at work!
Thunderstorm: Actually, wants to fill in we even today in Challapata our stores of water and exchange, finally, money, however, 3 km before Challapata we are stopped by a gigantic thunderstorm with Hagel and properly a lot of rain and can just still creep away on time in our tent. Behind the wall there is a small well from Nadine then luckily some waters (rather brownishly) can get, before the thunderstorm properly gets cracking.
Thermal baths: In Pazña there should be thermal baths, and thus we ask a few locals where we them then would find. We find out that there should be here two thermal baths. Next on the street to the north and another with the name Urizza in the other direction. The thermal bath Urizza should be the nicer one and thus we follow the advice of the Bolivians. Like himself then, nevertheless, puts outside the thermal bath of Urizza 6 km lies outside from Pazña namely of a grit runway uphill after behind a small place. The thermal bath of Urizza belongs to a mine and a mine worker with yellow protective helmet assigns our own bath in a little bit ramshackle building to us. Nevertheless, differently than in other thermal baths the sense seems here to be to be able to wash sometimes with warm water because to use in spite of signs no shampoo some Schampootüten lie around here. We rush in the floods and enjoy the nice hot water to us, finally, completely schrumpelige skin have. Almost we would have even forgotten to pay, because the mine worker with no tone has mentioned an entry fee and the arrangement also worked rather in such a way, as if she was intended for the mine workers and their families. Also when we we of the mine worker dismiss he still says nothing, however, as us hard waving over again in him drive past suddenly occurs to him that he has forgotten what.
Festival in Pazña: Fresh washed we come just on time back to Pazña around a festival move are present to skill which just takes place here. Pazña lies about 80 km to the south of Oruro which is famous for his carnival and in particular for the costly and imposing masks. Apparently some groups from Oruro have also come here, many of the absolutely impressive masks could come just as well from a star War Film.
Dance groups: During just two hours we admire the move, the coloured activity and the wild dances. On the marketplace a big rostrum is built up on one jury sits which values the dance presentations of the single groups. In the late afternoon we see all at once in the horizon again drawing up thick storm clouds and get on the way as soon as possible again. Then on the Rau's way we hit not only on even other dance groups which just prepare themselves but directly behind the place on the other thermal bath in a nice relatively new building.
225. Weekly report 17.09. - 23.09.2007

Route: Oruro, El Alto, La
Wind and rain protection: For it that the rainy season only in November should start we here richly many thunderstorms. Against the rain and the always stormy north wind only the escape sometimes helps in the street passage pipes.
A family on bikes: Between Oruro and La Paz we hit on Jacqueline, Pierre, Jeanna, Louis and Matthieu, a French family on one-year-old bicycle world trip. While Jeanna and Louis alternately with mummy on the tandem or only on a child wheel (with luggage pockets!) cycle it enjoys Matthieu of dad in the bicycle follower by the world to be driven. The complete tent equipment is, by the way, also with aboard. Quite proudly tells us Jeanna that they cycle here on the Altiplano in Bolivia daily about 70 km. We are impressed, we have created the last days always just 45 km (Nadine had strong stomach problems and the headwind was also not helpful). Then from Bolivia the family further cycles over Argentina to Puerto Montt in Chile. From South America it should go in January, 2008 then further after New Zealand.
Sandstorm: Briefly after we have met the French family we get all at once in a taut thunderstorm with sandy storm and get just still on time to us to flee in a desolate house before outdoors the end of the world mood starts. Though shortly before sundown the weather has calmed down again, however, we decide to spend the night here in the house.
La Paz: Though La Paz is with 3600 m - 4000 m the höchstgelegene capital of the world, however, this alone is not yet everything. La Paz lies because in the middle of a gigantic canyon 6000th last in the horizon snowy lie. "The peace" is called La Paz, by the way. We approach from the south the town and the first sight in the sea from houses is really breathtaking! However, now one means first of all from the canyon edge situated on 4000 m down to cycle in the city centre. We would enjoy the departure still even more if we did not know that we would have to go here again high. Then in the town itself rules the charming swarm and chaos which we already know from South-East Asia, however, around something more comfortably. Here after the chaotic and loud cities in Argentina and Chile we feel right away very well.
Nobel peace prize for Evo Morales: On the 20th of September is on the Plaza de Murillo all at once a big crowd. It plays the military marches chapel of the Bolivianischen navy (although Bolivia has no access to the sea) and an indigene flute group. The event is valid for the nomination of the bolivianischen president Evo Morales for the Nobel peace prize in 2007. Evo Morales is the first president of Bolivia from the group of the Indigenen population comes and was chosen in 2006. Although internationally a little bit controversially he enjoys in Bolivia a very high respect, because the old traditions and the protection of the nature lie to him very much with the heart and he tried the living conditions of the easy villagers to improve.

Lausers on tour: After a little bit more than four years we meet Nicki and Gerhard again. We have met both Austrian cyclists between Vienna and Bratislava and have looked then together for a camp site. At that time Nicki and Gerhard have used her vacations to cycle in two months to Damascus. The both could conclude their teaching post study just still successfully, before they were packed again seriously by the Radelfieber. Now for meanwhile two years they are on the way from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Of course there is to tell a lot and thus we rattle half a night through before we always through deserted lanes again in our Hostel return. Although we nearly one week together here have spent we have not got, nevertheless, unfortunately, on the row to make a reasonable picture of the both (sorry).

Market in El Alto: On Sunday it high goes on the weekly market of El Alto visit on top in the canyon edge we together with Nicki and Gerhard. The situation of the market along a railroad track directly in the canyon edge is magnificent! Although we had been warned before already several times as dangerously the market should be up here we feel very well. The market women are incredibly charming and it gives incredibly a lot of pleasure to stroll here above the market on it of used things about the newest pirated copy of American music groups nearly everything gives what the heart popularly and to maintain us with the people.
