We left La Paz (good riddance) for Coroico yesterday. I ate something in La Paz that contained some nasty beastie (parasite,bacteria or amoeba who knows?) and havent felt up to par since. Wendy says I went native too fast. I finally gave in & started on abx 24 hours into it. Pommelo neus has also helped considerably. (pink grapefruit soda)
Before leaving La Paz we hired a driver, Jorge (who played the same mix of late 70s disco & 80s new wave all day) to take us to Tiuanico. (sp?) an Inca ruin an hour or so out of La Paz. Really beautiful drive; looks a lot like Montana:wide reaching plains with striking mountains in the distance. The ruins would have been much more impressive had the Spanish not decimated the place. It was built in 600 BC & occupied over 260, 000 acres. It was a fully functioning society with with running water and a sophisticated agricultural center. In about 900 AD it was abandoned, most likely due to drought. Enter the plundering conquistadors. They tore down the temples & statues & even ground some of the stones into gravel to use a base for a railroad track. Barely a glimpse is left. Tragic.
Yesterday we boarded a mini bus for Coroico, which is in the tropical Yungas valley. I was slightly nauseated & the constant, pungent smell of fried fish & BO didnt help. About an hour into our trip we realized we were on the "old road" aka the worlds most dangerous road. Literally 6 inches from our tires was a straight fall to 1000 meters. I forgot about my nausea. Wendy said "Im glad I have my passport on me so they can identify my body" hmmm,... no way anyone is fetching us out of that ravine, I thought.
We arrived safe & found a lovely hotel, the Hotel Esmerelda. We have a bamboo balcony and hot water ALL DAY! The views are magnificent. We are above the cloud line which is a bit eerie. It has rained all day, so we opted out of the waterfall hike & went to town instead. We ate pizza with an Argentinian motorcycle gang & a young traveler from Kansas. Because of the rain we will cut this portion of the trip short & head to lake Titicaca tomorrow. So its back on another minibus to La Paz, supposedly on the new road, but who knows.... suzanne
PS still no photo upload capability. arrgh.