Macho and Feminina, the two mules who here are ferrying our packs up the
first and steepest pass of the six-day Illampu Circuit.
Their names mean "male" and "female" because the Bolivians
don't go in for anthropomorphising animals as we sentimental Westerners
do. However, as I observed on several occasions, you rarely see one mule
on its own, and the Bolivians make a point of keeping friends and relatives
together. These two are buddies and apparently only work dejectedly at
half-capacity when on their own.
Mules get altitude sickness just as we do, the unacclimatized ones fall
over and die, just like us, and they get all hot, sweaty and smelly, just
like us. You gotta love 'em.