El Cargador: Then at last Nadine also buys one bolivianischen Tragetücher of the women. Although presumably, actually, only to the transport of the babies thought heard such a Tragetuch to the compulsory clothing piece of the bolivianischen women. Though to us it is a riddle why, however, something seem the Bolivianerinnen always to lug to have. At least fits into such a Cargador, nevertheless, a little bit more than in your average European ladies' handbag.:-)
Football game: the middle of the market in El Alto is at once a small football pitch on just one lot on the run. Even with much wohlwollen can the space only describe as bad, but fortunately pays tribute to the very strict referee the space is no bill by rough play tolerate. Behind one Fußballtor there is a small dump, while on the other side directly market stalls. During the already abundant ramponierte ball often between the market stalls once land is even an older market Besucherin fully wounded. Somehow reminded the football game kleinwenig to the football game on the market in the German movie WERNER:
226. Weekly report 24.09. - 30/09/2007

Route: La Paz
Spanish course: In an other attempt to improve our Spanish knowledge here we make in La Paz a Spanish course. Because we have learnt in Buenos Aires substantially more during the single hours than during the group hours this time we turn to an independent Spanish teacher, however, unfortunately, with low success. Over and over again we must find out because by the remachining that our teacher has completely wrong explained to us some grammar rules or has sorted verbs into the wrong Verbguppen. When we she comes appealing as a result only to one flood of excuses. After a while we find out that our teacher belongs to the witnesses of Jehovah and thus becomes clear to us at least, why we always talk about so funny subjects during our Spanish hours (The meaning of the Bible...) . Thus I get as a gift as a Spanish reading a "watch-tower". Moreover, we are invited to a congress of the witnesses of Jehovah here in La Paz. Because of the congress our last both teaching hours then also in the late evening instead of with the success that find the teacher several times in with me the lessons falls asleep. She dictates the grammar rules to the Subjuntivo (a special verb form in the Spanish) to me then also directly from a book before. However, there she also, besides, several times drops off, nevertheless, the rules prove no sense.
Guitar lessons: However, here not only to my Spanish knowledge I have granted in La Paz an improvement. Here thanks to costs for one teaching hour of 3$ of US I have also afforded a few guitar hours. Ramirez of the Bolivians with the quickest debate in completely La Paz has seen it on my clumsy fingers. Thanks to the exercises he allows to make me I after every hour immediately several knots in my fingers and substantially muscular strain in the forearms, however, after a few days everything catches itself something to loosen and we play together a few easy songs.
Demonstrations: The democracy in Bolivia is just 25 years old and the Bolivians are engaged accordingly. Demonstrations with street blockades they have run in the agenda and there, actually, peacefully nobody also further takes exception to it. All demonstrations we have seen upwards the demonstrators to a few shields with her demand resembled rather a comfortable chat on the street with held. Merely with a smaller crowd before the court the demonstrating women have supported her demands for more justice still with loud slogans.
Healer's market: In La Paz there is a so-called "witch's market" well to the model for some scenes with Harry Potter could have worked as a model. "Superstition" is coined in Bolivia still very much and here thus there are the most wondrous things to shop. Thus there are bath products the ideal partner in addition should bring themselves in one to fall in love if one recites into the bargain some father ours, or lead perfumes to prosperity. Then, nevertheless, a little bit very unusual for us the llama foetuses offered for the sales one are, for example, about the Türe knocks. However, besides there is also a woman the all kinds of herbs sold and there I just some open places in the mouth has here we can buy some sage one looks in the chemist's shops in vain.
State visit: I run just thus from my guitar hour home when I see everywhere really a lot of police and note on the Plaza Murijjo a small crowd. I interfere under the people before the government palace is around on somebody to wait. I am there just a few minutes when the balcony doors rise on the first floor and kick Evo Morales, the bolivianische president, with his guest to the Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad before the people. The amount rejoices and, finally, both presidents collect themselves in the hands and stretch them confident of victory upwards. After a few minutes stretch the presidents who are called by the press most near days confidentially Evo and Mahmud, back to devote themselves to the state shops. Although Mahmud Ahmadinejad only 5 hours in La Paz signs stayed he with Evo Morales contracts, the Iranian investments in Bolivia at a height of 1100 million. $US guarantee as I infer the next day from the local newspaper. However, besides both heads of state also explain that they want to walk on a way of the peace and that they want to pursue nuclear programmes merely to the peaceful use (a rather one-sided explanation thinks, nevertheless is, because I have never heard what of bolivianischen nuclear programmes). Further explains the Iranian president: "Quiero anunciar en voz alta que nosotros, tamados de las manos, vamos a construir nuestras sagradas tierras, erradicamremos la pobreza y llevaremos a nuestros pueblos a la paz"... "los dos pueblos (Bolivia y Iran), en el camino de sus altas ideas, salrdán victoriosamente". ("I want to explain with nothing but voice that we, in the hands taking, our holy countries are based that we will exterminate the poverty and will carry our people to the peace,"..." two people, on the way of her high ideas, will be victorious".)
Qué aliado: What an ally. While Bolivia is grateful for every economic support, the Iranian president seems to look for international backing in his nuclear quarrel with the USA. According to newspaper reports both presidents have got on so well that they have immediately embraced several times. Very interesting I thought that the next day was reported in several articles not only in detail about the meeting of the heads of state , but also Iran, his culture and his religion were shown extensively. Nevertheless, with all joy at the economically help the reporters have not forgotten it that the situation of the women is improvement-worthy in Iran absolutely and the mismanagement in some article also clearly named. The sight of Morales and Ahmadinejad like they sure of victory her calm hands heavenward stretch, nevertheless, has tuned not only me thoughtfully. The both are, by the way, the first heads of state I from the next nearness sees.
South America wakes: South America stirs, and after the wild years of the military dictatorships (for the time being) are overcome themselves widespread with growing democratisation also the wish for more independence and international influence. At least in this sense I interpret the foundation of MERCOSUR, an economic cooperation of the South American states (how once the European Economic Community). Further one plans to reach the foundation of a "bank of the south" around more independence from the world bank. In particular the radical venezuelanische president Hugo Chávaez (by Bolivia, Equador and Argentina in the back) and the temperate Brazilian president Luiz Ignázio Lula there Silva (with Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile on his side) do South America in a new direction. Brazil aims even at a constant seat in the security council of UN during itself Hugo Chávez the political compromises of his allies buys (the helicopters during the visit of the Iranian president over La Paz circled is a loan of Cháves). Interesting with the caricature the "new" role is also those of the artists for the USA sees: While Lula and Chávez around the hegemony in South America play the USA sit off the real events and deal with Colombia.
