South America Trip.8 – Bolivia

Tihuanaco on the Bolivian altiplano
A farm near Tihuanaco, a pre-Inca site between La Paz and L. Titicaca

Sat Aug 19, 1967:

Departed Buenos Aires by train for La Quiaca. The trip to La Quiaca took, if I remember, two nights on the train, during which time we climbed to 11, 293 feet. My sheepskin coat came in handy. While I’m not sensitive to altitude, carrying my heavy bag from car to car on the train caused me some huffing and puffing. Starting out alone, I met four American Peace Corps volunteers on the train. They had, like I, just finished their two-year assignments. Theirs were done in Uruguay. There was a married couple and two single women in their group. I particularly remember a Japanese American named Jo Ann from Chicago who was either a Ph.D in Chemistry or on her way to doing one. She later visited me in Montréal. They all were fluent in Spanish and great company for me, alone since I let my companions George and Ian go ahead while I spent extra time in Rio de Janeiro.

We did make it to La Quiaca, crossed into Villazón on the Bolivian side, and took a second train up through Bolivia to La Paz. This was a further 16 hours or so and about another 1000′ of elevation.

La Paz Approach
La Paz Approach

I took the above slide as we descended on La Paz from above. Continue reading “South America Trip.8 – Bolivia”

South America Trip.7 – Uruguay and Argentina

Montevideo - Looking East from the Cerro Across the Bay
Montevideo – Looking east from the Cerro across Montevideo’s large, beautiful bay on the north coast of the Plate Estuary – August, 1967

Left Rio de Janeiro Sunday, August 6, 1967  by bus for São Paulo at 8 AM, arriving 4 PM. Stayed overnight. It was my first experience of the custom of blaring one’s horn for the entire time one is tied up in traffic. Incomprehensible to me why someone would want to make a bad situation intolerable. The cacophony was even audible from my tenth floor hotel room with the windows closed.

São Paulo is where all the men from Manaus went to find work, leaving their women unattended. São Paulo had the air in 1967 of economic boom. 5.5 million people, crowded, cool, hectic with fine shops offering beautiful items for sale.

Continue reading “South America Trip.7 – Uruguay and Argentina”