Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From Volcano Sajama Over Altiplano Desert To Coipasa Pueblo

The morning after, an ostrich in front of hazy Sajama.
Ostrich in front of Sajama.
Wading on Altiplano.
My road.
Flamingos, laguna, Altiplano, Bolivia, west.
Out here people, they are in charge of repairing roads.
People in charge of roads.
From Inca times, funeraries, Bolivia Altiplano.
Funeraries in desert.
Altiplano, western Bolivia, clouds.
Del blog de viajes thisfabtrek.com

The morning after the world and volcano Sajama are soaked once more in haze and I drive south over the altiplano, but there is no fuel to be had near the border with Chile, fearless I head on into the desert and bite the dust on bad roads, eat my dry old bread and drink Nescafe. I round lakes with flamingos, see the llamas, guanacos and alpacas, some ostriches and desert partridges, and the altiplano, apart from impressive volcanoes around, holds other surprises, like funeral crematories from Inca times. The road necessitates to wade rivers, the Chevy odes well, later I plant the van in deep sand and free it by lowering the tire pressure. In general I find my way, alone and happy, and deal with the situations that arise, I confidently can say I am right on the fab trek!
Past SABAYA, where I get on the last drop and refuel/reflate and buy beer for the dust, I head towards the Salare de Coipasa and the first experience driving on slushy salt water is a freighting one, you don't want to bog down here, or worse.
In COIPASA, a very small village on an island, I clean out the van from heaps of sand and dust, then past night fall head to where the music plays and an old man takes me at the hand and leads me inside a house. A band plays and Aymara indigenas of all age and gender dance around hundreds of empty and half full cases of beer, and the floor is littered with beer and glass. I am offered a glass of Huari beer every two minutes, and customs have it that you pour some on the ground; for the Gods. It is the women, in traditional dress and hat that do most of the serving and pouring and refilling and handing out of the plastic cups of beers. I am being taken care off, embraced and kissed, by the old, man and women and one drunken old can't abstain from kissing me on the mouth. As the evening proceeds and I dance and one old women almost breaks my back by making me turn round and round, and I cannot believe after the exiting past days, where I have landed again, and I speak Spanish completely fluent, 'quando tomo ablo'. Also somebody constantly plucks at my beard, 'la cabra' I respond, indigenous men don't grow beards, and what grows is cleanly shaved, my goaty is a matter of ridicule.
Sajama to Coipasa, deserts and altiplano!
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Aymara Fiesta In Coipasa.

I have my caretakers, a couple of my age, and I park the van in front of their house. He tries to wake me from a horrible hang over at around 6 a.m. by knocking on the van, then by playing loud music. At 7.30 I crawl out, they hand me a bowl of soup, I share some Nescafe, at 8 we all go, and see friends and start drinking more beer, such is the custom, 'la noche y el dia, igual'. And here are many still/already drunk, some dose off sitting in their chairs, many young are here and we talk and I finally become aware of the reasons of the fiesta, it is promotion in final high school year, but the kids responsible for the festivities I never meet. We change locations, again and again, and soon we descend where the band plays outdoors and all dance and it is still morning and I drink every glass that is handed to me, what an amazing people. I don't know how I did and got through the afternoon, but already past night fall I find myself in the van and wonder how I managed to bring the camera home.

My caretaker in Coipasa, Bolivia.
My caretaker.
The young drinkers in Coipasa.
The young drinkers.
It is custom to serve two bottles, or make them as a present. Coipasa, fiesta de promocion 2012, Bolivia.
Always bring 2 bottles.
Indigenous Aymara woman and hat, blue door, Bolivia, Coipasa.
Woman at door.
Young lovers Coipasa.
Young lovers.
Aymara child, Coipasa, Bolivia.
Aymara child.
Teachers and directors, Coipasa, Bolivia.
Teachers and directors.
Old indigenous woman brings two bottles of beer, Coipasa, Bolivia.
She brings 2 beers.
Aymara woman and hat and dress, Coipasa, Bolivia.
Aymara woman and hat.
Drunk and dancing with a bottle of beer, man Coipasa, Bolivia,
Drunk and dancing.
Fiesta Coipasa, men and women dance outdoors, Bolivia.
Dance when u can.
From a teapot, serving schnaps. Coipasa, Bolivia.
The harder spirits being served.
Terribly drunk hugging woman, Coipasa, Bolivia.
Terribly drunk.
Coipasa, island on Salare Coipasa, Bolivia, great Aymara fiesta, great indigenous people.
Grande fiesta Coipasa.
Aymara woman and hat, Coipasa, Bolivia.
Aymara woman.

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