Argentina, Jujuy Prov, Jeff Shea After First Eight Nights Across Altiplano, 2010
Argentina, Jujuy Prov, Jeff Shea After First Eight Nights Across Altiplano, 2010

Argentina, Jujuy Prov, Jeff Shea After First Eight Nights Across Altiplano, 2010 - In 2012, I walked across the Altiplano of South America, from Socaire, Chile to Paso de Jama, Argentina. The first week took me through a completely desolate area from 10,000 feet to 14,500 feet of elevation. There is no rain here. It is nearly devoid of ground water except for vast salar lakes that are filled with brine that feed one of the only living things: flamingoes. I feared death, as after four days, I was running out of water. I pulled water in a cart, as the 40 liters of water was too much to carry on my back. I finally found brackish ground water, including a salty-tasting stream. I took this photo when I reached Paso De Jama, Argentina, a small windy outpost high up in the Andes. My hands were swollen and blistered from constant exposure to the sun. My lips were also blistered. Two days before this photo was taken, my eyes had large bags under them, presumably from the salty water I’d drunk. From there, I continued on foot, a trip of a total of about 500 kilometers on the ground (but not as the crow flies), terminating in Libertador, Argentina.

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