Takesi Trek

by Cassie, August 31st, 2011 | No Comments

This time, we went on a different trek that starts in the high mountains and goes down into the tropical Yungas mountains. The trek was a lot of fun, but it was tough. Plus, the weather didn´t cooperate with us very much. We spent the first day hiking through the amazing Palca Canyon with 100 meter high walls. However, the canyon walls were not made of stone, instead they were made of mud. We could see places where huge chunks of mud had fallen down.

Palca Canyon

The next day we went over a pass of 4,670 meters, and the weather turned as we went over the pass. It became very cold and a wind was blowing clouds over the pass. When we got to the pass, we couldn´t see anything after all the hard work of climbing the pass!

Start of Takesi trek

Hiking up to the pass on old Inca trail

At the pass

The next day, the weather cleared up in the morning, but it clouded in later in the morning. For a while, we were hiking in the clouds, but finally, we hiked below the clouds and had views of the mountains again. We spent our third night camped next to a river. We were supposed to cross a suspension bridge, but it had been destroyed. Instead, we had to cross a unstable, makeshift log bridge.

Hiking down the valley on the old Inca Trail

Crossing the river along this makeshift log bridge

The final day, we continued hiking down into the Yungas moutains. Part of the trail had been destroyed by a landslide, so we had to go on a detour. We also were supposed to go on another detour around an unstable concrete bridge, but we missed the detour and crossed the bridge anyway. The bridge was really scary with no guardrails, and the concrete slabs rocked as you walked across them. Below the bridge was a steep mountainside, so it definitely got your heart pumping to get across. But, we made it across safely.

Hiking through the jungle

Yungas mountains

Crossing scary concrete bridge

Then, we had an adventure getting back to La Paz from the end of the trek. We went to the mining town of Chollja, but the next bus didn´t leave until 5am the next morning. The town didn´t have good prospects for a clean hostal to stay the night, so we continued hiking to the nicer town of Yanacachi. We spent the night in Yanacachi in basic, clean accomodations, and we arrived at the place to get the micro back to La Paz at 4:30am. However, the road was blocked due to some workers striking, so it seemed that we might not be able to get back to La Paz from Yanacachi. So, we began hiking down to the main road past the road blockage where we could catch a bus going back to La Paz. As we were hiking, the micro going from Yanacachi to La Paz came by. The driver was planning to try to get through the blockade, so we hopped in for the ride. We arrived at the road blockage, and somehow, the driver convinced the striking workers to let us through. First, the strikers had to look into the micro to make sure we were okay. Apparently, we didn´t look too suspicious because we were let through the road blockage, and we made it back to La Paz!

Back in Bolivia!

by Cassie, August 26th, 2011 | No Comments

We had so much fun last time we were in Bolivia that we decided to come back again this summer! Because of the road blockages due to the border conflict between Oruro and Potosi, we didn´t make it to the salt flats last summer. So, we had a reason to return!

View of La Paz from the airplane

Calle Linares- right outside our hotel

Mt. Illimani

Plaza San Francisco

Last summer, Plaza San Francisco was under construction, and now it is all done. It is really nice now with steps to sit on to munch on the snacks we bought on the plaza. We also played with some kids who came up to us asking what our hand sanitizer was. :)

Feeding the pigeons at Plaza Murillo

Traffic zebras!