We have been on the edge of our seats waiting to hear from Team Bolivia who have been gallavanting across South America these past weeks… Here is what they have to say:
Random fact #1: Pete uses female deodorant (pete of course being the teams intrepis Expedition Leader)
Arriving back in La Paz after a month in the
jungle needed a fair bit of readjustment not only because of the altitude but
it was no longer acceptable to walk around in swamp-washed clothes. We stumbled
into our hostel in La Paz bleary-eyed and dishevelled after our 20 hour bus
ride from Santa Cruz only to be greeted by a chipper Pete whose birthday it
was. This called for a steak dinner and singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Pete at
every opportunity to see how beetroot he could really go (very). The next day
was spent prepping for Death Road and ice climbing and pelting Pete with eggs
in the middle of the street in honour of his birthday the day before as
dictated by Ambue tradition.
Cycling Death Road the next day was a mixture of fear, bewilderment,
adrenaline and awe. We collapsed at our hotel in Coroico for some R&R
exhausted after having been rattled along Death Road all day and made a descent
of 3600m but chuffed at having survived. Annie’s tonsils took a turn for the
worse (link between hickeys and tonsillitis anyone?) so one down we headed to
the glacier at Huayna Potosi for some ice climbing.
Random fact #2: Curva, a small town near to Lagunillas famous for
its medicinal healers, is the latest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bolivia.
The next day we managed to shove a sickly
Annie into the transport to Lagunillas to begin our trek in the Apolobamba
range. Annie still suffering from tonsillitis/ hickeys and Karen had to stay
behind the next morning in the lodge at Lagunillas and it was left to the rest
of us to conquer the Laguna. We arrived at the Laguna early afternoon after some
spectacular scenery along the way. The day was completed by some sunbathing
next to the beautiful lake in the ridiculously good weather only to be topped
by an outrageously delicious sausage mash soup combo.
The second day’s trekking was spent scrambling
across scree fields beneath snow capped peaks and descending back into the
lodge to be reunited with our no longer sickly friends. Now two people stronger the
following day’s trekking was spent singing to some Sean Paul classics and finally
reaching Charazani, the final stop of our trek. We were duly rewarded by a beer on the terrace, a relax in the thermal
baths which wouldn’t be complete without the pervy Bolivian men and a dinner of
chicharron cooked by the legendary senora.