[meteorite-list] Today in La Paz, Bolivia

From: MARSROX_at_aol.com <MARSROX_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:44:14 2004
Message-ID: <6f.1723d38d.28679439_at_aol.com>

For those only interested in late-breaking meteorite news and dis-interested=
 in one boy=B4s travel adventures stop reading NOW!=20

Last night was San Juan Night, a night of fire and light, and the fireworks=20=
started at 8PM lasting until =B4midnight. It made the USA 4th of July seem l=
ike a little boy with a cap gun. Fireworks were for sale at ALL of the hundr=
eds of vendor stalls that wall-to-wall the streets of La Paz, an incredible=20=
amount of firepower. Had they thought of this a few years ago they might not=
 have lost the War of the Chaco. Although blocks of regular firecrackers wer=
e for sale as were all types of aerial rockets, M-80=B4s were abundant, and=20=
it was clear as the night time bombardment began that leftover dynamite from=
 the miner=B4s demonstration=B4s was the predominate explosive of choice. Th=
e din was astounding. The city sits at the bottom of a high bowl 5km across=20=
allowing sound to easily reverberate. La Paz has a million residents and the=
y love to party. I=B4m talking about the sound of a wall shaking explosion (=
or more) per second for four solid hours.=20

I wish the management had chased away the boys on the roof of my hotel that=20=
were dropping explosives down the air shafts.=20

BTW - The miner=B4s demonstrations were ended when the Government signed a U=
S$22 million contract to re-open some closed mines and increase pension bene=
fits. But don=B4t put away your gas masks yet kids, there=B4s only $2 millio=
n in the kitty to pay on the agreement. La Prensa showed one miner who forgo=
t to throw the dynamite after lighting it, a color photo of him looking curi=
ously at his bloody stump.=20


Meanwhile, the nightly news is an hour straight of demonstration coverage...=
..students v. police in Sucre....teacher blockades of the main road between=20=
La Paz and Oruro.....businessmen protesting high interest rates and wanting=20=
loan forgiveness (they used the proceeds for a new Mercedes).....old women m=
archers passed out from the effort being interviewed from their hospital bed=

Makes me miss Dan Rather. =20

Blaine returned to the USA on Friday and is planning on cutting into what we=
 hope is Bolivia=B4s first authenticated meteorite on Monday or Tuesday. You=
=B4ll probably here the result before I do.

For the next four days, starting tomorrow, I=B4m going up 6,400m-21,400=B4Il=
limani, a massif that towers over La Paz. Fully acclimatized and able to dow=
n a sixer without headache at 4,200m/14,000=B4, I=B4m in the best shape of m=
y life although a left hammie is tweaking. I=B4m carbed up, I=B4ve got the b=
est guide and best equipment. Wednesday at 2AM we start for the summit. Temp=
 should be around -20F (I have no idea what that is Celsius, probably just a=
s cold though).

Naturally I=B4m terrified. As the "Lonely Planet Guide" reports, "Technical=20=
equipment is needed above the snow line, caution is especially needed on the=
 section immediately above Nido de Condores where six Chileans died on the d=
escent in 1989."

Please don=B4t worry, I promised my mom that I=B4d be careful. I=B4ve manage=
d to do well up to 5,400m/17,500=B4so far on this trip, just hip-hoppin=B4up=
 the snow of Chalcataya. I=B4ll be happy with just a 6,000m/20,100=B4PR Unfo=
rtunately, my guide Oswaldo (six times to the top this year)informs me with=20=
total incredulity at that statement, "You must summit."

More excitement follows if I haven=B4t already totally freaked at the numero=
us crevasses one must jump layered like a onion by headlamp light with your=20=
mountain bag bouncing on your back.... "the final 3 verticle meters to the h=
ighest point involve walking 400m along the ridge at over 6,400m/21,400=B4 e=

It=B4s a skinny ridge I=B4m told with a lot of air on either side.

Maybe I should just enjoy a few more Pacenas and check the topless girls in=20=
Bolivia=B4s #1 tabloid "La Gente", worst I could suffer is eyestrain. I coul=
d use a touch-up on my laser-correction anyway.

I had a tough time finding an Internet Cafe to transmit this from today (Sun=
day). Everything is closed and the downtown is full of folkloric, costumed d=
ancers and bands playing (what else) Bolivian marching music. Teenage girls=20=
look terrific in their multi-colored mini-dresses and thigh-high black boots=
 as they glide along the street. Old chola women in 13 layer petticoats and=20=
bowler hats play raspy marracas and sway back and forth in a three step. Bla=
ck-suited men in black hats play trumpet fanfares and others beat the drums.=
 Vendors push carts selling ice cream and beer and little children with eyes=
 in awe are held up by their parents to see it all.

"At the inquest, Carlos Pero identified the corpses as those of the men who=20=
had robbed him. Although buried as desconocides(unknowns) in the cemetary, t=
he outlaws fit the descriptions of Butch and Sundance, and a mountain of cir=
cumstantial evidence points to their having met their doom in San Vicente. N=
onetheless, rumours of their return to the USA have made their fate one of t=
he great mysteries of the American West."

Hoping for a gentle push up the hill from Pachamama,

Kevin Kichinka
Received on Sun 24 Jun 2001 03:06:31 PM PDT

Help support this free mailing list:

Yahoo MyWeb