Michael Powell and Juergen Horn travel the world trying to live in different places for just 91 days at a time before moving on. In rural Bolivia, they came across this: the scenic and harrowing bus-train.
Even in the more remote parts of Bolivia, roads handle most of the traffic, but as Powell and Horn found out, poorer residents still need transportation aside from private vehicles. The Mercedes bus converted to rail duty takes far longer to travel between Sucre and Potosi than private cars or buses, but the pair says every inch of the journey offers some kind of scenic view — all for a ticket that cost $3.50.
The ride also looks like it could be just a bit on the daring side, given the 4,000-foot ascent to Potosi and rural Bolivian approaches to railroad maintenance and right of ways. At one point, the road slices through the asphalt of a road with no marking; at others, the tracks seem ready to disappear into the earth.
But the two say there's really no better way to ascend while surrounded by scenery and gradually adjusting for altitude. Check out the rest of their adventures at their extensive blog here.
Photos: Mike Powell/Juergen Horn