Do not lie, do not steal not be decayed: The Inca's right: Like us our Spanish teacher told is valid in some regions of Bolivia still the old Inca's right with the motto: Do not lie, do not steal not be decayed. Nevertheless, hardly we can believe ourselves as them told that, therefore, e.g., with thieves short action is brought and they are simply burnt. Then a few days later we hit on two Argentines whom in a store with try on from things the photo had been stolen. Immediately the store employees and the mob wanted to pull the woman suspected for the theft to the account, and only by the intervention of both Argentines worse was prevented. Particularly has pleased us that both Argentines have retrieved her photo after some days and some negotiations, finally!
227. Weekly report 01.10. - 07/10/2007

Route: La Paz, La Cumbre, Caranavi, Villa Florida
Departure from La Paz: From La Paz we want in the direction of west in the Yungas and afterwards further to Amazonia. However, before the big departure we have to go first of all substantially uphill, namely from 3600 m in La Paz on 4700 m in La Cumbre. After the time free of reprimand the increase from La Paz heavier than believed falls to us. As usual a taut icy wind blows us at the midday again against which makes every metre the torture, so that we whip our tent earlier than planned in the late afternoon shortly before the passport. The next morning then happens the almost unbelievable: I am overtaken just by a truck as the front seat passenger exactly at this moment the Türe opens to push me from the bicycle! I have incredibly a lot of luck, because instead of me "merely" my rear pannier meets the Türe, so that I come flinging only something in. Moreover, I have the luck that at this point just no deep abyss is beside me! Although this absolutely the most unbelievable traffic situation on our trip was, nevertheless, it on no account reflects the relations in Bolivia again where we are taken up by the Bolivians otherwise very warmly.
The worlds most Dangerous Road: Because we are not sure first whether the door attack is here maybe a quirk the truck driver, meanwhile completely irritated from the whole cyclists we are in organised groups so-called "Death road" hinunterradeln, 2 to directly to La Cumbre on precipitous unused Schotterstrasse from. The controlled tours drive all first 20 km on the tarred road up to the real putting on one side of the infamous most dangerous street of the world down in the Yungas. Nevertheless, the upper part is presumably too demanding to the groups technically, nevertheless, it is a matter of overcoming some brooks and Steilhänge. We have with our treacly loaded wheels, nevertheless, no serious problems and enjoy the marvellous lonesome and car free scenery in full trains.
Rivercrossing: Though an older farmer still gives us the tip that we should keep after the next bridge on the left, however, anyhow we miss the putting on one side and land, finally, before a bigger brook without bridge. Now one means to unload everything and to carry on the other side, however, without falling, besides, in the chill Wet what is not so easy on the slippery stones, nevertheless, at all.
Landslide: We further follow the grit runway running in parallel with the tarred street and land in such a way, after we have crossed some idyllic villages, directly before a landslide. If we were by a car on the way now we would have to turn round, however, thus we simply unload our wheels again and carry our equipment on the other side. I just still carry as the last Nadines bicycle about the loose stone as sudden a big stone gives way and with him all at once "half a slope" in slide gets. I lie quick on the nose as myself is dear and can just still prevent from slipping off further. Thanks to Nadines the help which takes the wheel from me I come again back on firm ground and, finally, certainly on the other side.
Camping on the most dangerous street of the world: Differently than the controlled tours, for the regional magnificent distance just some stood time have we dispose well over that and whip so early in the evening our tent in a stone quarry situated in the street. Then, nevertheless, to the dinner we sit down over again to the wayside around the though hazy scenery impressive however nevertheless to enjoy.
Primeval forest: The further we downhill in the Yungas cycle the closer and more wildly becomes the plant world and after we have cycled the day before still by scanty high valleys now we are, only few kilometres later, in the thick primeval forest.
Guided bicycle tours on "Death Road": Although we a total of 2 days on the famous tourist wheel distance are we have found, because we have avoided the tarred road in the upper part, on the way only one only ones controlled group. First we are still overtaken by the group, however, later we meet a few curves all at once again one of the guides. His wheel pushing! We ask for his problem, and he means he would have records, however, no air pump! We have already belonged a lot from the controlled bicycle tours here, however that the guide an air pump not even has including we find really very wittily. We help out him with our air pump and a few minutes later he proceeds on the chase to his group. We make just break on a small Ausbuchtung as the escort vehicle of the bicycle group comes (they have also got a pump, besides) and us in recognition of our help an occupied cheese bread roll and a few bananas handed! The group we have met was on the move rather quietly and well-behaved (with a guide at the group beginning and at the end), however, in principle we have heard there rather another stories. Though the street is put out here and there very much and the deep abysses are already erfurchtserweckend, however, as dangerous we have felt the street by no means. At least since the new tarred road was opened the last year there is hardly more truck and coach traffic which has made the narrow street absolutely around something more adventurous. Here, nevertheless, tourists have a fatal accident as a participant of controlled bicycle tours (they simply fall about an abyss). Cause would be allowed to do here, nevertheless, rather banked speed, inexperienced cyclists to itself overestimate and guides them her customers to too quick cycling animate be as the "dangerous street". Actually, accidents are no miracle if we find out from a guide that them the distance for we 1.5 days have used in 1.5 - 3 hours cycle! To enjoy a lot of time around the scenery and to take photos, besides, does not remain, in any case. Apart from the fact the one or other fallen tourist raises also the ostensible danger and therefore the charm of the tour and consequently also the business!
Abysses and narrow places: Some of the abysses and narrow places on the WMDR (worlds most dangerous road) are really breathtaking and also the reason for the "legendary call" of the distance. Unfortunately, just these places too often became the Lkws and coaches the disaster which have tried here each other vorbeizuzwängen. According to a sign with a check post 16 people on the distance should have had a fatal accident last year; under it also two tourists.
