Our journey down the long Sacramento has begun. On Wednesday Kevin and Galen walked to the bottom of Box Canyon Dam, the official beginning of the Sacramento River. The river starts off fast and narrow. It is hard to believe its the same river that provides water to millions of Californians. The walk down to the river is an adventure in of its own, steep and rocky. A rope has been installed to offer assistance.
We first heard of the 3 de Mayo festival when we were in Uyuni. Warnings of mass brawls, fights to the death and human sacrifices had swayed our decision to steer clear of the main cities (i.e. Macha) but we hadn't realized how widespread the celebration is in rural Bolivia. Ocurí was just getting ready for the crowds! Our hostal-of-sorts Señora didn't understand how we could leave the day before the festival began, we headed back on the road. According to our undetailed map (a photo of a wall map from Potosí), Surumi was in line north for our next destination. Surrounded by endless mountains and an abundance of trails, and with unreliable maps on the GPS, we now depended entirely on the friendly locals for guidance. Our new "roadblock"- the first language of rural Bolivia is Quechua. Upon leaving Potosí, we only knew how to say "house" (huasi) and "water" (yaku). After a few failed attempts at conversations, we started to preface them with "Quechua no, pérdon. Castellaño?" but the locals still tended to gave us a toothless grin and chat away in their native tongue all the same.
These guys are collected data for researcher Val Klump through our Secchi Disk Project. If you are paddling the great lakes, you should be collecting data too!
We've already enjoyed a wonderful three weeks in Bolivia - time is flying! I'm going to cover the first half of our Bolivian adventure thus far in this blog post and Shelley is going to cover the second half in an upcoming blog post.
What we love about Bolivia.
Particular to our bike, we are piloting a program for ASC that collects data points on roadkill. The idea behind it being that humans build roads without regard to what natural spaces and animal paths those roads might be cutting through; the results of this division of land has meant millions of animal deaths and millions of dollars in property damage for people and state governments.