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Bolivian addendum and last chance meteorites


Blaine, Blake and Chuck noted my incredibly poor mathematics in my last and 
"final" message of a couple of days ago, so please consider this a 
correction. As Coloradans who´s mountaineering friends are very competitive 
about "altitude", they asked me to get my numbers right.

Base Camp on Huayna Potosi is at 4,700m (15,500´).  As noted, mice have no 
trouble breathing there.

Chuck made it to 5,970m (19,700´)- you can be sure he´s pushing for 6,000+m 
today on Sajama.

The mountain we all summited on, Charquini, is 5,395m (17,800´). I shorted 
everyone almost 600m on that one.  High is high to me and I´m only into the 
view, but that mistake was not taken lightly by my friends from Colorado.

Today´s news is that Blaine suffered a touch of food poisoning from the 
"Steak Argentino" he had for dinner. Everyone here is now a little tired 
from all this meteorite hustling and mountain climbing. We´ve been here for 
three weeks. In my absence, another member has been added to fill out the 
ropes for the Volcan Sajama climb.  Stephan is a German living in Austin, 
Texas working for a software company. He competed in the Paris, London and 
Boston Marathon´s last year and ran a PR 2:42.  He just got here and he 
looks "fresh" enough to run to Peru. Good luck guys keeping up with him!

There is more news on the meteorite front.  I located an artifacts dealer 
who claimed to have a weapon manufactured from a meteorite. He dates the 
star-shaped object at about circa 1000 and wants $120 for it.  Blaine 
examined it and gives it a 50-50 chance of actually being meteoric but none 
of us wants to buy it to cut it up.

One of the Aymara´s is selling a smallish Tiger pelt in the "Witch´s Market" 
for B120 ($20).

After Blaine, Blake´s and Chuck´s attempt on Sajama, the driver is supposed 
to be taking them four-wheeling across the dry lake beds west of Oruro in a 
search for a boulder-sized rock noted by a group of French Petro-scientists 
a couple of years ago.  They noted that a rock of that size had no business 
sitting where it does and one thought that it "must be a meteorite".

An ironic conclusion to our non-productive trip to Oruro of last week 
sorting through the rocks at the University´s mineral collection was that on 
the bus ride home, the on-board movie (yes, in Bolivia) was "Armeggedon". 
The road is so rough entering La Paz, that the driver shut down the VCR just 
before the dramatic conclusion.  I guess I´ll have to wait until the movie 
makes HBO to see if Bruce saves the world.

Saturday is La Paz´s biggest fiesta day of the year, "The Grand Poder" with 
the entire city shut down to observe a Mardi-Gras type celebration. Great 
photo ops.

Boliviano´s must be some of the toughest people in the world. Reviewing the 
literature I have and having lived the adventure, I note that they call 7 - 
12 mile hikes at altitude, uphill "easy".

Sunday, I´ve hired a driver to take me into the Condiriri amphi-theater of 
13 snow covered peaks ranging from 4,500 - 5,400m for some last day 
trekking. A lot of people consider this area one of the world´s most 
beautiful. I´m going to miss being high.

We leave for Miami via Santa Cruz Tuesday at 5AM.

Çaio, Çaio from La Paz,

Kevin Kichinka

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