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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Bolivia - 12 December, 2001



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Hotel Andina, La Paz S1629.738' W06808.406' 3,689 m
Finish Bush camp, hot springs outside Potosi S1928.060' W06547.686' 3,415 m 584 km (by Encounter truck)

Leg 1 Total:

6,345 km


771 km

Grand Total:

7,116 km


Weather: Partly cloudy, occasional sun, warm/cool.  Clear and cold at night.



We will be leaving the Dragoman truck today and we will be grabbing a lift with an Encounter truck to Potosi. What has happened is that the group was asked if they wanted to stay in La Paz for an extra night.  This meant that we would miss out on a bush camp and more than half a day in Potosi.  The majority of the people in the group voted to stay a fourth night in La Paz.  As we did not want to do this (who would want to miss a great bush camp and time in what has been one of the most important cities in the world).  Three full days in La Paz was also too much.


Anyway, Paolo had talked to Jeff, the driver of an Encounter truck about our situation and he was kind enough to offer us a lift in his truck.  He was going the same way, and this way we would get two full days in Potosi.  So we checked out of the hotel and walked half a block to where the Encounter group were staying and got on their truck.


In the end, it was quite good fun to join the Encounter group for a day.  We got to meet some new people - they were very friendly - and to see what some of the other trucks on the road are like.  It turns out that Encounter is now owned by Dragoman, so we were not really checking out the competition!!!


The truck was quite nice.  In many ways very similar, but also in many ways different.  They had some good features (like the window at the front) and some not so good features.  But this truck was fast.  It has a turbo charged Cummins engine and the high altitude and mountain roads were no challenge.  We made very good time.


Bolivia01_Potosi_Enroute_Lunch_4103_Web.jpg (69363 bytes)

We stopped by the side of the road for lunch.  They were very efficient and lunch was ready in no time.  The drive towards Potosi is amazing and we had a great time watching the scenery go by.


Bolivia01_Potosi_Enroute_Camp_4109_Web.jpg (81864 bytes)

We reached the hot springs outside Potosi around 6 PM and set up camp.  It was a great spot.  The hot springs formed a circular pond and, besides a couple of run down buildings, it was undeveloped.


Bolivia01_Potosi_Enroute_Camp_Sunset_4113_Web.jpg (85478 bytes)

We did not do much that evening, other than relax and take in the surroundings.  We tried to help the Encounter group set up and stuff, but all we did was get in the way (they had their system).  We took some pictures of a glorious sunset and then sat around the fire while dinner was prepared.  It was rather warm for quite a while as the hot springs gave off a fair bit of warmth.


It started to get colder after dinner so the circle around the fire got tighter.  The shooting stars were amazing - we saw at least 5 and they would streak across the sky for incredible distances.  The sky was filled with stars - at this altitude and clear skies, we can see many more than at home.  We went to bed and lay in our tent staring up at the night sky and went to sleep very happy.


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