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BOLIVIA

THE ASCENT OF HUAYNA POTOSI PEAK AND THE JOURNEY TO AMAZONIA

BOLIVIA
BOLIVIA
BOLIVIA
BOLIVIA
BOLIVIA

THE ASCENT OF HUAYNA POTOSI PEAK AND THE JOURNEY TO AMAZONIA



The occasion appeared in 1998. It was then that we organized the expedition to Bolivia whose target was ascending Huayna Potosi (6088 ASL), a mountain in the Andes. We treated this trip as a preparation for climbing higher peaks, as we were going to attack some of the mountains over 8 000 m high soon. 

In June we reached La Paz, the highest capital city in the world where we were slowly getting used to altitude and rarefied air. After our acclimatization was finished we hired a guide and we started our trek towards Huayna Potosi. 

The weather was good and soon we could start the final climb to the summit. Climbing the mountain took us several days, we slept on the rock shelves. It went relatively well although we had several dangerous moments. Once Børge slipped and fell off the wall several meters down. The harness and security equipment saved us. A difficult moment was passing a knife sharp rock ridge which was cutting our way to the top. This passage required a lot of strength and concentration but finally we managed to climb that overhang and to overcome the obstacle. 

When we reached the summit we were bursting with pride and happiness. As for our capabilities at that time it was a really tough mountain and climbing it cost us much effort, still it also gave us much satisfaction. 

After descending we decided to go to the jungle together. Our Indian guide led us to some traditional villages lost in the jungle and showed the Amazon River to us. I remember when we were paddling in a wobbly boat on the river and watching crocodiles lying on the bank. There was the whole bask of them, both small and huge ones. We also learnt how to fish piranha. 

However, it was the encounter with the pink dolphins that I recalled best – the biggest fresh water dolphins in the world. The Indians call them “bote” and they believe that the dolphin used to be a young and handsome warrior whom one of the gods jealous of his beauty changed into a water mammal. People say that on June nights the pink dolphins transform into young men again and they come out onto the land to attract young girls. For this reason any children who do not have an official father are often recognized as pink dolphin’s children. 

The expedition to the Amazon jungle was an extremely interesting trip. After polar expeditions and conquering the Poles it was something totally new for us and something very curious. It was good to see the world from another perspective, to observe the cluster of different cultures, customs and beliefs and to experience the amazing abundance of tropical nature.