The US Bolivian: Then shortly after Ya the old street hits again on the new tarred road and for a few restful kilometres there remains tarred, even if it is to us a riddle why in the places instead of tar cobblestones lies (maybe the tar was too quiet to the local residents). The tar is preserved to us only briefly and all of a sudden we find ourselves again on a dust runway. We have set off meanwhile from 4700 m up to about 1100 m and in addition to the dust comes a muggy heat unusual for us. In the late afternoon we are demanded all at once into perfect American English. Juan and Jenny (a bolivianisch Argentine pair) live, actually, in New York, however because he here from the Yungas comes they come to make for a few years over and over again here back around vacation. Besides, at the moment they are here in the place in he has grown up a property to acquire to be founded a nice small house to enjoy the old age here (in each case half a year here and half a year in the USA) later. Juan tells us that there was here earlier hardly dust, because the street was covered partially still with grass, however, sometime the government left grit from the Altiplano to improve the street and here since then everything would be so dusty. However, a little further below the street, because where they want to build her house, it would not be so bad completely. Here apart from the fact his now thanks to financial support from Germany the plans for continuing of the tarred road under roof and field and in 12 months the dust would belong to the history. We question Juan something else about the bolivianischen president and although he does not like it though that he with Hugo Cháves so much under a cover puts told he us that Morales makes good otherwise his thing very much. Differently than presumably all the other presidents of the world Morales has halved his salary after assumption of office first of all and has also shortened the walking age of the parliamentarians! On the occasion of the earthquake few weeks ago in Peru Morales has donated immediately half of his salary to the earthquake victims and to touch his ministers in addition stopped him and to donate at least 25% of the yours.
Good call: Already yesterday we were perplexed a little bit when all members of a road construction troop have spontaneously taken off her hats and have wished us especially warmly a good continuation of the journey, after they had found out that we are Germans. Also Juan reports to us that we had Germans here in Bolivia a very good call. Not only because we financially many construction projects Supported ones would know (as for example the new tarred road), but also because the Germans would maintain the best schools in Bolivia (a little bit we already from Uruguay) and with factories them would establish the economic power of Bolivia would strengthen. We would not least bring as tourists also a lot of money in the country.
Snug camp site: After the absolutely quiet camp site of the day before it gets us this time quite badly. The street runs in a narrow valley and all more or less level places are farmed. Only far after sundown we discover directly beside the street a desolate construction ruin. So near in the street we have never slept though, nevertheless, there are alternatives none. Not to attract too much attention we build up our tent, nevertheless, only as it is already completely dark. While we comes sitting just thus with our dinner there all at once in the middle from the dark bushes a hunter with flashlight and geschultertem gun walks and comes along after a short greeting on the way home. Actually, we had hoped that at night the traffic, like on all streets ordinarily would strongly decrease, however, here it has just turned back. A truck and a coach after the other thunder only few centimetres along our heads and there itself here, moreover, also a passing place considers it is honked quite often also loudly. An anything but restful night.
The maybe filthiest street of the world: Last sometimes that we have been got covered in dust on a street thus was in Cambodia and also at that time it was similarly hot and oppressive. It is interesting, by the way, that although here in Bolivia ordinarily right-hand traffic rules here on the narrow narrow streets in the Yungas link traffic is prescribed. The reason is clear, because thus the driver is in each case on the side of the abyss and can estimate so much better as far he can venture on the street edge.
Front garden of the Amazon: The scenery here in the front garden of the Amazon area is absolutely marvellous: Our street winds by a wonderful valley covered with Jungle. Among us lies a delightfully blue foot, parrots fly screamingly over our heads away and gigantic radiant blue butterflies hang fluttering in the air. The word is to be crept itself almost already "heavenly", besides, in my head when a truck comes around corner and we disappear again for fairly long time under a thick cloud of dust.
Paddle tour Rio Coroico: From Caranavi we want to paddle over the rivers Coroico, Kaka and Beni till the Junglestädtchen Rurennabaque in Amazonia. For weeks I have tried to find about one in La Paz in vain we have printed out a map of the region and at last the map being on the notice board in the tourist information abfotografiert, and einlaminiert. The distance of Caranavi to Rurrenabaque is difficult to estimate, however, we suppose that it might be about 250 - 300 km. According to current we plan with 7 - to 9 days and buy accordingly food. There are on the way though some places, however how big they are actual we do not know. Directly before our Hostel there flows a side arm of Rio Coroico and thus we can puff ourselves up with the help of the ventilating fan our boats in the twinkling of an eye before we on our trip in unknown ones transferred.
Rapids: For us our boat stages are always to be got something special, because it is nearly impossible always very difficultly to, about the respective rivers some information, let alone dependable information. About our current boat tour we know merely that Rio Coroico should be level and quiet and that on the rivers Kaka and Beni every now and then a ship has to go for tourists wrong. The river is here in Caranavi the Hauptwasch and-badeanstalt and thus we paddle past men them her cars standing in the river and Lkws scrub, to women wash them her laundry and to youngster you have assembled to the morning laundry. In a few stony flats we push our boats a little bit and for the end we still pass a military shooting gallery running in parallel with the river. We are very grateful for the short break in the fighting during us vorbeipaddeln the soldiers. Hardly from Caranavi Rio will push Coroico then, nevertheless, substantially more wildly than expected and every few metres we on rapids I would classify than WW I-II. Nevertheless, our boats prove themselves very well. Because we no hose covers have agreed we though every time a few well-arranged loads of water in the boat, pass, however, otherwise we the difficult places easily. So really fast we do not make headway in spite of good current, nevertheless, because we are occupied constantly to scoop the water from the boat.
Involuntary bath: On the first day I do not pay attention with a few rapids so surely and before I I provide I am driven directly towards a tree top lying in the water. I make me quite half on an involuntary bath insert calmly, nevertheless, anyhow I just still rush thus under some of the prickly branches through. Actually, I have feared that the thorns slit the boat, however, fortunately, only the watertight stack bag has a small tear as well as me a scratch in hand and upper arm. This would have gone well over again. Then on the second day we come to a place in the current to us directly to a cliff face presses. This time Nadine does not pay attention and before she itself provides she already inserts an involuntary bath insert. By the action we lose annoyingly two our drinking water bottles, but otherwise everybody is (Nadine, boat, and things in the stack bag) well.
