This photo is on the main road from North Chile to Bolivia as it heads through Chile’s Lauca National Park. This is the nice and easy part – it seems that once in Bolivia the road deteriorates significantly in quality and safety. Just a few weeks after I took this picture a minibus full of tourists plunged off the side of the road and into a ravine, killing all the occupants.
The very high altitude here certainly makes the lorries work hard. Older trucks belch black fumes in this almost pristine environment, but thankfully they are still relatively few and the damage, I hope, is limited. More modern trucks are cleaner, but you can tell from the roaring engines that they work hard up here.
These people make a living at the border of Chile and Bolivia. Although Chile is relatively rich, times can still be hard for indiginous people in remote locations. In the summer season they make some money from passing tourists, many of whom have visited Lago Chungará – the worlds highest lake. Here they’ve just slaughtered a pregnant Alpaca – its unborn baby on the car’s bonnet prior to preparation.