Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"We're lost in the Andes"

 The title is a song that we came up with in light of our situation this afternoon. It started off much happier with lyrics like "we are hiking in the Andes" and escalated into "we're in a ravine"
"I don't think this is the path"
"we're running from the bulls"
"Apparently that snake CAN swim!!"
or "jumping over a river"
to the inevitable "we are lost in the Andes!"
If you haven't discovered it yet, we decided that we were fully capable of taking a bus to the middle of nowhere and hiking 3 km to some waterfalls. We discovered we aren't anywhere near that level of adventure and we probably should have used a tour guide.

After finally finding the right bus, it dropped us off in a barrio called Alegria where a little boy told us "just follow the path" which appeared easy enough
It was pretty and we still had a sense of adventure at this point.
We stayed on this side of the path since there were bulls fighting on the other.
 Then once we found the river there were people doing laundry and a bunch of dogs barking so we stayed on this side still. ( In retrospect this was a bad decision, we wanted to go up the river to find waterfalls but we ignorantly continued down river).

We felt pretty intrepid leaping over rocks like mountain goats.
This was the "path" we took to get to the river, straight down. At this point I think Elena started to doubt my leadership abilities.
This is the closest thing to a waterfall we actually found. 

After a while the river combined with another and it turned really muddy and gross and we stopped taking pictures and started panicking a little. But, we continued to follow it as opposed to climbing back up the ravine.
Eventually we stopped for lunch and then continued walking until we spotted people. We asked them where we were (now sure we were lost) and they didn't know. They told us it didn't have a name-uh-oh. We walked forever up a hill and past scary dogs to a hacienda which looked great. It was adorable and had a pool but of course there was no one there so we continued to walk. A little girl told us we were really far way from Alegria (the little town we started off in) and we needed to follow the uphill road, in the sun. We finally stopped to rest in the only shade on the entire road. To the right is the ravine we were down in.
Us after five hours of hiking, adventuring, and sun.

Fortunately some men passing by in a truck let us hop in the back for a ride back to Sucre. We were falling all over ourselves trying to stay upright much to the amusement of the random Bolivian man with us (you can see him in the reflection).
Over all our whole adventure cost us 3 bolivianos each (less than 50 cents) and we survived ( a little burnt, scraped by some thorn bushes (aka bushes of death) and Elena got stung by a bee). I think we fulfilled our sense of adventure for a while and now can go back to staying in the city.


  1. Oh, my, word! You guys took a bus and wandered to the middle of nowhere without a map?!? Once the free range animals started appearing I think I'd be done! Scary to say the least, and I'm glad you found home again! Wow!

    1. We were worried we were being a bit over dramatic so we're glad it sounded impressive to someone (albeit ill-advised). I've think we've learned that even if the internet says it's fine we probably shouldn't go wandering alone in the middle of nowhere.

  2. Maybe we should have packed you a compass and map. . . . :-)

    Glad you enjoyed your hike, and clearly the men you rode with enjoyed giving you a lift! Glad you thought to bring food, hope you also brought water. Next time, maybe verifying the directions with someone knowledgable might be in order.

    Completely enjoyed the story. Sounds like something I would have done! ;-)