The Highest City in the World: Climbing Above the Law with Patrick Twomey

The Highest City in the World: Climbing Above the Law with Patrick Twomey


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Folks who crave altitude highs and adrenaline rushes have flocked to the Peruvian Andes through the ages. Most of them limit themselves to ​Cusco or even La Paz. However, on this trip, we’re venturing up to the highest permanent residential communities on the planet – Potosi, Bolivia and La Rinconada, Peru. Where the folks who dream of "El Dorado Gold" go. 

Our leading expert, Patrick Twomey, has personal experience with traveling this region (in the company of a bodyguard) and will relay his personal experiences and insights on the region’s bloody past, troubled present, and grim future – including stories from inside the mines of Potosi. Take a deep breath – this is a complicated conversation. 

We will begin this journey in the former highest city – and former location of the Spanish colonial silver mint. – Potosi, Bolivia. This place was the basis of El Dorado, the “City of Gold” (although it was actually silver) and was a key player in Spanish colonialism. 

Our expedition to La Rinconada takes us around Lake Titicaca and up into the high altiplano before we descend down into the Amazon basin. During this journey, we will discuss altitude, the Quechua (Inca) people, and the tragedy of informal, illegalized mining. Located at the base of a glacier, near the border with Bolivia, La Rinconada sits more than 5,000 meters (17,000 feet) above sea level. And residents of this illegal mining town are not governed by or obedient to laws. Visits to this “gold mine full of garbage” are often characterized by a general lack of civic order. 

For more information on this topic, we invite you to explore Going for Gold: The Legendary Lost City of El Dorado with Dr. Daniela Arroyo Barrantes.

Based in Banff, Canada's first and most famous National Park, Patrick Twomey is an international guide, tour leader and published author. Having studied history, economics and development, Patrick has lived, worked and guided in more than 40 countries. In Canada, he has lead more than 100 tours and has written two editions of ‘Working and Living in Canada' (as well as a guide to skiing in Canada). Patrick is a proud father and an avid outdoors person. During days off, he skis, bikes, climbs and hikes. Patrick maintains a travel blog and speaks fluent English, French and Spanish.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

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Anonymous (Phoenix, US)
Good Story, Flawed Story Teller

Our second and last Context virtual tour with Patrick Twomey. Both have only secondarily addressed the subject matter in the course description. While experienced and knowledgeable, Patrick is a terrible presenter. It’s as though his goal is to see how many words he can cram into the time allotted - which both times ran over that time considerably. He needs to eliminate 90% of the talk about himself as well as all the tangential information.

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
100%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous (Phoenix, US)
Good Story, Flawed Story Teller

Our second and last Context virtual tour with Patrick Twomey. Both have only secondarily addressed the subject matter in the course description. While experienced and knowledgeable, Patrick is a terrible presenter. It’s as though his goal is to see how many words he can cram into the time allotted - which both times ran over that time considerably. He needs to eliminate 90% of the talk about himself as well as all the tangential information.