228. Weekly report 08.10. - 14/10/2007

Route: Caranabi, Mayaya, Rurennabaque, Caranavi
Nadine in action:
Rio Kaka: After one and a half days we reach Rio Kaka. Nevertheless, differently than Rio Coroico Rio Kaka is quiet a brown broth and, moreover, by no means as expected. It goes furthermore through the mountains and because we will have now more water the rapids greater and a little more wildly. After the nice clear water of the first both days it is funny anyhow to paddle in the slushy brown water and in particular with the rapids it works in such a way, as if one shook a cup of cocoa hard. On the second day a gigantic rock lump lies all at once in a narrow place in the middle of the river. Nevertheless, though with our water level the place is easily mobile demandingly. However, we find out from the other boaters that there were many sometimes deadly accidents here in the rainy season. Then with rising water level recorder the waves and whirlpools become because bigger, so that even big boats capsize.
Mayaya: Mayaya is the first bigger place we in the morning of the 4th day happen. While Nadine in the upper village our bread and biscuit stocks freshens I talk to the driver of a banana cutter. Because the place has been at a distance a little bit, nevertheless, the inhabitants have been surprised a little bit like us then have come here.
Gold panner: Some years ago gold was found here in Rio Kaka and everywhere thus we hit on the river on the gold panners who live here under easy tarpaulins. He would wash 1-2 grammes of gold on the day with his golden frying pan from the rock, one of the gold panners believes just on the way back about his family in Mayaya is. I mean a hard work, however, he means he must work for it only 6 hours and it would be also so strenuous not, even if it is quite quite cold constantly in the cold river to stand. It is not the gesündeste job, moreover, also, because the gold is released here still with mercury what reduces of course also our paddle fun in the brown broth. Nevertheless, some gold panners seemed to keep free to themselves Sunday afternoon, because when we along them paddle many sit on which rock at all above the river in the middle of the Jungle (we it is often a riddle like they have come without boat there) and enjoy the afternoon. Every time if we them happen they wave we would become ebullient and mine become same of the dangerous rapids come. The official golden price lies, by the way, at the moment with 18.23 € per gramme, however, thus a lot the golden seekers will not agree absolutely!
Fantastic tent sites: As always in our boat tours we have again the good fortune beautiful tents to find. The mosquitoes keep Fortunately halfway back, while the Sandflies us sometimes sooner than we would like to force into the tent. After all those cold nights are the hot humid temperatures below somewhat unusual for us and so we usually sleep without sleeping bag. While on the Altiplano wind and road noise are the only sources were here in the Jungle is an incredible noise. The animals that make noise probably see more adventurous than the noise they make suggests. In particular, the cicadas are often so loud that we are finding it hard to entertain.
Jaguar tracks: In a camp site we discover big clear tracks of tapirs and Jaguar. Because it also smells a little bit strictly we suppose here the district border of one of the nice big cats. A little bit rottenly Nadine is already to courage when it is a crash at night constantly according to in the bushes, however, apparently Jaguar has at the moment no appetite for thin bicycle tourists. Quite differently than an Armeisenstamm which has eaten, attracted by an empty chocolate row paper, by our tent ground. We have about Saying 'du' big holes in the tent ground for I later several hours will will need to mend around them.
Rio Beni: Finally, we reach to Rio Beni here already a big wide river is. Even if there hardly rapids is so we have mostly still good current, so that we often can be laid just decayed in our boats and done ourselves.
Great canyons: Rio Beni crosses another two mountain ranges in those the high precipitous cliff faces often to directly to the river approach. Here, actually, there should be Anacondas, Jaguars, tapirs and Capybaras, however, up to two Capybaras before us fast in the Jungle flee we get nothing to see. There are merely parrots, water birds and gigantic butterflies richly.
Rurrenabaque: Finally, after 6 days we reach about midday the Junglestädtchen Rurrenabaque earlier than expected. We feel fine in the small small town surely and the comfortably activity and many moped riders remind us strongly of the Luang Prabang situated in the Mekong in Laos. Many tourists come to explore to Rurrenabaque around the surrounding primeval forests and grass sceneries on controlled tours. Nevertheless, controlled tours are not completely thus our thing (even if one gets compulsory here a lot for his money, nevertheless, one can observe on the pampas tours, among the rest, Anacondas and freshwater dolphins) and thus we rather wander by the fruit market and vegetable market and talk a little bit with the juice shop assistants.
Nice coach journey: Back we go to Caranavi then by the coach. Although the coach journey should last only about 270 km away 10 hours. Immediately in the end of the town the coach already stops and both substitute drivers jump out around something in a store to look. Finally, the driver also gets out and when he just 15 m of the coach is away this starts to stutter in and simply goes out. The fright stands in a queue to our coach team on the face written and the substitute driver reprimands immediately his colleague for which reason he has got out generally. The thing is clear: the starter of the coach is broken, and thus we rise from by him again to bowl first. During the next hour we urge another 3x in order food for a passenger to buy 5 water melons for the coach drivers and oil for our coach. Then the oil is also refilled immediately during the journey, because the Öleinfüllstutzen is to be reached by a hatch in the way. After 3 hours we reach Yucumo where a half-hour lunchbreak is included in the plan. While we just what eat the coach on the way comes along in a work town. After the lunchbreak then the info that there are problems with the steering hydraulics and we would go on only in one hour. We make it to ourselves on the seats in the taxi stand comfortable and observe the activity of the small place. Nevertheless, one seems to be rather run-decayed here, because instead of running 30 m to the motorcycle taxi stand the potential customers stand on the door thresholds of the respective stores and shout rather for several minutes to them of one of the Mopedjungs are fetched. Then the distances are not also so far and it can feel well that one gives up himself only 100 m farther to another store. After the hour has passed by it should go on at 10 minutes. 10 minutes stretch and at last we go on after a 3-hour break. Because our coach team constantly in screw was and no time had to eat what we give them our remaining bananas, after one of the boys had asked us for a banana which they accept though hesitantly, however, still thankfully. With nothing but joy that the coach again runs we also open immediately again and only when a few women start to shout "Faltan pasajeros!" strikes that another two passengers are absent. They have noted too late the departure of the coach and now are postdriven by 2 Mopedjungs. One rules playfully and happily mood and none of the passengers looks irritated or irritated because of de delay. When the women find out that our coach drivers have got no lunch they make a pilgrimage one after other forwards around our heroes with delicacies to supply. The friendly helpful kind of the Bolivianos impresses us strongly. Now our coach driver tries to catch up the lost time again and races we mad about the narrow dust runways. Everything what on the street is he expels with his loud horn and we are glad that we do not meet him on our bicycles. Although we a few more urge sometimes to examine the steering system, finally, we reach after 14 hours of Caranabi. The coach adventure offered, by the way, for just 3.50 € a top price achievement relation:-))
229. Weekly report 15.10. - 21/10/2007

Route: La Paz
Waiting for Christmas: After we have succeeded meanwhile VAUDE to win as a right equipment sponsor now we can exchange some of our very worn clothing pieces for new ones. To have to pay have no import tax we allow to send the package to the German message and there the German post a delivery within 4-6 days accepts here we decide to wait in La Paz. However, the German post is not apparent also any more what it was sometimes, because after 8 days the package is not yet here. We wait patiently further and spend our time with it our Spanish books to work through.
