This is the "oroya" or suspended cable-box that was traditionally used in the Bolivian Andes to cross the major rivers especially when they are in flood.
According to ancient chronicles of Bernabe Cobo 'Historia del Nuevo Mundo" or even "Historia Natural y Moral de las Indias" by Padre Jose de Acosta, such oroyas were frequent in precolombian times. Hence the name of the city of "La Oroya" in Peru.
Believe me or not but a whole family travels into such a box, not to mention lamas, alpacas or other cattle travelling through the valleys.
The driving force ? elbow-grease ! ...at the risk of pinching once hands under the pulley (I tried !)
Is it necessary to indicate that this private transportation medium is extremely dangerous and often defectuous, leading to rupture of the cable and the consequences you may imagine (the total length is more than 100m and people are suspended 20m above ground level!) ?
This picture was taken at this very exact location in 1991.
You will now notice that there is a suspended bridge that was built with the help of "Ingénieurs Assistance Internationale - Ingénieurs sans Frontières" a few years later. But, that's another story that I'll tell you in a future contribution.
Scanned slide (2880x1780)
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Critiques | Translate
KevRyan (22952) 2006-08-21 16:19
It certainly looks precarious - thanks for the really informative note and showing us the very basic and simple technology that provides such a useful transportation tool in this region - looks like hard work to me!
I guess I'd give it a go but it looks a little precarious!
best wishes Kev
arturo (31) 2006-08-29 15:24
i really appreciate the images you're uploading from this particular region...it's an equally interesting part of the country as the known & "established" tourist trademarks...looking at the image & reading your note is occurs to me that it would be less risky to simply walk across the river bed rather than risk the oroya trip...at least in case of this river & during the dry season...or there is a steep part which awaits this person?...cheers, arturo
banyanman (7789) 2008-03-01 2:57
This does look to be a VERY dangerous form of transportation, Eric. A most educational photograph and note though. Quality is lacking a little in the image, but that's understandable given how old this slide is. Cheers . . . David