“After hearing various recommendations about this trek from La Paz to Coroico we, Antoine and I (Juan) decided to do it.
It is recommended to start it early in the morning, this is how it went:
The first day we failed and we woke up very late so we ended up going to the Valley of the Moon in La Paz and then we bought some provisions for the trek.
The next day we woke up “early” and took a bus that left us at the beginning of the Choro route. From the bus, it was difficult to see where we were since there was a lot of fog and rain.
Once we got off the bus we looked at each other and agreed that it was not possible to see beyond 200 meters. We were almost 5000m high, there were very little vegetation and many rocks.
We started to walk until suddenly the rain became snow, it was also a climb so as we got higher we had more snow falling! We started to get cold and wet, Antu had his sneakers with holes in it!
After a while, we stopped to rest. We sheltered and recovered with some coca leaves and a joint.
We continued walking along the gravel road until we reached a place where everything was foggy and we couldn’t see anything. Here is when the negative thoughts and confusion came as “This was a bad idea” or “we might have messed up with the route”. After a while, the sky was clearer and we could see that we had reached the top of the mountain and that from now on the road was a downhill so we were quite glad.
We appreciated the view that nature offered us after so much effort and then we started to go down by the hillside of the mountain, it was kind of weird because the road wasn’t marked. We then found a stream and decided to follow it. Along the way, we could see how the climate was changing and as there was more vegetation. We found some lamas, but they turned out not to be so friendly and rather aggressive.
We continued descending and we found some ruins, at this height of the walk we were supposed to cross the first camping, which we did not find, seeing that it was at night, we decided to camp in the ruins. There we started to have a bad time since it was raining and we had to build the tent. All this resulted in that we slept 1 or 2 hours because of our sleeping bags being all soaked. At about 6 am we got out of the tent and we found an impressive snowy landscape! We could not believe it! We couldn’t stop laughing at the situation!
Then we continued our walk for a long time until we saw a construction in the distance that turned out to be the first camping of the trek… Having everything soaked, Antu was forced to be barefoot walking in the snow!! Once arrived at the camping Antu began his foot thawing process in which he told me “I think I’m going to lose my feet fingers..”
The manager of the campsite was very friendly and gave us a photo showing the distances between the campsites …
We continued to go down on the walk, there was more and more vegetation and the temperature wasn’t that cold anymore, then we came across a place where we had to pay 20 Bolivians since it was an Aboriginal land.
We kept walking until Antu realized that he had forgotten his jacket so he went to look for it, I waited for a long time, I was worried that I ended up asking a local if he had seen my traveling companion, he said “Yes, I saw it and he will come back fast” How did he know that? that second thing he said took away some credibility, but you know, anything can happen in Bolivia. After a while, Antu returned and it turns out that he had gone to the ruins where we slept the first night to look for his jacket and that he had not found it!
We arrived at a campsite that had a great view and had “beds”, actually those “beds” were leaves under the tent to make the place more comfortable.
We spent the night here. When we woke up and, of course, it was raining. But this did not put us off as it was the last day of trekking, so we waked and baked to celebrate this.
As the temperature continued to increase the climate started to become more tropical, we could observe banana trees and palm trees in addition to butterflies of all colors (that’s what we think we saw, maybe we were delirious).
This last day the road had many cliffs so we had to be careful. We continued walking until we reached a waterfall where we had to cross the stream that shaped it.
Seeing that the stream had a lot of current and was also close to the cliff we invented an improvised safety system in which Antu and I were tied to each other (at the time it seemed a good idea but now that I think of it, if I felt Antu also).
Luckily we crossed the stream safe and we arrived at a small town where he had to pay a minivan to take us to Coroico, being at night, the services had closed so we had to negotiate with a dealer of chickens to take us, we closed the deal in 70 Bolivians. Once we arrived at Coroico we had our well-deserved rest.
The next day we consumed the San Pedro (Cactus of the zone that contains mescaline) that we bought in La Paz, so we settled in the Hawaii cafe with an amazing view and we had a very relaxing trip…
What did we learn from this Hike?
- Always bring a map with you and previous information.
- Be equipped, not like Antu who had Sneakers with holes…
- Bring water or a water purifier if you want to drink from the river because water is sold really expensive here.
- Know when is the rainy season, it is from December to Mars (we went on February…)“
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