We took a short break last week and went to La Paz. We met up with our friend Caz and she decided to join us on our 3 day walk along an ancient Inca Trail from La Paz (Choro) to Croico. It was amazing. We started at 6 am and were taken up above the snow line by a 4 x 4 truck. We climbed to the summit at 5000m and then it was all down hill for three days. The path followed a powerful river falling over rapids and huge waterfalls. We saw llamas carrying things to market and small houses perched on the hillside in the middle of nowhere. On the first day we descended over 2500m and walked through many different eco systems. We camped each night and our guides managed to cook us delicious food, (sometimes trout caught fresh from the river).
The second and third days were all downhill (our knees were, by this stage, beginning to ache… feeling our age) and we walked through dense jungle, saw the most beautiful butterflies, ate fresh mangoes and bananas, climbed over waterfalls, gazed at the stars, saw amazing coloured flowers, chatted, laughed and generally had an awesome time. It was really good to relax and spend time in the middle of nature. In Crioco we had a night in a hotel and went horse riding with Caz. We returned to Sucre (14 hours on the bus) feeling completely relaxed and ready for work.
We are fast approaching 6 months in Bolivia, we were told that this can be quite a hard time for missionaries emotionally. Some days are quite tough, we are a bit homesick, missing all our buddies back home and sometimes feel frustrated with our Spanish (so please send us lots of encouraging emails). But we are getting more and more involved with the community here and the projects we have been planning are starting to get going. We worked in the library this week and did a puppet show and games for the kids.
This weekend we went on a walk with the youth group into the mountains. It was decided on the spot without any police checks / risk assessment / permission slips…. has the world gone crazy! The way things are done here are quite different to the UK. The plan was to sleep out under the stars after a bonfire and songs, but it started to rain at about 3.30 am and the boys gallantly gave up the only tent for the girls… 24 girls in one tent … and the boys had to find shelter under the spindly trees. We were asked give a talk about boy/girl relationships. We were amazed how willing they were to take part in the discussions and how fervently they expressed their views. Ruth was happy because we camped next to a river… the closest thing to the seaside for 6 whole months …. (feeling serious Gower withdrawal symptoms.) We got a lift back to Sucre in the back of an old VW camper van – a great way to see the view!
We are also doing the second of our married couples course at our house – talking about “Love and Respect”. This is a real challenge for our limited Spanish but we’re going to have a go!
We got our visas – so we are now legal thanks to our friend and lawyer Grover! He wants us to say that he is charming, single and available and has his own motorbike!
On the instruction of LLink we are taking a few days off next week. We have decided to visit La Paz and do a walk through the jungle to Croico on an Inca trail. We start in ice and walk down through 6 eco- systems to the jungle.