Foreteller: In the street before our Hostel always sit several foretellers who forecast her predominantly female customers the future on the basis of Coke sheets which they throw on the ground.
Strong women: The women in Bolivia are very strong, and with it I think not only her social role how this young woman proves which clobbers just her partner, because he came the last night not home.
Parade: On Sunday morning we hear march music and gun salutes once again and curiously we proceed to the Plaza San Franzisko where we hit on a festival move continuing several hours. Nevertheless, though the move is not ours first in Bolivia we are fascinated on new by many great costumes.
Snacks: In gigantic bags the women sell here a sort of pop grain. While some women the bags in a barrow by the area drive her baby on during them the back must carry this older woman the bag, nevertheless drag.
Who I am: Actually, I want to take only one photo of the mask, however, the dancer insists on the fact that Nadine them touched down has to go. I like Nadine without, nevertheless, better!
Indian: Beside the Bolivians also take part in each case a group of the Chinese and Indian immigrants in the move. While the Chinese with a gigantic long dragon through the street run the Indians Süssgebäck distribute to the spectators.
Masks: Today it is so warm and sunny that herself a woman the chill beer in the shoes pours around her swollen feet to cool, and we get a sunburn. The dancers must sweat under her masks quite substantially, and thus it is no miracle that they set down them in every break.

230. Weekly report 22.10. - 28/10/2007

Route: La Paz

Attention zebras!!! As a pedestrian one crosses in Bolivia the street whenever one wants. As long as one observes, besides, the traffic and always nicely well to the cars, coach and Lkws makes way passed also nothing, however, one Must already pay attention. If a policeman on the street is once around the traffic to regulate his instructions are valid of course only for the drivers. The pedestrians make furthermore what they want. To gain control of the pedestrians in the Plaza San Francisco here there is quite a special "zebra crossing". Here as a zebra dressed up youngsters the pedestrians try to educate to a little bit more discipline. However, without thick ropes with those them in each case the roadway block off if they had no chance!
Lunch menu: For converted just 1.80 € one gets in Gloria hotel in La Paz a vegetarian midday menu from allerfeinsten. Beside salad plate, bread, soup, main food, dessert and tea there are still two cold drinks. The menu is so extensive that we always divide one because it would be for one for us too much (the main way is not on the photo!). Very much we have surprised that the restaurant is full of craze every time, and many of the guests older (60 +) lawyers (the court of law is next door) and businessmen in suits are.
Visit to the cinema: Although yet two years in the office there is not about the life and the development of the bolivianischen president already a film. We have gone to the premiere to cinema and because there should be dance presentations we have rather been there a little bit. Then there were of course dance presentations, however before we we provided we became from the viewer the dancer. I believe we have danced together absolutely during 20 minutes! The film itself was very interesting, nevertheless, he showed not only the way of an impoverished farm boy from the Altiplano first to indigenen presidents of South America, but also many insights into the life everyday life of the normal Bolivians. With Evo Morales Bolivia has a president him his country, his people and his problem from own experience of life knows. We hope that he cheers all moved is able.
The Coca sheet and his history: In La Paz there is a small however fine Coca museum. In the museum all texts are translated completely also in German what receives with the extensive information one is very pleasant here. The oldest remains of Coca sheets became in coffins in the ruins of Huanca Prieto in Nordperu (in 2500 - in 1800 B.C.) found. Further there are tips that already in 2100 v Chr. have chewed the Valdiviana Coca . In 1200 - in 147 A.D. the Incas extracted the Cocaoil around with his help cerebral operations to carry out. In 1551 A.D. the Catholic church calls the Coca sheet "diabolical" and arranges the destruction. At that time the monthly consumption of Cokablättern in the silver mines of Potosi had put out an equivalent of 450 km of gold. Coca raises the suffering readiness of the mine workers and to be able to exploit this more the Coca ban of the church was lifted under pressure by Felipe II again. Now, however, the church raises 10% of tax on Coke! Coke was now and again even so valuably in Potosi that the Coca sheets were valid as a currency. In 1609 A.D. doctors use to cure the Coca sheet around wounds. In 1860 Albert Niemann (Goettingen) discovered the anästhetische effect from Coke. It develops a legal Cocainboom and the Coca wine Mariuaru storms the markets of Paris. In 1884 Simund Freud publishes, the first cocaine consumer of the history, an article about cocaine (Freud dies later of nasal cancer presumably on account of the Cocaconsums). In 1886 there comes a soft drink on Coca base on the market: Coca Cola! In 1905 there comes Pracain, synthetic cocaine, on the market and edges out the natural one. In 1914 cocaine is forbidden. In 1950 the United Nations fire at the destruction of Coca . Because it is produced "mental disturbances and is responsible for the poverty in South America". In 1961 Bolivia signs a contract also the masticating of Coke forbids (meanwhile, however, again lifted). In 1976 Harvard university is published in a study, that the Coke sheet (if it is chewed!) from food-scientific view with millet, maize and wheat is comparable. In 1978 a study will chew she publishes aforesaid, that in the rural areas of Bolivia 92% of the men and 89% of the Mrs. Cocablätter. From 1983 industrial cultivation of Coca in Bolivia for alternative products (Liqueur, bobsleigh vouchers, toothpaste, drugs).
