Playing golf at 4300 Meters?

January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

The nowadays small village of Pulacayo, situated 18 kms from Uyuni at an altitude of 4100 (!) Meters, was home to the the biggest Bolivian silver mine of the 20th century. In the 1940’s/50’s, up to 60.000 people lived there, an incredible contrast compared to 2011 as only 500 people still live in Pulacayo.

The cemetery of Pulacyo 

As there where many European, specifically British and German engineers working in the Pulacayo mining industry, these people brought some European sports culture with them to the Bolivian Andes. One example for that: they constructed a golf course! An older man who remembered the golf course described me where it had been, and after walking an hour or so through the hills of Pulacayo I found something that could be the ruins of the golf court. That concrete kind of thing in the next photos, was this the teeing ground? It’s strange to imagine that people would play golf in such an environment – as the photos maybe show, this place can be terribly windy! For sure, this must have been one of the highest golf courses worldwide, at 4300 Meters!

One of several old, abandoned tennis courts.In Germany, we call this SEIFENKISTE (soap box, I guess that makes no sense )The old machine and metall workshop is full with old European machinerie from England and Germany. This one is from Wuppertal.These 2 tanks were produced recently in this very old workshop. They will be used at the lithium pilot plant soon.A locomotive from the German Ruhr Area (Essen).But the highlight of this day was the fact that I meet two Austrian guys, Michael and Thomas. They are producing a documentary film on Pulacayo and when we met they had their last day in the village after 6 weeks of filming. Their translator wasn´t available that day so when they made their last interview with “Franz” (see the next picture) I translated for them.Their film will be finished by the end of the year, we thought about combining my exhibition in Berlin with a screening of their film!One last thing: many many cars and trucks in Bolivia are used, imported ones from Europe, especially Scandinavia. Often there are still stickers of the old companies on the trucks – this one was Swedish I guess. Bolivians love VOLVO trucks.Taxi with japanese (?) lettering.Greetins from Room Nr 14 !

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