Return to La Paz
We packed up and got ready to go. Ruben is supposed to have found a different route to get to us, but it is a long way round and involves more back-country roads. It is a different route than what we came in on.
We took the opportunity to finish up some loose ends, getting some interview questions answered and visiting a house or two.
The guides from the other nearby town, Komucala, showed up this morning wanting us to go now. We said we couldn’t because we were leaving. We will have to catch them next time or possibly find another EWB chapter to support their community.
We had an assortment of lumber left over, which we donated to the community to help finish the new church. We also left the egg incubator we had brought with us to test the water samples for bacteria. I was surprised that there were no chickens around. It seems like a logical solution to have hens laying eggs. The livestock in the community consists of lots of sheep, a few cows, and pigs. Mules, too.
Ruben arrives in the later morning and we packed up the LC and said our goodbyes. I let Amanda sit up front, as the trip out promised to be challenging and she is prone to motion sickness.
What a journey this was! After leaving Suncallo Valley, we headed east, down into the rugged sides of the Andes to the river, across the river and then back up the other side. It took two hours over some of the narrowest, twisty jeep trails I’ve ever seen. Once on the other side of the river, we passed through a small community that has one of the few medical clinics in the area.
We continued going up, although mostly on the ridge with some spectacular views of the Andes range and Mount Illampu in the foreground. We stopped for lunch at an overlook. The GPS put us at 15,500 feet, with Illampu towering at 20,000 feet in the background. We were on wide, easy roads now, although still gravel through our descent back to the main highway. The remainder of the trip back to La Paz was uneventful.
Amanda did not fare well. We eventually had to get her to a doctor for dehydration and nausea. Fortunately, she recovered fully by the next afternoon. Tess was a faithful friend, and stayed with her through her ordeal.
The rest of us went out and found some pizza and then a coffee shop, which put a nice cap on my day. I had not had any coffee since I had gotten there. Lastly, we found an Internet café and were able to send home a quick email.
The next day was spent in La Paz relaxing, shopping, and attending a soccer game.
The following day began a little too early as we needed to be downstairs to meet Mike and load up for the trip back to the airport. Thus began a very long and frustrating travel day that finally ended back in the Denver airport at 11PM. It sure was good to get home.