The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. – Helen Keller
Almost a year ago today I was climbing up high into the Bolivian Andes in Condoriri Valley with my dad. It was an unforgettable trip in many regards. First and foremost, it was only six months after my father completed chemotherapy. To climb two mountains over 16,000 feet in two days is quite a remarkable recovery to say the least. I am so grateful that we were able to go on another amazing hike together. I don’t seem to have any other hiking partner as adventurous and fit as my dad. Second, for me it was proof that I could mentally and physically climb at high altitude. Landing in La Paz at one of the highest international airports in the world and then promptly driving to our base camp at 15,000 feet proved that my body could adjust and handle the thin air. It was the determining factor in my decision to climb Kilimanjaro this past July.
While I don’t have any climbing trips planned at the moment I still enjoy remembering and reflecting on my trips to the mountains. I have recently decided to revamp my Instagram account and slowly add new photos to my gallery. I feel these two pictures from my trip last November to Bolivia are right up there among my personal best. They inspire me to chase my dreams and never give up. I hope to be climbing again soon somewhere in the world.
If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards. – Paul Bryant
This photo was taken as we were leaving our base camp in Condoriri Valley. In high season there can be hundreds of tents and climbers however we were the only ones there. It was quite cold in November dropping down to 15 degrees farenheit at night. But we had the entire place to ourselves. How lucky!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell
Our first big climb in Condoriri Valley was to Mount Jaillaico at 16,899 feet (5,152 m). Known as the “Mirador”, our trekking guide called it a relatively “easy” trekking peak that can be reached through grassy hills, glacial moraines and rocky slopes with no technical ability. Basically it is a warm-up climb for those serious mountaineers who are hoping to climb some of the bigger beasts in the area like the mighty Huayna Potosí (at 19,974 feet/6,088 m) or Illimani the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real at 21,122 feet/6,438 meters.
I look forward to sharing more of my favorite photos on Instagram. I have decided to spend more time on Instagram finding new inspiring photographers and travel bloggers who share their world. If you know of anyone I should check out including yourself please let me know.
To find my account, you can visit me here. I have also added the Instagram widget to the bottom of my blog to show the latest photos posted on Instagram. I hope to see you there!
Wow that’s very inspirational! And to be with the best company you can have, is even more inspirational. Love the photos and your determination.
Thank you so much! I love to hike and not much is better than being outside in such a beautiful place!
Beautiful!!! I’m speechless! I still have to plan my visit to Bolivia.
Thanks for sharing! Gonna check out your instagram 🙂
Thank you so much! When are you going to Bolivia? I have tons of blog posts about my trip there. It is a wonderful country!
Bhutan awaits… 😉
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 17:41:51 +0000
Those views are inspiring!
Thanks so much! It really was surreal there.
Your images are breathtaking and show the inspirational landscape that you experienced. You have strong memories of your adventure with your father. That always will be with you.
Thanks Sally! Your words are always so beautiful and warming to the soul.
Thank you so much !
My two most recent posts on jaegerleslee.wordpress.com include many photos of our recent trip to Bhutan. Although the Himalayan range was smothered in late rainy season clouds, the rest of the scenery was spectacular.
Oh I can’t wait to check it out Leslee as that is most likely our next destination. Did you hike/any multi day treks you recommend? Now it is research stage!
We trekked each day, but at most only 4 hours. There are many multi day treks, lasting 9-23 days, that are available. Best season is October as the rainy season is done and you would have the best views. We used Gangri travel and would recommend them.
Wow, so I should most definitely head over to your blog and read all your posts?! I can hardly wait. Thanks so much! Any posts in particular you can point me to read about the trekking?
Check out Jimmy Chin’s Instagram! I don’t have time for it myself (I think I have about 4 photos on there over 2-3 years – kind of a joke!), but I enjoy seeing things when I think to look every few weeks or so! I also enjoyed your comments about your dad. It’s great to have a go-to hiking buddy like that, and it’s especially nice when it’s someone in your own family!
Wow his account is amazing. Wish I could be anywhere even near that but then again he is a professional and NG photographer nonetheless but very inspirational!
Your pictures are so beautiful that I lack words delight
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the kind words. 🙂
Love your photographs!
