Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.... “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Mt. Tunari

Another one of my birthday presents this year was the opportunity to climb Mt. Tunari, the highest peak in central Bolivia, reaching a height of just over 17,000 ft. A whole day away by myself (with a tour guide and some friends of course!) for reflection and to be astounded by God's amazing creation. It was an amazing experience... alpine lakes, snow, mountain streams, wild llamas, rocky crags, and huge boulders. The climb itself wasn't technically difficult, but the altitude made it so... the air sure gets thin at 17,000 feet, and several of our group didn't make it. It gave me a chance to reflect on the awsome power and greatness of our God (making my life seem miniscule in comparision to the grandness of his creation), and on the Christian life. How God's perspective is sometimes so different than ours... we can't always see the view from the top, or see beyond the next ridge, but God knows and leads us one step at a time.

A view of Cochabamba and the Cristo statue from the road on the way up.

The road up was... not the greatest. I was glad Joe drove so I didn't have to ride the bus!

On the drive up we caught this amazing shot of the moon rising over the peak.

We saw lots of sheep and wild llamas.

A mountain village.

This was the view from the start off point, the second of 2 alpine lakes in the mountain.

Hiking around the lake.

Taking a rest and looking back at what we've accomplished so far.

A view of one of the other peaks.

Climbing higher...

Some of the amazing rock formations!

Reaching the summit! We did it!

View from the top.

Starting the climb back down.

Enjoying the snow!!

Stopping at an alpine pond for some photo ops.

Some of our fellow hikers found a dead... something. Looked like a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel to me.

Arriving back at the lake... our starting point. What an amazing day!

Villa Tunari

We took a few days family vacation last week to celebrate my birthday. We drove to Villa Tunari, a little jungle town about 4 hours drive down the mountains, and stayed in our favorite hotel there, but this time we rented a cabin. It was perfect for our family... gave us some space and a place to cook some meals. The kids loved the pool and the water slide, and we had great weather. We also went on a jungle hike one day and saw beautiful butterflies, caves, bats, and a glimpse of some monkeys and a rare noctural bird called a guachero. It was great just to get away and recreate a little bit. Enjoy the pics.

We had a little bit of adventure on the way there... there was a blockade and we had to off-road it for a few kilometers before getting back on the main highway.

Some of the scenery on the drive down the mountains.

Our hotel... didn't get a pic of the cabin.

The kids loved the pool and the slide! I think Jana could have gone up and down that thing all day long! (That's our cabin in the background.)

We went on a hike in the national forest near our hotel and had to cross this river in this cable car.

3 jungle explorers

Crossing a bridge

This cave was full of a rare nocturnal bird called a guachero, or oilbird.

Josh went inside another cave to see a variety of bats. The girls and I stayed outside!