DATED 13/04/98


After many days of sailing, handling and portaging their boats, the Kota Mama Expedition reached the edge of Lake Poopo.

Last Day On The Boat

At this point the Rio Desaguadero vanished. The lakes are almost completely dried out by El Nino. Welcoming fireworks flared and burst and pistol shots rang out as the Explorers reached the end of their challenging journey during which they endured hail, torrential rain, strong winds and blistering sun. Often they had to wade waist deep in thick mud for long periods pushing the reed boats through shallows.

Last Day On The Boat

Captain Jim Masters who commanded the fleet complimented the crew in the style of Sir Francis Drake with the words "Well Done Lads". Lt Luke Cox RE who skippered "Patchacotec", the smallest boat commented "It was certainly no picnic". Throughout the journey the reed craft were ably supported by an Avon inflatable with an ISHP Mariner outboard fitted with a special cage for use in reeds and mud.

Last Day On The Boat

Toby Marriner examined one of Jim Allen's principal sites on which he has based his hypothesis of Atlantis. During a brief survey Toby concluded that this channel was probably a natural feature, although it had a symmetrical profile. Archaeologists felt that it may have been used by early cultures and indeed it is known that the Tiwanaku were expert canal builders. Evidence of small settlements dating back to 1100 AD were discovered along its banks. Jim Allen is now investigating other areas seen on satellite photographs.

Cave walls adorned with pictographs of men leading llamas and also of pumas, said to represent the faces of good and evil and dating about 9000 BC (The very date of the supposed cataclysm of Atlantis) were surveyed and photographed on the final day of the project. These were discovered by Dr Luis Guerra one of Bolivia's most distinguished archaeologists who is assisting the expedition.

Now the team heads back to La Paz, when its flagship "Kota Mama" is to be displayed in the national museum.

Meanwhile Toby Marriner and Chrysoulla Kyprianou are heading into tropical swamps of Bolivia's malaria ridden lowlands to reconnoitre the route to the next phase of the three-year expedition, which will again be carried out in co-operation with the Bolivian Navy. Already work has begun on the design of the new flagship "Kota Mama 2" that will carry the expedition form Bolivia to Buenos Aires and the Atlantic. Like its successor it is to be built by the Cataris, Aymara Indians of Lake Titikaka.

The expedition has now finished and we are heading back to La Paz for two days of celebration. We will all then fly back to our home countries.

Colonel John-Blashford-Snell and Richard Snailham are available for lectures on the expedition from May 1st 1998. For details on this or to find out more about the Kota Mama Expedition contact

For details about the technical equipment and procedures used to bring this Expedition to the Net as it happened, contact
Also see

Any illustration work can be provided to order by the Expedition's Illustrator via

Thankyou to all of our sponsors and to everyone involved in the expedition, especially to Bournemouth Internet for supplying the sub-domain name, the web-space and giving such constructive help.

Gracias Muchachos


Return In 1999 For Phase Two