|Walking along the tracks|
It was very interesting to walk along the Salar de Uyuni and get to see it from a different angle than many of the tourists. It was also quite flat and cold, so we mostly moved along with our heads into the wind. As we walked past the Salar, the land began to slowly rise and we went between some stone upheavals. I don't think they were large enough to be considered mountains, but they mounded around next to and above us for about a day of walking.
|Views of the hills across the Altiplano|
|Some of the buildings we quite abandoned|
We were able to follow the railroads for much of the way into Oruro, walking and walking for what felt like forever to the edge of a grand lake. Across this lake, we could see the rise that Oruro sat nestled at the base of. Surprisingly(to me), the train tracks did not skirt around this shallow body of water, instead it cut through the lake directly towards the city. Walking that section was a welcome repreive from the massive expanse of altiplano that we walked to get there.
|Nearly every town had a sign at one end|
|Walking into the sun|
The other change as we neared La Paz was the number of people we would see. In the towns we passed through, people were out and about. They were mostly stand-offish, but we had learned that is just the Bolivian way - similar to perception of east coasters in the US, minus the passive aggression. Everyone we interacted with was kind and helpful. As we continued north, many of the community members were curious and then didn't believe when we told them what we were doing. Though I think our beat up shoes and sunglasses tans told the truth for us.
|No shade unless we created it|
Nearing the outskirts of the city of El Alto (ok, so we didn't actually walk into downtown La Paz), we were met with more stares, and also more people keeping to themselves. I expected this from a big city, though it is nice you can still get a response from someone when you say "Buen dia"- they will nearly always respond in kind. Walking into the bustling city, we were concerned at first because cities are stressful. However, it was surprisingly easy to find our way around. We made it to our rented apartment with no problems and flopped onto the couches, ready for a much-deserved rest and some tasty city food.
|We found water! And wildlife!|
|Nearing the end of the line|
|Fidgit talking with a local herds-woman|
|More statues appeared as we neared La Paz|
|Mountains! We are so excited to get back into them!|
|La Paz's Teleferico system- the quickest and quietest|
way to get from El Alto to city center down in the canyon