Dennis the Menace

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Friday, October 27, 2006

After a great nights sleep we were greeted at the breakfast table by Clementine with pancakes for breakfast. Yum Yum. This gave us the energy kick we'd need to hike up to the mirador (viewing point) of the Tunupa Volcano.

Driving through a few farms and paying their entrance fee we began our climb up to the mirador. The hike was very hard, due to the altitude. It's amazing that you think you're fit and healthy, but start hiking at a high altitude and you feel robbed, huffing and wheezing the entire time. Rick powered on to the front and at one stage piggy backed Megan up a part of the climb so she could get her breath back. At the mirador the view of the volcano was great. Looking back towards Coqueza and the bright white slat flats, the view was fantastic.

Climbing back down we detoured to the Alto Chullpas Momias. The mummies had been placed here in a cave many years ago. Ovideo explained (and Daniel interpreted for us) that the people buried here had died from a contagious disease. The natives thought the cause of the disease had been these poor people hence they put them in a cave. They then remained living close by, not realizing it wasn't the people but the environment they were living in that was making them sick.

Moving onwards we then drove to a cave that contained fossils of fish and shells, proving that the salt flats were once part of an inland sea. We decided not to go in as all the additional costs of the "all inclusive" tour were eating into a budget a little. After the other guys had checked out the cave we drove onwards through the dust to a small pace called Altoa Town. This is where we met Dennis the Menace! He was the hostel owner's young son that for some reason adopted us as his surrogate parents for the evening. We played ball with him and took him for a walk down the road where we found some sea-saws for him to play on. He laughed and was a pretty cute kid. He did get more of a kick out of throwing his ball at the alpacas grazing around us though.
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