In 1968, the government built a steel truss bridge just a few hundred yards upstream from the kewsha chaca. Though most locals now use it rather than the grass bridge to cross the gorge, the tradition of rebuilding the keshwa chaca each year still continues. Divorced from practical necessity, its annual renewal has become an impassioned, highly ritualized act of cultural preservation.
Today, the nearby metal truss bridge shows signs of wear. Its orange paint has grown rusty. Its wood planks are rickety. One of the metal barriers is badly warped from a vehicle collision. It was built as a permanent replacement for an inherently impermanent structure. But nothing is truly permanent. All bridges someday collapse. And it's not impossible to imagine that it may yet be outlived by its more fragile neighbor downstream, whose very ephemeralness seems to be the source of its staying power.
Click here to launch a slide show on a bridge made out of grass.
GoPro provided the travelers with some camera equipment free of charge.
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