Thank you! I try my best but it helps being in a beautiful place! 🙂
Breathtaking photos, Nicole. They really do leave me breathless. 🙂
Thanks Debbie! How are you feeling? I hope you have fully recovered now. 🙂 Still working on details on my future trip. Will keep you posted. 🙂
Nicole, I am a new woman. We got steroid injections and the pain is gone…at least for now. Thanks for asking.
Oh that is wonderful to hear Debbie! I can’t imagine how awful it must have been.
While I enjoyed the entire post, I was especially pleased to see the greatest football coach of all time quoted. Roll Tide!
Thanks Russ! I love quotes. They really inspire me and give me something powerful to say about how I’m feeling.
Crazy beautiful. Definitely on my list!
Why thank you! 🙂
They are both fabulous photos Nicole. I’m reminded of our overland trip across the High desert of Bolivia. Extraordinarily beautiful scenery.
An overland trip must have been amazing Alison! When did you do it? I should go back and read your posts on it!
It was absolutely one of the highlights of all our travels. We did it in Dec 2013. Here are the links to the 2 posts I wrote about it:
Wow these are amazing Alison! I would love to see the altiplano. Thanks for sharing with me!
You take the most amazing photos as always! Hope your father is doing well 🙂
Wow, what a compliment! That really makes me feel good. Thank you. Yes, my dad is doing great. So far so good. He is checked every three months for the rest of his life but that way they will catch anything if it comes back. WE are really hoping to do a Bhutan trip next fall but we have to ensure he is healthy. 🙂 Don’t want to jinx myself but it is good to always have a dream! 🙂 Thanks for asking.
Never knew Bolivia offers trekking opportunities! Btw those two pictures can be mistaken for Himalayas here in India. I personally find trekking and hiking to be a ‘spiritual ‘ experience! Solitude is their best spiritual experience… you don’t need any religion or religious interference! These moments spent in high altitude are life time experience! Away from distractions! Thanks for posting it here.
Yes, Bolivia has the Andes running right through the country dividing into the highlands and lowlands. I have been to the Himalayas in Nepal but have yet to hike in India. I would love to and yes I agree so much that trekking is a very spiritual and soul finding experience. I am personally not religious yet being outside in the mountains makes me feel incredibly peaceful. Thanks for stopping by!
India offers lot of trekking opportunities, even though it has become very popular in last 5 years. You can choose from a very popular place to isolated place – huge choices! I would any day choose to trek for the spiritual journey! I think spirituality is journey one undertakes rather than seeking it outside, it’s a inner experience! Religion in reality has no connection with spirituality, it’s a different path altogether! Although large number of persons seek spiritual journey through religion.
I will have to find my way back then! 🙂 I would love to see more of India!
Good for you for going so high and taking some dramatic pictures. I’m afraid altitude sickness would do me in if I went up to that altitude.
Thank you! As long as you take it slowly, usually your body can adjust yet some people do tend to be more prone to altitude sickness. Thankfully I’m not. 🙂
I had a chance to go to Peru in 1968, and I’m sorry now I didn’t take it. I went to Mexico City instead, which is about 7400 feet up. Even then, almost half a century ago, I remember feeling the effects of the altitude.
It is funny how everyone’s body handles altitude so differently. I’m glad I’m ok with it because I love being in the mountains so much whereas my brother cannot even handle skiing in Colorado as he can never sleep there!
Hey you! I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Check it out! <3
Wow, thank you so much! I really appreciate your consideration. Very kind!
It’s awesome.The picture itself creates a longingness to go to Bolivia.Being a hiker and a frequent traveler myself, I feel that I should definitely take your advice and go there 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing! I love South America and Bolivia was beautiful. 🙂
Reblogged this on kohledeyes and commented:
Such a beautiful place <3
Thanks for sharing!
I guess I have been following you for over a year because I remember when you took that trip with your Dad. That certainly was a treat. Your pictures are stunning! Nice Instagram gallery!
Yay! doesn’t time fly? I can’t believe it!
WOW! I didn’t know Bolivia was this beautiful! Great Pictures :))
Thank you and that means I did a good job!
Thanks for sharing the inspirational post! I love visiting scenic places and points and that’s why your post was highly motivating for me. The beautiful landscape clicks depict the serenity of the place. And yes, the company truly matters in such adventures of life.
So glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you!