"Acullico": The traditional way of the Coca consumption is the Acuillo, the masticating of the Coca sheet. The technology was developed about 4000 years ago and enables with the help of "Llycta" of an alkaline substance (Carbonat from the cinder of banana plants or millet) to extract the nutrients and alkaloids of the Coca sheet. Besides, the sheets are crushed only between the teeth and afterwards are pushed in a cheek. Then after 10-15 minutes if the sheets are soft the Llycta is taken and the sheets are sucked out. With this technology can be used up to 90% of the Nähstoffe of the sheet. The Acuillo is carried out 2-3x daily (mostly after the meals) and is a social event comparably with the coffee drink with us.
The effect of Coca: The effect of Coca according to a scientific study of the Instituto Boliviano de Biologica de la Altura: Coca contains three alkaloids, cocaine and two chemical variations. The Acuillo increases the tolerance concerning work, stimulates the respiration (improvement of Sauerstoffaufnahem and combustion), decreases the luiquid of the blood cells (therefore reduced thrombosis danger), adjusts the glucose metabolism (insulin circulation, sugar metabolism) and stabilises the sugar household, contributes substantially to the height adaptation and does not affect, besides, the normal absorption of nutrients.
Coca farming: The traditional Coca cultivation of the soft and more sweetish sheets occurs in the precipitous slopes of the Yungas during the unlawful drug cultivation in the region of Chapare is to be found. The small Coca fields in the Yungas are managed by families or the village community and there 3-4x per year a harvest possibly is the Coke cultivation shows here often the only form of a regulated income. While the men will prepare the fields the harvest traditionally from the women explained (social privilege) who draw for it her best clothes. On our way to Caranabi we have seen the small fields and the fire clearings necessary for new fields over and over again.
Production costs for cocaine: To produce 1 kg of cocaine resulted in 1997 the following costs: Coca paste: Worker (for the Cocatreter about 5$US per hour earn) 350$US, Coca sheets (323 kg) in 1615$US, other (acids, lime oxide...) 200, - $US. All together in 2185$US. Then in laboratories it is crystallised 1 kg of Coca paste to 1 kg of cocaine chlorine hydrate. Although this is made in impromptu unlawful laboratories the crystallisation process is complicated and requires an extensive chemical knowledge. Cocaine: Coca paste in 2185$US, unlawful chemicals in 1000$US. A total of in 3185$US and the labour cost of the "certified manpower" was not considered in the laboratories there in addition no data gives. The topical market value for 1 kg of cocaine lies according to Internet with 35,000, - € and this is stretched then already several times with glucose and other knickknack and is only 40%)!
Market stalls: Every evening the Bolivianischen market woman pack her market stalls with the product in plastic foil one. We are impressed, because this are meant that theft is in principle no problem!
Zoo visit: On Sunday afternoon we make an excursion to the south of La Paz. On the coach journey down by the amusing canyon Nadine goes off in such a way that she must vomit from the coach window. To the Rehabilisierung it goes first of all in a nice park before we transfer us in the zoo. Especially well we have liked the condor's enclosure in the zoo which is a gigantic Gitterkubbel, so that the immense birds even the possibility have to fly a little bit.
Valle de la Luna: Here near the zoo the Valle de la Luna (lunar valley) and in comparison to the other "lunar valleys" we also lies in South America have seen here she winds a narrow and path adventurous now and again between the mucky pileworks through.
231. Weekly report 29.10. - 04/11/2007

Route: La Paz, San Pedro, Copacabana, Isla de Sol
All Saints' Day: Here for All Saints' Day there is in Bolivia the special cake which there is in the Plaza San Franzisko already in the whole week before the holiday in especially for it to built up market stalls. Beside cake in cross form there are green little men and mauve women, as well as a little bigger figures with a painted face from gypsum. Nevertheless, unfortunately, the biscuits do not taste completely soooo well like they look.
All Souls' Day: More importantly still than All Saints' Day seems to be the holiday All Souls' Day in Bolivia on the 02nd of November. All Bolivians and Bolivianerinnen we see are dressed up superchick. One meets, goes on the cemetery, sits in the street and observes the traffic, has a barbecue or plays together music. We see every few metres in the street edge a group of flutists standing which play traditional bolivianische songs accompanied from a drummer. Some music groups have organised even a small coach. The whole troop sits making music on top on the roof, while the coach drives up and sets off in the village.
Titikakasee: The Titikakasee is höchstgelegene from big ships a practicable sea of the world and lies between Bolivia and Peru. However, Bolivia, since the war with Chile of his sea access (and his rich mines) sticks robbed furthermore stubbornly to his navy which has lain now with the Titikakasee. The water of the lake is still delightfully clear, however because more and more sewage is escorted in the lake it is fine only one matter of time to itself this changes.
Boat crossing: To come after the Cocacabana situated on a peninsula we have to go with Taquila about the Titikakasee translated. Together by two cars we will load by our bicycles onto one of the level wooden rowing boats and sail so slowly and comfortably over the lake. When the wind refreshes something and the waves become a little big, nevertheless, the whole one swings rather substantially, however, luckily we are not with one of the really questionably swaying penalties on the rowing boat. The invitation and unloading is typical bolivianisch and accordingly chaotically organised. Thus there is a landing stage for bringing up on the rowing boat and a landing stage for driving down. This means that a loaded rowing boat only puts in. If the rowing boat has put in the ticket is cashed up by the driver and this drives down from the rowing boat. . Because, nevertheless, the waiting vehicles at another place drive up now the rowing boat puts away again (this time, nevertheless, without engine they separate it is pushed with wooden poles) to go to the Auffahrstelle where she puts in once more before the already waiting vehicles may drive up. No miracle that the empty and full rowing boats always collect before the respective landing stages. We have waited almost so long before the landing stage for a burstting like the whole crossing has lasted.
Broken spoke: On the peninsula concerned we have to go only once over the mountains around to Copacabana to come. We struggle just laboriously uphill when with Nadines wheel breaks once again a spoke (third since Salta) and we first of all quite a while need to exchange around this. All three spoke breaks were at the quite precisely same place, so that we suppose that the mechanic has in Salta badly eingespeicht. Now I try to get for the first time in my life from a rim of wheel the imbalance out and thus I am occupied first of all quite a while. To Copacabana we would not create it after the breakdown anyhow any more, and thus we are glad when we find only few kilometres later a marvellous camp site with dreamlike view.
