We used the 27th to visit the many tour operators for our upcoming tours. But first we had to go to the office of the airline to get back our money for the cancelled flight.
Unfortunately as we wouldn’t climb Huayna Potosi, we’ve decided to do a one day trip to the high mountain of Chacaltaya.
Chacaltaya was known for having the highest skiing piste of the world. It WAS as in 2009 the glaciar completely disappeared. In a Minivan we drove up to approx. 5300 mts above sea level! To get to one of its peaks you only need to climb about 100 height meters. Walking slowly and steady we got there. Although this sounds easy, it was quite hard; the pressure at that height is very low and you start losing your breath with every single effort you make.
The reward when you finally get to the peak are (literally) breathtaking views of the Andean Cordillera (including Illimani and Huayna Potosi), Lake Titicaca and La Paz city. Everything looks so tiny and you get motivated to do more climbing. Actually we don’t really know, at which height we have been, as on the top of the peak there’s a handwritten number of 5,411, Wikipedia says it’s 5,430 and the altitud meter showed 5,380. Anyway it definitely was the highest point we’ve ever been to.
Afterwards we drove down to the Moon valley. Breathing got easier and Bernd’s altitud headache was back. The moon valley was nice, but nothing very special or is it? It’s the home of the San Pedro cactus – the so called Andean peyote and if it’s there, this place must be magical.