This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution click to the left or right of an image in blog mode. The images were generated from video to give the best possible view of the journey.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Species Diversity in the Yungas

Ascending to the Andes summit pass above La Paz

While we were in La paz Teresa took us on an overnight journey down to the Yungas valleys just over the Andes on their forested north face to look at the biodiveristy-rich transition zone from the tropics to the tundra. On this journey we went a short distance down the South Yungas road, rather than the North Yungas "death road" we traversed later in our stay in Bolivia.

Llamas near the summit of the road

The summit lake

Panorama of the summit lake on the return journey

Coming to the summit

Views of the shrine at the summit

The road descends down to the northern precipice with hairpins on the lower road

It then follows the left side of a descending valley

Jesus loves you

The road then crosses the bowl of the wide alpine vallet before hugging the left-hand edge in a series of tunnels.

At the other end we come to a coca check point because Coroico on the North Yungas Road is a centre of legal coca production.

WQWe then turn off right on to the lesser used southern route.

The road switches back and runs down a steep precipitous valley.

Steep plantations for arum lillies for funerals

Hotel Castillo del Loro near Chulumani in Los Yungas.

We stopped for the night at El Castillo so we could go for walks in the forested valley.

Teresa with the Hotel's red macaw.

Despite the sensitive nature of the steep transition zone there is persistent burning and clearing fro crops like arum lilies.

We take a walk down to the local waterfall.

The forested area is an ecotourist destination and is  threaded with forest paths both for the locals to use for various purposes and to explore nature.

  The valley has a rushing torrent that seasonally carries huge boulders. You can guess the size of the floods from the mountainous pile of debris in the picture below.

Another waterfall into the valley

A perilous suspension bridge made of fencing wire

We take a walk into the forest on the other side of the stream to sample the natural diversity.

Another small waterfall on our forest walk

Birds, insects and flowers seen on our journey

The valley is also used by local villagers

Sadly whole areas of the Yungas are being burned to make small crops from coca through arum lilies to any crop which people can make a little money out of however delicate the terrain.

Plantations and burning on the other side of the valley

A villager our chopping trees

Views down the valley

Looking back down to El Castillo

Returning to the suspension bridge

Hotel Castillo del Loro near Chulumani in Los Yungas.

Dinner in the evening by candle light

Village and plantation in the valley below

Local villagers returning with their bundles

Views on the way back down to La Paz from the summit

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