Copacabana: Copacabana is the biggest Bolivianische place in the Titikakasee and delightfully lies in a small bay. The small town is removed just 150 km from La Paz and to reach by the coach in 3.5 hours, so that many Bolivians come making here the vacation. Copacabana is prepared on the visitor's stream thanks to a lot of Hostels, restaurants and pedal boat swans, nevertheless, very well. Apart from the fact the border briefly lies behind Copacabana to Peru, so that, actually, all tourists from the Machu Pichu from the south drive here a short interstop insert, nevertheless, one can go from here on Isla de Sol. When we come is just the extended week-end with both holidays, so that here the prevailing number of the tourists Bolivians are, and a lively activity on the street and on the beach rules.
232. Weekly report 05.10. - 11/11/2007

Route: Isla de Sol, Soraata, La Paz, Copacabana
Isla de Sol: 1.5 hours by boat of Copacabana there lies Isla del Sol. According to the legend originated God with his both children Manco Kapac and mummy Ocllo the Inca Dynastie has founded here Viracocha, the creator. The island should be very nicely to the walking, so that we plan 3 days to spend there. After a quiet comfortable boat trip we come with many other tourists in the late morning on Isla de Sol. From Yumani we come along first of all on around the south part of the island to explore, however, anyhow our map is not quite correct and thus we struggle by wild Steilhänge. Finally, it will climb to us too wildly and thus we directly uphill on from the north after the south running ridges. We find at the southern end of the ridge a marvellous vantage point in we resting first of all. We have joined just our lunch consumed as himself one of the islanders to ourselves. We talk very nicely and find out with the fact that one solves all juridical matters on Isla de Sol. His job would be to be seen it in the south part of the island after the right one and thus he would be just on a controlling way. We ask what it then here largely would give to control and find out in such a way that not only the donkeys are to be expelled by the potato fields, but that there would be increasingly also problems with drugs here. Although it had rained during the winter months unusually a lot in Bolivia something has come from many rain hardly on the island which is why for the next Tuesday a rain ceremony is attached. Because the ceremony is something holy, the Peruvian Sovenierverkäufer on the island are not allowed on this day, however, tourists are welcome, nevertheless.
Camping: In the west of Isla de Sol there is a lonesome ridge we to us to the tent select. Interressanterweise is the scenery with the suddenly red rock and many cacti absolutely differently than on the rest of the island. The only hook in the camp site: I must descend from the burr to down to the lake to come in water. I run down myself to the descent on the very precipitous west side and do not look when I meet below on the beach all at once two Americans who have sat down here in a cave for a few days. However, still more taken aback the both have looked then her place lay really very much hidden and is only difficult because of the precipitous slopes to reach. Then the both are also so friendly and offer her water filter to me what I accept with pleasure (the first filtered water in 4.5 years!) because the Titikakasee is not completely so clean, unfortunately, any more. After my water bag is full I climb again the mountain slope high to Nadine me quite longingly expects (she is hungry and, finally, wants to cook dinner).
Mixed troop: A considerable mixed troop with cows, donkeys, sheep and pigs here by an islander on the pasture is done. We have seen merely llamas on the island none. Meanwhile the llamas have removed because to donkeys as a Tragtiere, because the meat of the llamas would become too tenaciously food if they before loads had to drag.
Inca's constructions: Unfortunately, from the old Inca's constructions only a few ruins and the Terrasenfelder have been left. One of the arrangements resembles nearly one small labyrinth, however, from the former building only the walls stand meanwhile.
Inca's stair: In Yumani an old Inca's stair of Titikakasee to directly on from the north after the south leads running ridge in the island middle. Because the stair also even today the direct way to Yumani is it has not only culturally but also infrastructurally great importance which is why she is still very well-preserved.
Sorata: Because our package is not yet in La Paz, we decide to make to ourselves one more excursion by the coach to Sorata. Actually, Sorata is there it delightfully in the slopes of the Andes a brilliant starting point lies around trekking tours to make, however, unfortunately, the travelling groups will attack there and Again. We had to meet the luck in La Paz a guide from Sorata to us has admitted honestly that even the organised tours are attacked with guide. Nadine has said witty proofs, nevertheless, from another travel agency the information by the flower agrees that we would have to expect no problems if we with her company would walk (Our guides know the boys the problems make). All that seems to us rather half pre-arranged and thus we renounce loves on a travelling tour, although the scenery with the Illampu is quite really breathtaking in the background. Instead, we spend a very nice evening with a group of Israelis in the Hostel Mirador (Hostal view). To his name all honour makes. The photo of the Illamu is taken up from the terrace of the Hostels.
The package of VAUDE is there! From Sorata we call over again at the German message in La Paz and are completely surprised when we hear that our package has come. Because the package should have been there according to German post within 4-6 days and now meanwhile 4 weeks have passed we have counted not really more on it it depends. After to us the watertight bicycle pockets of Vaude will accompany Space II for 2 years we this time from VAUDE generous-wise with rain clothing and long bicycle trousers equipped already for 4.5 years and the dome tent which we may "test"! Quite a hearty thank-you over again to the company VAUDE and in particular in Tobi and Janet!
Carblessing: Every day cars are blest before the basilica in Cpacabana by a priest or by a bolivianische amateur priest (presumably shaman, nevertheless, with rosary). While the blessing Catholic ecclesiastical is rather traditional and scarce a little bit more expenditure pursues of the Schamane. Only he gives to the car as well as the driver and all members of the family a blessing. Afterwards he goes with incense around the car decorated with flowers and rings with a small bell in particular with the engine and with all tyres. Now the car owners get an other blessing before the car with beer (sometimes also champagne) vollgespritzt becomes, Again the tyres get the special attention of the shaman, nevertheless, also the interior becomes nicely wet. Then, besides, still wrecks are often lighted by the owners. The whole ceremony maybe lasts 5 minutes and with the big Lkws also sometimes a little longer (bigger engine, more tyre). For the end everybody is embraced over again by the shaman, before he devotes himself to the next car. Now often walk over again all member of the family successively around her car and splash it over again with beer and also this time the tyre special attention is dedicated.



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